The NBL1 Cobra Men and Women have combined to go 3-1 in the daunted Tasmania road trip on the weekend.
The Cobra Men continued they strong start to 2022, squeezing by the Hobart Chargers in an 82-78 thriller on Friday, before blowing the NW Tasmania out late to finish their road trip with a 100-73 win.
A pair of Tim Lang free throws in the final seconds proved to be the difference on Friday, as the Cobras made all the big plays late to stun the Chargers on the road. Star wing Corey Jeffs (25 points, 10 rebounds) and import Trey Moses (14 points 8 rebounds) carried the Cobras down the stretch, attacking the rim relentlessly as they combined to score 17 of Kilsyth’s final 19 points. While the Cobras were firing offensively, it was their trademark stifling defence that shone late, as they held a talented Chargers team scoreless over the final three minutes to secure their third straight win.
Facing the Thunder on short turnaround on Sunday, the Cobras showed no signs of fatigue late as they rode a dominant second half performance for their biggest win of the season to date. Leading by three at the half, the Cobras exploded over the final 20 minutes of Saturday’s game, outscoring NW Tasmania, 56-30 in the second half behind a scintillating three point shooting display. The Cobras seemingly could not miss over the final two periods of play, shooting a blistering 8-for-12 from beyond the arc and 70 percent from the field overall as they turned the game into a blowout.
Once again it was Jeffs leading the way, as he scored 14 of his game-high 19 points in the second half, while Adi Tomada recorded 16 points and a game-high seven assists and Lang, Ben Ursich, Deng Deng, and Mitch Dielemans (10 points in the second half) each scored in double figures. The Cobras impressive weekend also saw Deng Deng make his much anticipated debut, with the electric Brisbane Bullets forward showing why he is regarded as one of the NBL1’s best players with a number of spectacular plays on both ends of the floor.
The Cobra Women started their road trip off in style, riding a dominant first half on the defensive end to beat the Chargers, 75-57. Head coach Hannah Lowe received terrific contributions across the board on Friday, with Georgia Booth, Isis Lopes, Sarah Haberfield, Abi Curtin and Lauren Scherf each scoring in double figures. With their lead trimmed to 10 to start the final period, Scherf took control, with the Australian Opal scoring on three straight possessions to increase the lead to 16. Consecutive baskets by Booth, Bree Whatman and Abi Curtin capped an explosive 12-3 run to start the quarter, and the Cobras cruised the rest of the way en-route to their second win of the season.
Lowe’s team hit the wall on Saturday in Launceston, though, running out of gas late as they fell to the Tornadoes, 67-85. Playing from behind for most of the evening, Scherf and Kilsyth junior Nikita Young led a spirited late surge to claw to within 60-67 with five minutes remaining. But the Thunders fresh legs proved too much, as they responded with an 11-1 run to pull away from a visibly fatigued Cobra team late. Scherf led Kilsyth with a game-high 29 points to go along with 10 rebounds, while Young added 14 points in 19 minutes in the loss.
The Cobra Women and Men return home this Saturday night, playing host to the Ballarat Miners/Rush for their annual NBL1 Junior Domestic night event. The Cobras are offering free entry to all Kilsyth Junior Domestic players under the age of 18 who attend the night in their domestic club gear. Tickets for Saturday’s doubleheader are now on sale (intix.com.au).
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