In the SEABL Game of the Week, the Cobras came out on top against Ballarat on the road on Saturday night, riding dominant performances from the starters to win, 104-89. All five Cobra starters scored in double-figures, led by Ben Ursich’s season-high 23 points – on 9-10 shooting – and Isaac Turner’s 21 points, seven rebounds and four assists. Dane Pineau continued his stellar second half of the season, finishing with 16 points, seven rebounds and six assists, fellow big-man Chris Patton added 14 points, six boards and five assists, and point guard Sam Daly chipped in with 14 points and four assists in the win.
The Cobras broke the game open with a huge 17-2 run spanning the second and third periods, turning a five point lead late in the first half into a 20 point cushion midway through the third quarter. The Miners would close to within seven points with under five minutes remaining, but three straight triples by Ben Ursich and Sam Daly put the game out of reach as the Cobras recorded a vital win over the league’s third-place team.
The Cobras backed up Saturday’s sizzling scoring display with another brilliant offensive performance on Sunday, blowing out Albury-Wodonga, 108-92, in their regular season home finale. Led by Turner and Felix von Hofe, the Cobras lit it up from beyond the arc, drilling a season-high 17 three-pointers as they recorded their highest scoring output of the 2018 season.
von Hofe was unconscious from beyond the arc, going 8-for-11 from deep, while Turner drained four of his own to tie von Hofe with a team-high 25 points. Daly and Pineau rounded out impressive weekends with 13 points and five assists, and 12 points and 11 rebounds, respectively, while Desmond Owili, Tariq Naqqash and Corey Jeffs combined for 20 points off the bench in the win.
Sunday’s victory saw the Cobras record move to 13-3, one game clear of Nunawading for the league’s best overall record. And with a number of injuries (Owen Odigie – shoulder; David Schaffert – illness) and absences(Sean MacDonald – Australian U19 camp) to the Cobras backcourt, Watkins was pleased with his team’s ability to not only win, but perform at an extremely high level – albeit with room to improve defensively – despite being undermanned.
“Without Owen and Dave on Saturday night, and Owen, Dave and Sean on Sunday, our guys stayed together to pull off two good wins,” Watkins said.
“Both Ballarat and Albury had quality imports and the weekend showed there is still room for improvement on the defensive end.”
With their home schedule now complete, the Cobras hit the road for their final four games to close out the regular season. The face a tough road double this weekend, Geelong on Saturday (8pm) and Sandringham on Sunday (2.30pm).
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