The NBL1 Women made their 2022 home debut in electric fashion on Saturday night, recording a thrilling come-from-behind victory over rivals, the Knox Raiders.
Kilsyth fans were treated to a defiant come-from-behind win, with the Cobras riding a dominant second half defensive performance to defeat the rival Raiders, 68-62.
In contrast to Thursday night’s loss to Ringwood Hawks, the Cobras jumped out of the box early. Lauren Scherf dominated in the early minutes, recording an early blocked shot and assist, and nailing a layup and a three-pointer after Sarah Haberfield’s opener, to take the Cobras to a 9-0 lead. Former Cobra Kara Tessari opened the Raiders’ account, knocking in a three on the familiar Hugh McMenamin Court, to stop the Cobras’ run. Tessari was on fire for the quarter and teammate Alicia Froling was crafty inside the paint at both ends of the floor. Cobra Briahna Whatman also found her range, firing 11 points for the quarter, including three from outside the perimeter, to lead her team to a seven-point first term advantage, 29-22.
Knox owned the second term, scoring 26 points to the Kilsyth’s 10 to lead 48-39 at half-time, and things appeared grim early in the third quarter, as Scherf was forced to the bench with four fouls. Without Scherf on the floor, the undersized Cobras utilised their speed to slow Froling, with Abi Curtin and new signing Isis Lopes making key plays to pull the Cobras to within 51-57 at the end of three.
Scherf returned early in the fourth but lasted only a minute before fouling out, forcing the Cobras to play small to close the game. Again, Whatman stepped up, nailing mid-range shots with deadly accuracy, and homegrown Cobra Nikita Young hit a three to cut the Raiders lead to a single point. With two minutes on the clock, Whatman completed the Cobra comeback with yet another big basket, and Kilsyth remained in control the rest of the way, squeezing the life out of the Raiders on the defensive end – allowing just 14 points over the final 20 minutes – as they ground out an gritty home victory.
Whatman led the Cobras with 22 points and five assists and Scherf, despite her limited minutes, finished 17 points and six rebounds. Young added nine points as did Curtin, who rounded out an impressive stat line with ten rebounds and three blocked shots.
The Cobra Women play host to league newcomers, the Casey Cavaliers, this Saturday at the Kilsyth Sports Centre (6pm), followed by the Cobra Men at 8pm.
Defensive specialist Sarah Haberfield has re-signed with the Kilsyth Cobras for the 2024 NBL1 season. Haberfield was a solid contributor to the Cobras roster in 2023, starting in 20 of 22 regular season games and ranking amongst the team leaders in assists (2.1), steals (1.0) and rebounding (3.3). The SEBC Saints junior recorded a
Mitch Dielemans has re-signed with the Kilsyth Cobras for the 2024 NBL1 season. Dielemans enjoyed a strong 2023 NBL1 campaign with the Cobras, averaging a career-high 8.9 points per game to go along with 2.2 assists per game, shooting team-bests of 40.3% from three point range and 80.3% from the foul line. He recoded