KNOX Raiders men will be out to seal top spot on the South East Australian Basketball League South Conference ladder this weekend.
The Raiders have reached the final round of the regular season on top of the ladder and can assure themselves of top spot and a home semi-final if they beat Sandringham and Nunawading.
With six of the eight teams in the South Conference still mathematically a chance to finish in the top two, the Raiders face two important games.
The Raiders split their weekend double last round beating Geelong Supercats 89-78 at the State Basketball Centre on Saturday night, but losing to Ballarat Miners 84-79 at Ballarat on Sunday.
Against the Supercats the Raiders jumped out of the blocks, leading 26-15 after the first six minutes courtesy of CJ Massingale, Mick Hill and Lester Strong.
Ben Waterhouse kicked off the second quarter for Knox with a deep two-pointer as it continued the rampage against the highly touted Supercats, going into half-time leading 49-34, with Massingale scoring 17 in the first half.
Although Geelong started well in the third quarter, they couldn't get back within single digits, with John Philip's three extending the Raiders' lead to 19 points late in the quarter, their biggest lead of the game.
The Raiders shot a staggering 12 of 21 from the three-point line, with Massingale making six threes in his 25 points.
Strong finished with 17 points and eight rebounds, while Mick Hill's form has peaked at the right time with another great performance with 16 points and five assists.
Against the Miners, the Raiders trailed early but got back within three points of
Ballarat midway through the second quarter, ending the first half nine points down.
The Miners continued to extend their lead in the third term, with some late buckets in the quarter moving them to a 16-point
When Daniel Joyce scored to open the final quarter, the Miners led by 18, making things extremely difficult for the Raiders, but they managed to find something left in the tank with some sharp shooting to get the back in the contest.
Three three-pointers to Sean Carroll, two to Massingale and one to Philip saw Knox move within three points of the Miners with 20 seconds remaining, but were forced to foul to get Ballarat to the free throw line.
Miners forward Kevin White made both free throws to seal the win, with Massingale again the Raiders' leading scorer with 25.
The Raiders visit Sandringham on
Saturday night, then host Nunawading
at the State Basketball Centre on
Sunday at 2pm.