The Kilsyth Lady Cobras hopes of a first round home playoff game were dealt a blow on the weekend after falling to Geelong on Saturday and a one-point thriller to Sandringham on Sunday.
“We came up against two teams on the weekend that needed to win,” Lady Cobras coach Sam Woosnam said.
“One (Geelong) was fighting to make finals and the other (Sandringham) needed to win to finish in the top-four, and unfortunately they both wanted it more than we did.”
The Lady Cobras fell victim to a blistering fourth quarter shooting display by Geelong on Saturday night, seeing a fourth quarter lead slip away as they fell to the Supercats on the road, 53-66.
After Steph Blicavs drained a deep three pointer and followed with a tough pull-up jumper to give the Lady Cobras a 45-44 lead with under six minutes remaining in the game, Geelong responded with a game-breaking 11-2 run to take an eight point lead. The Lady Cobras would respond with baskets on their next three offensive trips, but the Supercats simply could not be stopped down the stretch, closing the game by scoring on 11 of their final 12 possessions to remain in the hunt for a postseason berth.
Angela Beadle led Kilsyth with a game-high 20 points in the loss, Blicavs scored nine of her 13 points in the final period, and Jasmine Gill finished with a game-high 11 rebounds in the loss.
While the Lady Cobras appeared to be more energised on Sunday against Sandringham, they found themselves on the wrong end of a classic finish, losing to the Sabres in the final second of the game, 75-76.
In a fourth quarter that featured six ties and eight lead changes, the Lady Cobras found themselves ahead, 72-70 with under two minutes remaining after Rosie Moult found Gill inside for a go-ahead bucket. But the Sabres would respond, scoring four straight to take a two point lead with 28.9 seconds remaining. Kilsyth had an answer out of a timeout, though, as Gill set up Moult for a right corner three to give the Lady Cobras a one point lead with 15 seconds left in regulation. But the Sabres were not to be denied, as guard Hannah Kaser scored inside with an off-balance, left handed layup over Gill, Moult and Blicavs to give Sandringham the lead with 0.4 seconds remaining.
Woosnam would call time and draw up a potential game-winning alley-oop, but the Lady Cobras couldn’t connect as they dropped a heartbreaker – and control of the league’s #2 seed in the process.
Blicavs led the Lady Cobras with 16 points, Gill added 13 and six assists, Beadle chipped-in with 12 points and seven rebounds, and a hobbled-Moult finished with nine points in as many minutes.
The Lady Cobras late season slip-up comes at a less than ideal time, as they now see themselves sitting just a half game ahead of the Nunawading Spectres for second in the SEABL standings. And though it was an admittedly frustrating weekend for the Cobras, Woosnam is trying to remain up-beat and focus on taking control in the final two weeks of the regular season.
“It’s always hard to find positives after losses, however, we did have some good patches in both games on the weekend,” Woosnam said.
“There is no time to dwell; we need to move on and make sure we take care of the last two games of the regular season to put us in the best position to finish in second place.”
With the Spectres owning the head-to-head advantage over Kilsyth, the Lady Cobras will need to win out and hope for a Nunawading loss if they are to secure the second seed and a first round home playoff game. The Lady Cobras do have the favourable schedule to close, though, starting with a road matchup against the 2-15 Frankston Blues on Saturday night (6.30pm).
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