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A fourth-quarter slump has left Otago just short of a national final.
The girls team was beaten 65-58 by Hutt Valley in the semifinal of the national under-17 basketball championships in Auckland.
Otago led 42-30 after a 12-3 run to start the third quarter left it in control. However, Hutt Valley began to claw its way back and trailed by just four at the final break.
From there it came out in an aggressive press, forcing Otago into multiple turnovers.
While Otago held the lead for five minutes, Hutt Valley eventually took over and then pulled away.
Annabelle Ring led the way for Otago. The forward had a mammoth 18 points, 20 rebounds and four assists.
Libby Briggs added 16 points and five rebounds.
Meanwhile, the boys beat Northland 88-69 in the middle-eight quarterfinal, after a narrow loss to Harbour the night before. They played Porirua last night in the ninth to 12th-placed semifinals.