The Kilsyth Lady Cobras got their 2018 SEABL campaign off to a dream start, putting on an offensive clinic on the road as they defeated Hobart and Launceston to start the season 2-0.
With just eight players available for a doubleheader weekend on the road, the odds were stacked heavily against coach Sam Woosnam’s team, but lights-out shooting from the perimeter saw them average a staggering 97 points per game over both contests to help move them into a familiar position – atop the league standings at 2-0.
“With a fairly new group and not ideal preparation due to injuries, we were a little bit concerned about how we were going to go heading into the weekend,” Woosnam said.
“The most significant thing to come out of the weekend was the contribution from all the girls. We had six players in double figures Friday and then five on Saturday, and we’re really excited about what this team is capable of offensively once we add Steph (Blicavs), Jasmine (Gill) and Chantella (Perera) to the group as it will give us scoring options at every position.”
On Friday night the Lady Cobras dominated from start to finish, riding a spectacular debut from Chelsea D’Angelo, a vintage Sarah Parsons performance and a 10-18 shooting night from deep to blow out Hobart, 101-64. D’Angelo was a menace on both ends of the floor, flirting with a triple-double as she recorded game-highs of 25 points and seven steals to go along with eight rebounds. Parsons was just as impactful, with the 300 game veteran scoring 21 points – in just 21 minutes – to go along with eight rebounds, seven assists and three steals.
Point guards Jenna Verhoef-Jenkins and Taylor Lee scored 11 points apiece, Hope Terdich made a huge impact off the bench to record a 13-point, 12-rebound double-double, and the newly signed Allison Downie was just as big off the pine, adding 12 points and three steals in 14 minutes of action.
Despite leading by ten points at halftime, Woosnam was less than impressed with her group’s opening 20 minutes of play to start the season, but thrilled with their turnaround coming out of the main break — a second half which saw the Lady Cobras outscore the Chargers, 55-28.
“Friday night we were very rusty in the first half – which was to be expected – but made the improvements and adjustments we needed to really come out and do a fantastic job after the break,” Woosnam said.
Saturday’s trip up north to face rivals Launceston proved a far more difficult task, but despite playing on the second night of a back-to-back with just eight healthy players, the Lady Cobras turned it on late with another stellar second half performance to defeat the Tornadoes, 93-70.
With Launceston on fire early on, the Lady Cobras appeared on the verge of letting this one slip away, but blistering shooting from behind the arc from Parsons, D’Angelo and Rosie Moult kept Kilsyth close. The Lady Cobras went 8-10 from deep to start the game to take a 44-42 halftime lead, but after a seesaw third quarter, Launceston appeared ready to take control early in the final period as they reeled-off an 11-4 run to take their first lead of the half.
The Lady Cobras would respond with an unbelievable game-clinching run, though, as they held Launceston scoreless over the final seven minutes of the game, closing out their weekend with a 25-0 finish to stun the home crowd. Rolling out their ‘jumbo’ lineup which featured Beadle, Terdich and Parsons in the front court, the Lady Cobras dominated the interior in the final minutes, out-rebounding Launceston, 12-1 during their explosive run.
Parsons led Kilsyth with a game-high 22 points on 6-8 shooting from deep, D’Angelo went 3-6 from three to finish with 15 points, and Moult was 3-4 from beyond the arc as she added 11 points. But it was the work inside that proved the difference as Beadle and Terdich proved too much to handle for the Tornadoes, with the pair combining for 37 points and 24 rebounds – 12 offensive – in the win.
Woosnam was surprised with the effectiveness of her big front court lineup and pleased with the toughness of the group over the course of the weekend.
“We were able to go with a really big line up for the last five minutes of the game and it worked wonders,” Woosnam said.
“Sarah was the highlight of the weekend – she was fantastic on both ends of the floor. The experience of Sarah and Rosie, and the additions of Allison Downie and Hope Terdich really provided us with the experience and leadership we needed at key periods. All in all, everyone was excellent as they all provided the team with exactly what we needed to get the job done.”
“We couldn’t have asked for a better start and the girls can’t wait for the first home game on Saturday night.”
The Lady Cobras will make their 2018 home debut on Saturday night, when they take on the Frankston Blues at 6pm in the second game of a special home triple-header. The WNWBL Cobras open proceedings at 3.30pm against Queensland, followed by the Lady Cobras and the SEABL Men finishing the night as they host Frankston in their home opener at 8pm.
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