via Roy Ward,

Kilsyth Cobras coach Sam Woosnam needed to make adjustments more than her players did.


Just weeks before the NBL1 season, the team received happy news that WNBL guard Steph Blicavs was pregnant and wouldn’t be playing.


As a mum herself, Woosnam was overjoyed for her player but faced some difficulty in replacing her scoring and leadership.


As a club, the Cobras opted to focus on promoting their younger players to cover for Blicavs, and combine that with a difficult early schedule, it saw Kilsyth get off to a rough start.


But in the past month they have rebounded and made quick work of an understrength Diamond Valley side on Saturday, winning their fourth-straight game with a 74-49 victory.


“The players didn’t really have to adjust, I had to adjust more than they did,” Woosnam said.


“We had planned a lot of things involving Steph and Lauren Nicholson.


“We didn’t have to go back to the drawing board as we have some fantastic players on the team, but it definitely changed things. We had to find more scorers and things like that.”


Defensively the Cobras have given up just 600 points, lowest in the league.


Nicholson has been as good as expected following on from her career-season in the WNBL with Adelaide Lightning. Her form has been so good she is now in the Opals squad, so Woosnam is preparing to lose her for further camps this season.


Woosnam is pushing WNBL title winner Alison Downie, who also plays AFLW with Carlton, to take more shots and back her scoring ability, while Cobras products Rebekah O’Donnell, Sarah Haberfield and veteran guard Clare Camac have all made bigger contributions.


“It’s important for me to have older players who want to help the our juniors come up to the next level and having someone with Clare bring her championship experience has been great,” Woosnam said.


Downie had 12 points in the first quarter and while she only finished with 14 points, Woosnam will keep pushing her and others to step up as it could be the difference this season.


“I’m always on her back to score and I can’t remember her ever scoring 12 points in a quarter,” Woosnam said.


“But I will keep on her as she is capable of scoring 30 points a game, she really is.”


The Cobras take aim at their fifth consecutive victory this Saturday when they head to Albury-Wodonga to take on the Lauren Jackson led Bandits (6.00pm/8.00pm)