The Kilsyth Cobra Men have continued their dream start to the NBL1 season, hammering Geelong on the road and Melbourne at home to push their record to a perfect 6-0.
The Cobras rode an unbelievable first half shooting display and impressive second half defensive stand on Saturday night to take down Geelong, 95-78 on the road. Taking on the Supercats at the notoriously tough Geelong Arena, the Cobras looked at home from the get-go, catching fire from deep in the first half – they drained a staggering ten first half triples – to take a 54-48 lead into the locker room.
Flexing their offensive prowess in the first half, the Cobras flipped the script in the second, clamping down defensively over the final 20 minutes to turn a close game into a commanding 17 point win. The Cobras held Geelong to just 30 second half points, with Owen Odigie and Ben Ursich causing some major disruption out on the perimeter while Chris Patton and Tohi Smith-Milner anchored the interior.
With the Supercats looking to make one final push with seven minutes remaining, the Cobras delivered a signature minute of defensive dominance to seal Saturday’s win. Odigie swatted away Geelong big man Ma’alo Hicks’ layup attempt at the rim, leading to a shot clock violation, and then Smith-Milner delivered one of the blocks of the year as he emphatically denied high-flying Supercats import DeMarcus Gatlin’s dunk attempt (see the video below).
With a pesky Tigers squad hanging around early, the Cobras locked-in defensively when it mattered most, mirroring Saturday’s second half performance as they too held Melbourne to just 30 second half points. With a significant size advantage down low, the Cobras were able to dominate the glass on both ends, outrebounding the Tigers 53-31, with Patton, Smith-Milner and Odigie combining to outbound the Tigers, 32-31.
Hooley and Smith-Milner (13 rebounds) continued their stellar early season form, leading the Cobras with 18 points apiece. Odigie rounded out a strong weekend with 16 points and eight boards; Patton added a 14-point, 11-rebound double-double; and Felix von Hofe contributed 11 points off the bench.
The Cobras will look to make it a perfect seven-for-seven this Sunday, when they take on the Southern Sabres at home at 2pm.
via Roy Ward, NBL1.com.au Kilsyth Cobras coach Sam Woosnam needed to make adjustments more than her players did. 📺: @KilsythCobras 🆚 @DVBasketball Womens Highlights #NBL1 pic.twitter.com/VOSztiOMX1 — NBL1 (@NBL1HQ) May 18, 2019 Just weeks before the NBL1 season, the team received happy news that WNBL guard Steph Blicavs was pregnant and wouldn’t be playing.
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