FINDING a way to win no matter the circumstance is a hallmark of great teams across the sporting landscape, and it’s one that the Bendigo Braves women have put on show.
The undefeated Braves put their noses to the grindstone last Friday night to record a 14-point win over Canberra in a game that guard Bianca Dufelmeier said wasn’t as easy as the margin would suggest.
“It wasn’t our best game, Canberra came to play and stuck it to us. We had to earn that, it wasn’t easy and it didn’t look easy,” she said.
“There were other games when we really connect and we look unstoppable and a couple of times I was worried on Friday, but the girls found a way to win again.
“It’s a good time to have a game like that, a bit of a wake-up call going into the second half of the season.”
The injured Dufelmeier won’t play this weekend due to a nagging foot injury, but said the performance couldn’t be attributed to having the week prior off with the bye.
“Sometimes you look at a game like that and you think that might be way, but we had really good trainings during the week to the point where we felt really good about how we were going,” she said.
She said the group has lost no confidence from the performance and in fact may have gained some confidence and focus out of the match.
They’ll need every bit of both against a 6-7 Sydney Uni side coached by Belinda Snell and featuring star point guard Tahlia Tupaea.
“You look at Tupaea and she is an Australian Opals-level player. They’re tough, they’re physical and they’ll make it really difficult for us,” Dufelmeier said.
“This is a good challenge for us and they’re a young team and a really good team and gives us a chance to refocus and get back to our best.”
Worryingly for the Flames, they have lost four of their past five matches heading into playing the 11-0 Braves.
Dufelmeier said early this week she was hopeful of playing, but scan results ruled her out of both games this weekend.
The trip to Albury tomorrow is part of a run of three double-headers in five weeks as the 15-round regular season draws to a close.
The team can clinch its postseason spot as early as next week depending on other results.
The Braves women play Sydney Uni at 6pm tonight at Bendigo Stadium.