IT was a case of so close yet so far for the North East Lady Bushrangers in their road clash against the Casey Cavaliers in Big V basketball on Saturday.
In a see-sawing contest, both teams had their chances to win before Casey steadied late and clinched an exciting 71-69 win.
The Lady Bushrangers weathered an early charge from the Cavaliers in the final term to lead by seven points with five minutes remaining, but they then went cold from the field as the Cavaliers scored nine unanswered points to take the lead.
Lady Bushrangers forward Jane Scheetz had an opportunity to send the game to overtime at the foul line, but was only able to connect on one of two attempts.
Rachel Jeffery was dominant again, scoring a game-high 27 points.
Stacey Browne had a quality all-round game with 16 points, six rebounds and eight assists while Sarah Mellington compiled 15 points, eight rebounds and four assists.
The North East Bushrangers fell to Casey Cavaliers 72-46 in a game of two halves.
Dylan Webb led the way for the Bushrangers with a solid double of 18 points and 10 rebounds while Jon Lindhe finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds, but shot a woeful four of 24 from the field.
Next Sunday at home, the women take on the Blackburn Vikings and the men meet the Pakenham Warriors.