The NBL1 Cobra Men have fallen to Diamond Valley in heartbreaking fashion, losing 90-98 to the Eagles on Retro Night.
For the second consecutive week, the Cobras found themselves on the wrong end of a big crunch time surge, surrendering a 15-2 run to the Eagles over the final five minutes of the game. After back-to-back buckets by Isaac Turner gave Kilsyth an 88-83 lead, the Cobras went ice cold from the field while the Eagles caught fire, scoring seven points in 90 seconds to go ahead, 90-88. A smooth finish inside by Peter Hooley tied the game at 90, but the Cobras would go scoreless the rest of the way, failing to to capitalise on a pair of opportunities to make it a one possession game in the final minute and see a golden opportunity slip through their fingers for the second straight week.
The loss was a bitter one for Cobras head coach Justin Schueller to swallow, with his team falling to the league-leading Ballarat Miners in similar fashion the week prior at home. Despite flashing glimpses of the brilliance which saw them race to a 6-0 start – and finish last year’s SEABL regular season with the league’s top record – the Cobras have struggled in crunch time over the past fortnight, having been outscored 57-31 during the fourth quarter of the past two games.
“To control the game and choke at the end is really disappointing, and we need to be better,” Schueller said.
“We haven’t played played quarters of consistent basketball yet and that’s the goal for us right now.”
While they struggled again defensively in crunch time, the Cobras were hampered by poor perimeter shooting for the second straight game. Outside of Turner and Sean MacDonald, who shot a combined 6-for-12 from deep against both the Eagles and Miners, the Cobras were just 1-for-18 from beyond the arc, after going just 4-for-17 the week prior against Ballarat.
Turner and Hooley led the Cobras with 20 points apiece; Chris Patton was solid down low, adding 15 on 7-for-11 shooting, while MacDonald and Ben Ursich each chipped in with nine points in defeat. The loss saw the Cobras lose control of second place in the NBL1 standings, dropping to 6-3 and a half game behind the Nunawading Spectres, but despite their recent struggles, Schueller and co. remain optimistic moving forward — and moving forward only.
The NBL1 Cobra Women have advanced to league’s inaugural Championship Game following an 82-59 destruction of the Nunawading Spectres on Saturday night. “I am so happy and proud of the way the girls played on the weekend,” Cobras head coach Sam Woosnam said. “Their commitment to our scout and game plan was outstanding and