The Kilsyth Cobra Men have fallen short in a battle of the NBL1’s two best teams, losing to Ballarat, 71-87 on Saturday night.
The Cobras saw a golden opportunity reclaim top spot in the league standings, going cold from the field during a key six minute stretch early in the fourth quarter to see a tie game turn into a 16 point deficit. After Tohi Smith-Milner scored inside to tie the game at 56, Ballarat reeled-off a crushing 18-2 run early in the final period to see a tie game turn into a 16 point deficit with four minutes remaining.
The Cobras would get going late in the fourth, but the Miners had a response to every Kilsyth bucket in crunch time to remain undefeated in 2019 while handing the Cobras their second loss of the season.
It was a disappointing finish for the Cobras, who fought back from a 13 point deficit early on to eventually tie the game, energised by the near-capacity crowd on Junior Domestic Night.
“It was a great game to be a part of but a disappointing finish for us, we felt at three quarter time we were in control but they made shots down the stretch and we didn’t convert the way we wanted,” Cobras head coach Justin Schueller said.
“We let that one slip away, but we will learn from it and be better.”
While the result was a disappointing one for the Cobras, there were some positive signs to come from Saturday’s game, with import guard Isaac Turner returning to action following a five game hiatus due to hand surgery. Turner didn’t miss a beat on Saturday, leading the Cobras with a team-high 20 points in just 25 minutes of action, much to the delight of his head coach.
“It was great to have Isaac back on the floor and in the rotation,” Schueller said.
“It was like he never left; he fit seamlessly back into the line-up.”
Peter Hooley added 12 points and nine rebounds against his former team, Sean MacDonald continued his strong start to the season with 11 points off the bench, and Owen Odigie chipped-in with nine points, five rebounds and four assists in the loss.
The loss drops the Cobras record to 6-2 on the season, keeping Kilsyth locked into second place in the NBL1 standings. They’ll look to bounce back this Saturday at home, when they play host to the Diamond Valley Eagles on Retro Night (5.30pm/7.30pm). And with an outstanding home crowd behind them on Junior Domestic Night, Schueller hopes for the same this Saturday for Kilsyth’s annual Retro Night – the marquee event of the 2019 regular season.
“We look forward to bouncing back this week in a big game for Retro Night, and hope our crowd can be even bigger than last week,” Schueller added.
Retro Night will see our NBL1 Cobra Men and Women rocking throwback 90’s Cobras uniforms as we celebrate the past in what promises to be our most entertaining night of the year. All fans are encouraged to don their best ”Retro’ outfit, with some great prizes up for grabs for those best dressed on the evening. Children 12 and under who dress retro will receive FREE ENTRY for both games, and we’ll also be selling limited edition Retro Cobras tees on the night (while stocks last).
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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The NBL1 Cobra Women have continued their recent hot streak with a resounding 88-66 home win over the Ballarat Rush on Saturday night. The Cobras put on a show at home in front of a big crowd for Junior Domestic Night, methodically putting away Ballarat for their third straight win. Kilsyth got the jump