As with last year’s final, it was a close game throughout the first half, with exciting Cobras import guard Zach Malvik running the show on his way to 34 pts in his SEABL debut. Imports Malvik and Joe Werner have quickly adjusted to the SEABL and have developed an understanding of the intense rivalry between the Cobras and Braves.
Much has been spoken about the lack of size on the Cobras roster for 2008 but after winning the crucial rebounding count 50-35 against Bendigo, their perceived lack of size may not be an issue. Werner led the way with a game high 21 rebounds to go with 18 pts in an impressive debut for the import.
The Wisconsin Boys (Malvik and Werner) were instrumental in the hard fought victory with support from Captain DJ Taylor (20pts and 6 rbds), Gerard Leonard (17pts) and Adam Jackson (14pts) the Cobras were looking to make a stand in their Season Opener.
The game was won by the Cobras in the 3rd quarter shooting 61% from the field to take a 14 point lead into the last after being level at half time. What twelve months ago could have been a 4th quarter fade out, was nothing of the type for the Cobras as Coach Grant Wallace led his charges to an important 13 point victory.
Shooting at close to 50% from the field and 41% from behind the arc the Cobras were able to capitalise on the space created by explosive their guard Malvik. Despite the win the Cobras will spend some time on the free throw line after shooting 26/38 for 68% but will go into next Saturday’s home opener against Albury with a confidence that they have defeated their arch rival Bendigo.
Jon Croft will return from shoulder surgery over the next few weeks but Chris Payne’s status is still unknown after being electrocuted at work three weeks ago. Both will be welcomed back on the floor when the time is right and will add another dimension to the Cobras line up.
In the earlier match of the night the Club Kilsyth Lady Cobras were defeated 52-63 against a talented Lady Braves line up. Despite leading for much of the night the Lady Cobras were unable to get over the line during the last quarter as Bendigo Centre Gabe Richards dominated in the paint ending with 25 pts and 12 boards.
Gemma Kerr led the way for the Cobras with 15pts, Sarah Parsons recorded a double-double with 11pts and 11 rbds and Import Jessica Lonnon chipped in with 10 points. But it wasn’t enough for the Lady Cobras who won most statistical categories apart from field goal percentage and shot just 31% compared to Bendigo’s 47%.
The Lady Cobras shot just 48% from the free throw line and will be looking for an improved shooting display over the coming weeks.
The women must now regroup as they prepare to take on Albury next Saturday night. They are currently 1-2 sitting in the middle of the pack. Coach Jason Knight will be preparing a hard week on the track so that they can stay with the early pace setters with a win over Albury.
Don’t miss the SEABL Action as the Club Kilsyth Cobras kick off the season in their Home Opener Saturday Night. The Women take on Albury with tip off scheduled by 6.15pm while the Men look to beat the Bandits at 8.15pm. For all the Cobras news stayed tuned to www.kilsythbasketball.com.au
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