Benalla Breakers’ final match of the season epitomised their year.
It was one of missed chances.
The Breakers have seen a massive improvement from their inaugural 2018-19 season.
They bettered a 0-12 record to win three games this year and avoid the dreaded position at the bottom of the ladder.
But their post-season could have been drastically different if the Breakers had pulled the trigger and won their closest match-ups.
Four of the Breakers’ games this season were decided by seven points or less, with their final game of the season a six-point defeat at the hands of Wangaratta Warriors.
Breakers captain Sam Burrowes echoed these feelings post-match on Sunday, saying it was a “disappointing result to end the season on”.
“Obviously we wanted to come in and win a few more games than we did,” Burrowes said.
“Same as this one, we thought coming in we’d be able to win it.
“But as for the season as a whole, we’ve seen the growth from game one to now.
“We’re just looking at keeping this team together for next year and hopefully pushing for finals.”
Although a post-season run was off the cards before their round 12 clash, the Breakers kept in touch with the Warriors throughout 40 minutes of play at the Wangaratta Sports and Aquatic Centre.
But lapses in concentration continued to put the Breakers on the back foot as they had to find ways to fight their way back into the game, often from as much as 13 points down.
“We were running in bursts. There’d be two, three minutes where we played really well and closed the gap and then five, six minutes where (Wangaratta) would run out again,” Burrowes said.
With the Breakers pulling the margin back to within two points with four minutes on the clock, the crowd was up and about and it was anyone’s game.
But after losing to the Warriors by three points earlier this season, the Breakers again came off second best as the margin settled at six as the final buzzer blared.
“Little things are stopping us winning those games and that is the difference with ending our season now and being able to go into finals,” Burrowes said.
“That’s on us next year - to sit down as coaches, captains, team managers, and look at what we are doing at training and leading up to games and try and fix those little things that will hopefully get us across the line.”
With the season now at a close, Burrowes will be joined by Breakers teammates Lachy Kego and Patrick Mahoney in lining up for the North East Bushrangers in the Big V Division 2 conference throughout winter.
“It’s great to have that opportunity to play high-level basketball,” Burrowes said.
“Hopefully we can bring our experience back to CBL next year.”
Benalla Breakers 60
Wangaratta Warriors 66
Top scorers: Lachy Kego 22, Max Hemphill 12