Spirit suffer heartbreaking loss to Boomers in KG’s comeback
Bendigo have suffered a heartbreaking 76-74 loss to a fast-finishing Melbourne at Parkville Stadium on Sunday, despite a career-high points haul from Kelsey Griffin.
The Spirit looked like celebrating skipper Griffin’s return from a hamstring injury with their first win of the season when they led by 12 points at the final change.
But the home side had other ideas, snatching victory from the jaws of defeat in a frenetic final term which included five lead changes.
Griffin couldn’t have done much more, hitting a career-best and game-high 33 points in a stunning comeback.
Import Jordin Canada was the hero was Melbourne, lighting it up in the final term to finish with 26 points eight rebounds and seven assists.
Griffin showed no signs of early rust in her long-awaited return, shooting at 100 per cent from the field on her way to a game-high 13 first-quarter points.
Abbey Wehrung (11 points) hit back-to-back buckets, including one from outside the arc, as the Spirit jumped out to a 17-8 lead midway through the opening term.
Bendigo could do no wrong early, nearly doubling the Boomers’ score at quarter-time to have a handy 30-16 buffer.
Melbourne came back hard in the second to cut the deficit to single digits before a steadying few minutes from the visitors before half-time with the score at 41-27.
After having an impact on the boards in the first half, Ruth Davis (14 points and eight rebounds) showcased her scoring prowess with the Spirit’s first six points after the main break.
Every time the Boomers looked like mounting a comeback in the third, Bendigo would answer back with Ally Wilson and Griffin both nailing clutch triples to shift the momentum.
Bendigo’s 62-50 three-quarter time lead was cut back to just three points within a couple of minutes of the last term.
Canada then remarkably gave Melbourne the lead for the first time since the opening bucket of the match.
Griffin ended a 13-0 run from the Bombers with a much-needed basket.
The Boomers were up 73-66 before Griffin followed up an and-one with a triple to make it 73-72 with 90 seconds left.
Ally Wilson’s layup with one minute to go gave Bendigo the lead back, but it was short-lived as Melbourne got back in front before holding on.