Kilsyth Lady Cobras (18-6) v Bendigo Lady Braves (17-7), Kilsyth Sports Centre, 7:30pm Saturday, September 3
With the return of Abby Bishop, Kilsyth were back to their scintillating best last week against Nunawading. Bishop’s return not only adds to their arsenal, but it also allows the team to settle into their usual positions. However, Eva Afeaki suffered a shoulder injury last week, Bendigo could get an advantage in the paint if she is less than 100%.
Bendigo has now won five of their last seven including victories over Ballarat, Kilsyth and Dandenong. But the Lady Cobras were without Bishop then, and similarly, the Rangers were without Elyse Penaluna and Steph Cumming. Bendigo has also been far less impressive on the road over the regular season: 7-5 away compared to 10-2 at home.
Kilsyth: To put it bluntly, Abby Bishop smashed Nunawading. She tore up the Spectres to the tune of 31 points, 10 rebounds and 6 assists, and Nunawading simply had no answer for her combination of size and shooting touch. Hayley Moffatt is the quiet achiever in the Kilsyth line-up, often going unnoticed but getting the job done. If Afeaki is less than 100%, Moffatt will need to again step up and contribute at both ends of the floor.
Bendigo: While Kelly Wilson is the most influential and important player in the Lady Braves team, Megan Moody is the player that could cause the most headaches for Kilsyth this weekend. She has struggled to overcome a long-term injury, but last week she showed her true colours, leading the scoring with 17 points. An experienced post player, she will finally give Kilsyth bigs Afeaki and Bishop a run for their money.
Kilsyth: When Kilsyth have their full contingent of players, Gemma Kerr comes off the bench for the Lady Cobras, and is possibly the best player in that role in the competition. She plays with a gritty determination and ensures the defensive toughness that the Lady Cobras are known for is sustained. Although the Lady Braves should have the depth to match her, she will still require the attention of a first rate opponent.
Bendigo: Charged with stopping one of the best players in the league last week, Andrea Wilson stepped up and put the clamps on Ballarat’s Natalie Taylor. The move obviously worked, because Taylor finished with 3-of-19 shooting and didn’t have the impact the Rush would have been hoping for. Wilson could be asked to do a similar job this week on Chantella Perera, and her success or failure in such a match up could be the difference in the final outcome.
Key Match ups
Megan Moody vs Bishop/Afeaki
While Jamie-Lee Peris and Ash Gilmore are quality players, Megan Moody has the experience and touch to match it with Kilsyth guns and fellow WNBL players Eva Afeaki and Abby Bishop. After the extended lay off with injury, Moody must be itching for a genuine contest, and she won’t get a bigger test than against the dynamic Kilsyth duo.
Lauren King vs Hayley Moffatt
Keeping King in check will be high on the agenda for Kilsyth, and although the Lady Cobras are incredibly defensive as a whole, it could be left to Moffatt to reign in the Bendigo captain. Moffatt has the quickness and agility to go with King, and also gets enough shots up of her own to make King accountable at the other end.
Previous Meetings This Year
Round 9 –
Round 19 – Bendigo 83 def Kilsyth 59 @ Bendigo
Bendigo, the third highest scoring team in the league, come up against Kilsyth, the best defensive team in the competition. Both teams are loaded with star players, and with a shot at Dandenong or Knox next week up for grabs, this should be a first-class game.
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