The NBL1 Cobra Women have continued their recent hot streak with a resounding 88-66 home win over the Ballarat Rush on Saturday night.


The Cobras put on a show at home in front of a big crowd for Junior Domestic Night, methodically putting away Ballarat for their third straight win. Kilsyth got the jump early on the Rush, racing out to an eight point quarter time lead, with Lauren Nicholson catching fire for eight points in the final two minutes of the period.


Nicholson was just getting started, dropping another 10 points in the second to keep the Cobras ahead by eight heading into halftime. With the Rush locking in on Nicholson coming out of the break, the Cobras front court took control in the third period, with Klara Wischer, Sarah Boothe, Alison Downie and Emily Fryters overpowering the Rush inside to push the lead out to 14 heading into the final stanza.


Nicholson would quickly put an end to any hopes of Ballarat comeback to start the fourth quarter, exploding for nine points in a three minute stretch to start the period to push the Cobra lead to 76-51. Kilsyth would cruise the rest of the way, recording their third consecutive 20-plus point victory at home as they continue to climb the league standings.


Cobras head coach Sam Woosnam was thrilled with her team’s performance on Saturday, one which saw them hold yet another opponent under 70 points while closing in on top-eight positioning.


“It was fantastic to get another great team win on Saturday night,


“We again had a number of great contributors and got some valuable minutes from the whole group. As a team we are all playing our roles nicely and it’s great to watch.”

Woosnam was also impressed with a number of individual performances, namely Nicholson, who torched the Rush for 32 points in just 29 minutes of action. It was a classic performance by Nicholson on both ends of the floor, with the superstar guard making it look easy for much of the night. and proving why she is the reigning WNBL Defensive Player of the Year and SEABL league MVP.


“Lauren was outstanding again – she just gets it done on both ends of the floor with no fuss and it seems effortless for her at times,” Woosnam said.


“Her leadership both at practices and games is something so invaluable for our team. And 32 points in 29 minutes – that just shows the quality of player she is. The impressive part is that those shots all come from within our structures and she doesn’t feel the need to force anything.”


Klara Wischer, Alison Downie and Sarah Haberfield each impressed on Saturday night
Klara Wischer, Alison Downie and Sarah Haberfield each impressed on Saturday night

Woosnam was also complimentary of Wischer and Downie, with the two ultra-versatile forwards stuffing the stat sheet on Saturday night and playing a key role in another stifling defensive performance. Wischer did a little bit of everything, recording 15 points, 10 rebounds, six assists, four steals and a pair of blocked shots in a remarkable all-around performance, while Downie – who has played some outstanding basketball this season following a solid AFLW campaign with Carlton – added 10 points, five assists, two steals and seven rebounds, with six of those coming on the offensive end.


“Al Downie had another fantastic game – she quietly stuffs the stat sheet and makes all the one percent effort plays that make us better as a group,” Woosnam said about her two-sport star.


“ I was also really happy with Klara’s game. She was everywhere on the weekend and her defence is an area she has been focussing on improving and it really showed.”


Import Sarah Boothe had her best game in a Cobra uniform, recording a season-high 16 points while adding six rebounds and four assists, but it was another Sarah who shone for Woosnam in the win – Sarah Haberfield. The Kilsyth junior shone on Junior Domestic night, with her physicality on both ends of the floor opening the possibility for an expanded role as the season goes on.


“Sarah is also making the opportunity of every opportunity she gets,” Woosnam said about the SEBC Saints junior.


“She’s such an aggressive defender and I am pleased she is finding her place in the NBL1, as we will look for her to play a defensive role against some bigger named players down the track.”


After six rounds of play, the Cobras record stands at 4-4, a half game out of eighth place in the NBL1 standings. They’ll look to extend their win streak this Saturday at home, when they play host to the Diamond Valley Eagles on Retro Night (5.30pm/7.30pm).


Retro Night will see our NBL1 Cobra Men and Women rocking throwback 90’s Cobras uniforms as we celebrate the past in what promises to be our most entertaining night of the year. All fans are encouraged to don their best ”Retro’ outfit, with some great prizes up for grabs for those best dressed on the evening. Children 12 and under who dress retro will receive FREE ENTRY for both games, and we’ll also be selling limited edition Retro Cobras tees on the night (while stocks last).