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Thursday, June 15, 2017

Saturday Night SEABL hoops action is back at the Kilsyth Sports Centre this weekend, as the Cobras host East Conference foes Sandringham in a pair of key games.

The Lady Cobras enter Saturday’s game as the SEABL’s hottest team, riding a seven game win streak to push their record to a league-best 11-2. Led by the dominance of Angela Beadle (21.ppg/8.5rpg), Maddie Garrick (18.7ppg/7.1rpg) and Chantella Perera (13.4ppg/3.2apg), the Lady Cobras once again look like championship contenders and will be gunning to keep their current streak alive as they approach the home stretch of the regular season. 

Sandringham enters with a 4-7 record, good for sixth in the East Conference. Although they are currently out of the playoff picture, the Sabres are a dangerous offensive group, led by the import duo of Brittany Smart (22.8ppg/6.0rpg/5.0apg) and Jasmine Gill (19.4ppg/6.9rpg/4.4apg). Smart is one of the league’s deadliest three-point shooters and enters coming off a 39 point Player of the Week performance, while Kilsyth fans are well aware of the dangerous Gill, with the former Lady Cobra able to slash inside and finish at the rim in a variety of ways.
The Lady Cobras defeated Sandringham in their first meeting this season, 74-53, in Round 7, with Beadle, Garrick and Perera combining for 48 points in the win. If Kilsyth’s big guns can continue to light it up and Coach Sam Woosnam’s stifling defence can limit Smart and Gill, the Lady Cobras should push their current win streak to eight games.

The Cobra Men return from a week off eager to begin their late push for the postseason, and could gain some significant ground on Saturday as they take on the East Conference’s fifth-placed Sabres. The Cobras enter with a 5-10 record, which sees them just 2.5 games behind Sandringham in the East. Despite their recent struggles, Justin Schueller’s Men have been extremely competitive, but fourth quarter woes on the offensive end has stymied their hopes of climbing the East standings.

The Sabre Men have found their groove in recent weeks, winning three of their past four games to push their record to 7-7. It’s been the work of imports Jerry Evans (17.1ppg/7.6rpg) and Ethan O’Day (14.6ppg/8.0rpg/2.0bpg), and guards Igor Hadziomerovic (14.2ppg/6.4rpg) and Nathan Crosswell (9.2ppg/5.6apg) that have Sandringham in postseason contention, while fellow guards Alister MacDonald and Jamie Batish give the team some deadly three-point shooting in supporting roles.

With Sandringham ranking as one of the league’s highest scoring teams, this game could come down to who gets defensive stops in crunch time. The battle down low between Evans and O’Day and Kilsyth’s Chris Patton (17.9ppg/7.5rpg) and Auryn Macmillan (9.4ppg/6.9rpg) will be key, and if the Cobras can come out on top in the paint and protect the three-point line, they have a chance to get their season back on track and close the gap in the East Conference playoff picture.

The Women tip-off proceedings at 6.00pm, followed by the Men at 8.00pm.