Kilsyth easily took care of Bendigo in last week’s semi final with a 100-79 win over their arch nemesis. Knox on the other hand made the trip to Brisbane to take on the Spartans. Knox were one of just three teams to beat the Spartans during the regular season but went down 113-110 to set up this enthralling Preliminary Final match up with the Cobras.
The teams have met twice during 2009 with the Raiders taking care of business early in the season at home 80-69 before Kilsyth defeated Knox in the Battle for the Ashes 83-75 on July 4.
Kilsyth go into the match having won eight of their past ten games while the Raiders have recorded five victories in their last eight games.
Both teams have been among the Leagues most successful over the past five years with Knox winning two conference titles (2006, 2008) and Kilsyth finishing runners up in two (2005, 2007).
The last time these two teams meet in a finals series was back in 2005 when the Cobras hosted Knox in front of a massive crowd at the Snakepit. Kilsyth won the game but eventually went down to Bendigo in the Final.
From day one of the 2009 Season both teams have been the touted as Championship caliber teams. Now only one team will have that opportunity to contest for the title.
Kilsyth has a formidable front court with Joe Werner (21.9ppg, 14rpg) and Tim Lang (11.1ppg, 7.1rpg) combining to lead the Cobras on their late season run. They were again the standouts against Bendigo last week finishing with 37 points and 32 rebounds between them.
They will match up against Raiders big men Lester Strong (15.7ppg, 10.8rpg) and Cameron Rigby (14.2ppg, 7.3rpg) with John Phillip (7ppg, 5.2rpg) coming in off the bench. The Kilsyth bigs had the best of the Raiders in their previous match up and will again need to dominate if the Cobras are going to progress through to the Final.
The battle in the back court will be just as intriguing with CJ Massingale (24.8ppg, 7.2 rpg), Sean Carroll (9.1ppg, 5apg), Mick Hill (17.7ppg, 5.7rpg) and Nick Payne (11.5ppg) needing to be contained by Kilsyth.
Cobras Import Quincy Henderson (10.4ppg, 7.3rpg) will surely get the job on explosive scoring machine Massingale and after recording 8 blocks against him in their July match up both players will be excited about this meeting.
Another highly anticipated match up will be between point guards Mick Wheeler and Sean Carroll. Both players are at different ends of their career but Wheeler will be keen to ensure the less experienced Carroll is not able to control the tempo of the game as he did in their first match up this season.
Gerard Leonard (15.3ppg) and Matt Shanahan (11.8ppg) will need to continue their late season form at the offensive end while keeping Hill and Payne contained.
Any of these six players for each team could light it up and bust the game wide open.
After their two match ups this season no one will be tipping anything but a close game and with no extra motivation needed each team will get just a much enjoyment in winning as they will in ending their opponent’s season.
Cobras Coach Grant Wallace is still searching for his elusive Championship after over 350 games in the SEABL. Raiders mentor Graham Longstaff picked up his first last year, this battle on the bench will be just as interesting for these two former Coburg Giants.
Tip off is scheduled for 8.00pm at Knox Stadium. Fans are encouraged to get to the game early with the women playing at 6.00pm to avoid the missing out on seats.
Full game analysis and results will be available on the website following the game at www.cobras.net.au
Star point guard Adi Tomada has re-signed with the Kilsyth Cobras for the 2024 NBL1 season. Tomada enjoyed a standout 2023 season with the Cobras, leading the team in assists (4.6apg) and steals (1.4spg), ranking second in scoring (19.5ppg) and three pointers made (2.0 3PM), while finding his way to the free throw
Star guard Nikita Young has re-signed with the Kilsyth Cobras for the 2024 NBL1 season. Young put together an impressive second NBL1 season with the Cobras, ranking third on the team in scoring (12.7ppg), rebounds (5.4rpg), assists (2.3apg), while her quick hands and anticipation saw her rank fifth in the league in steals (2.3spg).
The Kilsyth Cobra Women have made their first move for the 2024 NBL1 season, re-signing rising star, Georgia Booth. Booth enjoyed a breakout season with the Cobras, leading the team in three point makes while ranking second on the team in scoring. The lightning quick guard blossomed into a high level scorer, averaging 17.5