The NBL1 Cobra Women got their season back on track on the weekend, falling short in a road thriller to the powerhouse Geelong Supercats before returning home and unleashing a spectacular offensive display in a blowout win over Melbourne on Sunday.
It was a weekend full of promise for the Cobra Women, who overcame some significant scoring struggles prior to the Easter break to dial in a pair of impressive performances on the offensive end, much to the delight of head coach Sam Woosnam.
“It was great to play the way we did on the weekend,” Woosnam said.
“Even in our loss to Geelong we had so many positive signs, particularly on the offensive end.”
Kilsyth fell to Geelong on the road, 72-83, on Saturday night in a classic Cobras versus Supercats battle. A tough, physical battle with playoff-level intensity, the Cobras played Geelong even over the opening 20 minutes of play, but were unable to match the Supercats impressive firepower down the stretch.
The Cobras were unable to capitalise on a spectacular showing by Lauren Nicholson – who erupted for 31 points, six rebounds and six assists – and a bounce-back performance by point guard Kara Tessari, who scored a then-season best 14 points on 3-for-5 shooting from downtown. The offensive signs were there for the Cobras, though, and they would build on Saturday’s positive step with an explosion the following day against Melbourne.
Riding a three-point barrage from Tessari and Nicholson, the Cobras lit up the Tigers at home on Sunday, burying a season-best 16 triples en-route to a resounding 94-62 victory. Tessari was scorching-hot on Sunday, going 7-for-12 from downtown, while Nicholson added five of her own to lead the Cobras to their best offensive performance of the NBL1 season.
Trailing by two at quarter time, the Cobras got going from deep and locked in on the defensive end, outscoring the Tigers 52-21 over the second and third periods in a remarkable stretch of basketball. Their 20 minute explosion was enough to bury the Tigers, with the Cobras moving to 2-4 with the win. Tessari led the Cobras with 23 points on Sunday; Nicholson added 19 and four assists; Klara Wischer was a two-way terror, backing-up her Saturday night double-double with 18 points, eight rebounds, five assists and six steals; Alison Downie recorded 10 points and a game-high eight assists; and Clare Camac chipped in with 11 points off the bench in the win.
Sunday’s three-point bonanza was a welcome sight for Woosnam, who remains patient and level-headed in her team’s focus moving forward.
“The way we shot the ball on Sunday was particularly pleasing as it was an area we had been struggling in,”
“After a pretty rough start to the season we are just concentrating on getting better each week and playing consistently for 40 minutes.”
The Cobras will look to continue their hot shooting this Sunday, when they play host to the Souther Sabres at 12pm (Men to follow 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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