WARRNAMBOOL Seahawks hope to regain championship winner Ollie Bidmade for their final home game of the Big V season after splitting their home and away double-header at the weekend.
An undermanned Seahawks defeated top-placed Sunbury Jets 82-77 on the road on Saturday night before a final-quarter comeback against Western Port Steelers fell eight points short at the Arc on Sunday.
Seahawks coach Tim Gainey is optimistic playoffs remain within reach with three games remaining.
They are fighting for the final spot in the top six with the injury-sidelined Bidmade expected to give them a boost.
Fellow starter Josh Dean returned from a hamstring problem on Sunday, playing 20 minutes.
Gainey was rapt with the Seahawks' efforts against the Jets, which included a 37-point game from import Xavier Johnson-Blount, in hostile territory.
"They were on a 10-game winning streak and we took down a short-handed team with seven or eight players and got the job done so that was good against a quality outfit," he said.
The Seahawks had a short turnaround against a fresh Western Port and found themselves 21 points down at the final break before a 30-17 fourth quarter gave the Steelers a scare.
Johnson-Blount finished with 39 points, seven assists and three steals.
"Western Port are a very good team led by Daryl Corletto, a former Melbourne Tigers player, a good import, coach and supporting staff," Gainey said.
"We thought we could get this game today as well but they played some really good basketball and we didn't make the shots we wanted to make and that led to them getting the victory."
Gainey was pleased with Dean's comeback which included three steals.
"He is another threat, (has) a lot of experience there and a strong body," he said.
"There's no mismatches when Josh is on the court, he's obviously one of the best defenders on our team and he's our point guard so he puts it in the right spots.
"He's still probably at 60 or 70 per cent but the minutes he gave today you can see what he can do when he's 100 per cent." Liam Osborne has played extended minutes in Dean's absence and had a strong finish against the Steelers. He had eight points and two steals.
"Hopefully we can work something out between me, Josh and Adam (Lawson), so hopefully we can play a few minutes each," Osborne said of sharing court time over the next three games.
"Tim and (assistant coach) Barry (Brooks) are trying to get everyone on court. You might play two minutes, you might play 25 minutes. It's just how it goes."
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