The NBL1 Cobras have split their Round 2 home double against league newcomers, the Casey Cavaliers, with the Men recording their second straight victory while a shorthanded Cobra Women’s team dropped their first home game of the season.
Pete Godfrey’s Cobra Men led wire-to-wire on Saturday night, riding a strong defensive performance to defeat the Cavaliers, 73-66. The Cobras started out hot, taking a 24-17 lead after one period as starters Ben Ursich, Adi Tomada, Corey Jeffs, Hamish MacDonald and Tim Lang had their way with the Cavaliers inside and out. The Cobras were unable to create any major separation, though, as a pesky Casey group stayed within striking distance during the first half of play.
With the Kilsyth lead trimmed to 51-49 late in the third period, Ursich and Jeffs responded with a trio of three pointers, and Mitch Dielemans snuck inside for a layup off a great feed from Trey Moses – a game-changing run that pushed the Cobra lead out to double-digits. Casey could only get as close as six points the rest of the way, as Tomada and MacDonald closed the door on the Cavaliers hopes of a final comeback with clutch buckets late.
That’s two straight home W’s for @NBL1 Cobra Men 🐍
Ursich led the Cobras with 20 points; 10 of those coming during the key third quarter surge. Jeffs continued his outstanding start to 2022 with 11 points, eight rebounds, five assists, and three steals; Lang added 11 points; and Tomada, MacDonald and Moses chipped-in with nine points apiece.
A late run by Cobra Women fell short to open the evening, as they fell to a talented Cavaliers team, 58-71. With superstar centre, Lauren Scherf, missing the game due to injury, the Cobras looked the goods early on, racing out of the gates to take a 10-2 lead. But the Cavaliers responded in emphatic fashion, closing the first period on a 19-2 run to take a nine point quarter time lead. The Cobras would chip away in the second, pulling to within 33-36 late in the half following a Carly Turner put back, but the Cavaliers closed the period on a 7-0 run to lead by 10 at the main break.
Casey continued to pour it on in the third, pushing their lead to 41-58 late in the period as they threatened to blow the Cobras out. But Turner, Nikita Young, Sarah Haberfield and Isis Lopes would spark an electric 15-0 run for the Cobras, pulling Kilsyth to within three points with less than three minutes remaining in the game as they stirred the home crowd into a frenzy. The Cavaliers would respond once again, though, with star guard Monique Conti draining back-to-back triples to silence the crowd, and the Cobras went scoreless the rest of the way as they lost a heartbreaker on home court.
Young led the Cobras with 15 points and three steals, Turner battled valiantly on the interior in place of the injured Scherf, finishing with a 10-point, 11-rebound double-double, and Abi Curtin added 11 points in the loss.
The Cobra Men and Women now look forward to a Round 3 Tasmania road trip, taking on the Hobart Chargers on Friday night, and NW Tasmania Thunder (Men) and Launceston Tornadoes (Women) on Saturday. The Cobras return home on Saturday May 14, when they play host to the Ballarat Miners/Rush on Junior Domestic Night (free entry to all Kilsyth Junior Domestic players wearing their club gear).
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