The 2018 VYC season has come to a close for our Cobra Men and Women, with the Men coming up short against Eltham in a one-point heartbreaker, while the Women stumbled on the road to rivals Knox on Saturday night.


The Cobra Men will not repeat as league champions this year, losing a last second thriller to Eltham on the road, 66-67. Trailing, 66-53 with five minutes remaining, the Cobras mounted a furious comeback to finish the game, reeling-off a 13-2 run to pull to within a point in the final minute. After Tony Marchese forced a turnover and found Mitch Dielemans for a transition layup, to make it 66-67, the Cobras forced a key stop but Jorden Adnam was stuffed at the rim on the Cobras ensuing possession to give the Wildcats possession with just seconds remaining.


Kilsyth quickly fouled to stop the clock and the Wildcats missed a pair from the line, giving the Cobras a chance to win on the road with under eight seconds remaining. Dielemans raced up court but lost control of his dribble, and the ball ended up in the hands of Adnam who’s three-point attempt as time expired to end the Cobras season in gut-wrenching fashion.


In the end, it was Kilsyth’s poor shooting night that put an end to the season, with the Cobras shooting just 34 percent from the field on Saturday. Will MacRae was the Cobras lone bright spot offensively, exploding a game-high 25 points, including an incredible 7-for-8 performance from downtown. Adnam added an 11-point, 10-rebound double-double in his final VYC game; Dielemans finished with eight points and dished out eight assists; and Matt Dwyer chipped-in with nine points, seven rebounds and three steals in the loss.


Though they ultimately fell short of repeating as champions, the season coach Mark Landells and co. had is considered nothing short of a big success, with the Cobras still in title contention despite losing starters Ben Ursich (SEABL), Jamie Ahale (college), and Zac Wuersching (over 23) from last years team.


Making their first VYC playoff appearance in the past five seasons,  the Cobra Women simply could not match the firepower of an explosive Knox Raiders team, losing to the Raiders, 41-81 on Saturday night. With the Cobras struggling mightily from the field to start the game, Knox had no such problems on the other end of the floor, racing out to a 20 point lead midway through the second quarter.


Kilsyth’s slow start proved too much to overcome, with the Raiders running away with an impressive finals victory to end the Cobras season on a sour note. The Cobras could not remove the figurative lid from their basket all night long, shooting just 24 percent from the field, including an 0-for-16 performance from downtown. Sarah Haberfield led Kilsyth with eight points, while Grace Moxey finished with a game-high nine rebounds.


While it was a disappointing end to the season for coach Claire Knight’s team, the Cobras took some significant strides forward in 2018, with a number of junior Cobras players stepping up to make significant contributions at the senior level. Just getting to the postseason was a difficult task; the Cobras won some huge games down the home stretch of the season and played some high-quality basketball, something they will look to take into next season.