Werribee Devils denied on last-gasp attempt

Justin Ward was dangerous for the Werribee Devils with 13 points, including two three-pointers. Picture Shawn Smits

Werribee Devils produced a spirited fightback to take Hume City Broncos down to the wire in the Big V basketball men’s championship on Saturday night.

The Devils fell agonisingly short 86-83 in a thriller at the Broadmeadows Basketball Stadium.

A slow start cost the Devils dearly as they had to chase tail all night.

They trailed the Broncos (7-2) by seven points at quarter-time but gradually chipped away at the deficit to give themselves a late chance.

Devils import Fred Hunter had the chance to take the game to overtime, launching a three-point attempt with three seconds left on the clock, but it missed and the Broncos secured the rebound.

Jeremy Smith was incredible in the Devils’ comeback, the American import scoring a game-high 29 points and reeling in 15 rebounds.

Smith also brought others into play with three assists.

Jordan Hughes was prolific with 18 points and nine rebounds, while Hunter had 18 points and seven rebounds.

Justin Ward equalled his season-best with 13 points, including two three-pointers.

So close, yet so far for the Devils, who are 2-7 and ninth on the ladder.

They can change the course of their season with this weekend’s double dip.

The Devils will host McKinnon (4-3) at Eagle Stadium on Saturday night and back up on Sunday with a trip to Bulleen (0-7).

In women’s division 1, Werribee Devils sorely missed import Rebecca van Kuyk, who was back home in New Zealand at national team try-outs.

The Devils were comprehensively beaten 103-63 by Chelsea at Eagle Stadium on Saturday night.

Jess Slade tried to take charge with an efficient 25 points and 11 rebounds, while Nicole Greene was damaging with 14 points.

The Devils have won just once in eight games but will go to Craigieburn, itself on a seven-game losing streak, with a lot of confidence on Sunday.