Werribee Devils launched a late fightback only to fall agonisingly short in an 83-79 loss to Hawthorn Magic in the Big V men’s championship at Eagle Stadium on Saturday night.
It was the first of two disappointments for the Devils on a double-header weekend as they followed up a day later to lose 104-79 to Waverley Falcons at Waverley Basketball Centre.
But the one that stung the most for the Devils was the failed comeback attempt against Magic.
Trailing by 16 at three-quarter time, the Devils made one final push with a 25-13 last quarter but left the run too late.
Darcy Harding was the catalyst for the Devils with 31 points and 11 rebounds.
Import David Cobb finished with 16 points and 11 rebounds, while Jonathan Sonda had 11 points and 12 rebounds.
On Sunday, Werribee was battling out of its weight division against the third- placed Falcons.
At no stage did the Devils appear to threaten an upset, particularly as they went into half-time with a dismal 32-point deficit.
But they restored some pride in the second half, winning both the third and fourth quarters.
Jordan Hughes top-scored with 15 points to go with eight rebounds and five assists, while Cobb picked up his eighth consecutive double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds.
With just two games remaining, the Devils (4-18) seem destined for the wooden spoon.
That will be confirmed if they can’t produce the upset of the season when premiership favourites Ringwood (20-1) visit Ballan Road on Sunday.
In the women’s division 1, Werribee Devils ran into runaway leader Whittlesea Pacers and fell to a predictable 79-54 defeat.
The Devils trailed by 24 at half-time but at least fought it out in second-half junk time to ensure the deficit didn’t blow out further.
Lauren Conroy was the Devils’ leading scorer with 18 points, closely followed by Georgia Tauschke with 12.
The Devils will visit the Keilor Thunder in the penultimate round on Sunday.