It was a tale of two contrasting halves for Warrnambool Mermaids in their Big V division one away win over Craigieburn Eagles.
The Mermaids rallied to triumph 76-62 in freezing conditions after trailing the last-placed Eagles 31-25 at the main break.
Fresh off a bye and a three-hour drive, the Mermaids' cause wasn't helped by a delayed start to the match due to an Eagles' presentation.
Mermaids coach Lee Primmer said for most of the first half "it was not some of our best basketball".
"We were beaten on the boards and our shooting percentage was not very good," he said.
Primmer was delighted with his side's response in the second half.
"I'm happy that we got the win," he said.
"The second part of the game was pleasing, the first part was something that we had to fight our way through and feel our way through. We were able to do that.
"After half-time we got on a bit of a roll and made some shots and once we made shots and defended like we did (we triumphed)."
The Mermaids mentor lauded the efforts of two of his younger players in the win.
"Our 16-year-old point-guard Mia Mills (12 points) was sensational in leading from the front after half-time," he said.
"The way she led from the front at her tender, young age was very impressive.
"Our other 16-year-old girl Matilda Sewell (13 points) was very good.
"Certainly early when we had that bad first half she was probably the shining light."
The Mermaids have a bye this week before hosting Warrandyte in their final match of the regular season.
Finals are guaranteed for the third-placed Warrnambool outfit which could finish as high as second if Camberwell goes winless from its final two games.
Primmer said his side might do some match-simulation during the week in absence of a game.
"It'd be nice to be playing again but that's the beast of the draw we've got," he said.
"We might have to have a decent training session on Thursday night.
"When we scrimmage we might have to replicate game situations a lot more than we have over the last few weeks."
Over at Rowville Secondary College, Warrnambool Seahawks' faint finals hopes all but ended with their 91-68 loss to Keysborough Cougars.
The Seahawks only trailed by two points at quarter-time but from then on were consistently outscored by the second-placed Cougars.
James Mitchell (18 points) was the Seahawks' top point-scorer.
Warrnambool sits seventh with games against Warrandyte and Bulleen to finish the year.
It is two-wins behind fifth-placed Corio Bay which has a game in hand.
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