The North-West Thunder have fallen agonisingly short of progressing in the SEABL finals after being defeated 92-91 by Dandenong in Saturday night’s first semi-final.
In a thrilling final quarter, the Thunder trailed by one point but had possession of the ball with 11 seconds left.
A drive to the basket from Daniel Sepokas created an opening for import Jeremiah Ingram to score in the paint, but his shot wouldn’t drop, and the following tip-in attempt from Chudier Pal also fell short.
Dandenong now progress to a preliminary final against Hobart, who went down 81-77 to Ballarat.
Sepokas’s 18 points led six Thunder players in double figures, with Chudier Pal (15 points) and Brad Simpson (13 points) the next best.
After scoring freely last week, Ahmad Starks could only manage 10 points, while Jeremiah Ingram battled foul trouble all night to also finish with 10 points.
Former Thunder import Garrett Jackson led the Rangers with 23 points.