The Ballarat Rush needed to do everything right over the course of the weekend to have a chance of making finals, and in the end even that proved to be not enough.
Heading into the final week of home-and-away basketball, the Rush needed to defeat both Geelong and Canberra while relying on either Brisbane or Bendigo to drop their remaining fixture.
The Rush wasted no time attending to the task when they hit the floor against the Lady Supercats, leading at every change thanks to big performances from Abbey Wehrung and Ashleigh Spencer.
However by the time the Ballarat side took to the court in for their second match for the weekend, they knew a top four east conference finish was out of reach.
Brisbane held onto second spot with a comfortable victory over Frankston, while Bendigo was able to pull off a come-from-behind victory against Albury-Wodonga to maintain their grip on fourth.
Despite the clash with the Canberra Capitals being a dead rubber, the Rush looked keen to impress their home crowd one last time for the year.
The hosts asserted their dominance on their home court from the get-go, with the likes of Kasey Burton and Spencer getting in on the action early.
In a game where some of the Rush’s younger players were given a chance to shine, Lydia Brooks was able to score eight points on top of four rebounds. Abbey Sutherland, Taylah Wynne and Eliza Roughead also all enjoyed court time in the win.
Joy Burke continued her dominance off the board with a game-high 15 rebounds, while also contributing 19 points.
Rush coach David Flint said while his side were extremely disappointed not to be featuring in the pointy end of the SEABL season, he was proud of the dramatic improvement his charges had shown.
“The last three weeks none of the game scores we weren’t involved in fell our way,” Flint said. “But if we had done some things with those close games we lost earlier in the season we wouldn’t be saying that now.”
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