Warrnambool Mermaids coach Lee Primmer says he is disappointed to fall narrowly short against a fellow finals contender but believes it will build character within the group.
The second-placed Mermaids lost 66-63 to Camberwell in the Big V division women's on Saturday afternoon, despite leading in many statistical areas of the game.
"We shot the ball at the same rate as them from the field and outside the three we were better than them," he said.
"We had more assists, they had more turnovers so we looked after the ball better.
"That team we played beat Sherbrooke by about 20 and we pushed them to three, they're a very good team."
Primmer said the Mermaids needed to work on their physicality.
"The game became very physical and we led by 15 halfway through the second quarter and I thought Camberwell were struggling to defend us," he said. "They're an older, more experienced group and got more physical in regards to defence. We never really coped with it and we're a young team.
"We're fairly athletic and have smaller body shapes so we didn't adjust that well to it, but down the stretch there was three points in it."
The Mermaids mentor said it was a tough loss but expected his group to bounce back.
"We probably could have locked in second-spot and given us a home final," he said. "We've got some games to go so we'll now need to win against Westernport who are fighting to finish third, fourth or even fifth, so it was disappointing.
"But I think for a younger group it builds character that we can be in those games and eventually close them out, once the girls have had enough games with that physicality."
In a promising performance, Katie O'Keefe was excellent with 21 points and 11 rebounds.
Primmer also confirmed star recruit Olivia Fuller has played her last game of the season with the AFLW player set to ramp up her commitments with Geelong.
The Warrnambool Seahawks, meanwhile, had a mixed weekend on the court with a loss on Saturday and a win on Sunday in men's division one.
On Saturday, the Seahawks travelled down to Rosebud to play Southern Peninsula, falling 80-71 against the home team.
Despite the tough loss, Alex Gynes' side was well led by the likes of Ollie Bidmade (nine points, 13 rebounds), James Mitchell (10 points) and Riley Nicholson (eight points, six rebounds).
Desperate to break through for a weekend victory, the Seahawks bounced back in style the following day to bank an 81-72 victory against Bulleen. Built off the back of a dominant opening quarter, in which the Seahawks jumped to a 30-17 lead the visitors were never truly threatened.
Ollie Bidmade was once again everywhere to record 17 rebounds and seven assists, James Mitchell was at his consistent best with another 13 points and Benson Steere had seven assists in the strong win.
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