The Kilsyth Cobra Women have gone 1-1 in their opening weekend of NBL1 action, falling short in a road thriller to Knox on Saturday before responding with dominant victory over the Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence at home on Sunday.
The new-look Cobra Women had some teething issues on Saturday night, struggling in the early going on the offensive end to fall to Knox, 79-86. The Cobras were out of sync offensively in the early going, and the Raiders made them pay, reeling-off an 18-4 second quarter run to take a ten point lead into halftime. With momentum on their side, Knox were able to keep the Cobras at bay in the third period, taking an 11 point lead into the final stanza.
The Cobras started to catch fire late, though, with Lauren Nicholson, Emily Fryters and Sarah Boothe leading the charge as Kilsyth erupted for 31 fourth quarter points. But for every big basket by Kilsyth, the Raiders had a response, with the Cobras unable to trim the margin to under five in the final minutes as they suffered a bitter opening night defeat.
Nicholson flashed glimpses of brilliance on Saturday – which she would build on the following day – scoring a game-high 22 points, Klara Wischer added 14 points and nine rebounds, Kara Tessari chipped-in with 11 points and four assists, and Fryters strong closing saw her finish with 10 points and nine rebounds.
Following Saturday’s disappointing opener, Sam Woosnam’s Women responded in with an emphatic display at home on Sunday, riding a dominant second half performance to down the Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence, 76-56.
Leading by just one at the main break, the Cobras put the clamps down defensively, holding the CoE to just 24 second half points as they cruised to their first victory of the season. With Nicholson once again leading the way, the Cobras raced out to an early double-digit lead in the third quarter, and that was enough to keep the CoE at bay the rest of the way. Nicholson, Wischer and Boothe were simply unstoppable in the second half, with the youthful CoE having no match for the trio both down low and on the perimeter.
Nicholson put on an absolute show to finish with 25 points, six rebounds and six assists; Booth added 18 points and eight rebounds on 8-11 shooting, and Wischer turned in an impressive two-way performance to finish with 17 points, eight rebounds, three assists and four steals.
The Cobras now enjoy a second round bye, and are back on home court on Saturday April 13 when they play host to the Bendigo Braves in a rematch of last year’s SEABL Preliminary Final.
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