Already missing Jon Lee until he returns from overseas next week, the Cobras were forced to make a change prior to leaving Melbourne when Jon Croft came down with the flu.
Kilsyth jumped out of the blocks in the first quarter taking a 32-23 lead into the first break. Gerard Leonard (23pts, 5/10 3pt) continued where he left off Wednesday night against Frankston shooting the ball well. With Zach Malvik (23 pts, 5 assists) and Joe Werner (32pts, 17 rbds) also making major contributions the Cobras looked to be in control.
A 23-38 2nd term put the Cobras down 6 at the major break as Spartans Adam Gibson (26pts) and Justin Brown (22pts, 17rbds) took over. The 3rd quarter was much the same as the Spartans led by as much as 25. A series of questionable calls and no calls against the Cobras culminated in Coach Grant Wallace receiving his first SEABL bench tech in over 300 games.
The Cobras gave it their all in the last quarter to go down by just 16 pts, with the efforts of rookie Tim Mulhall and veteran Paul Burgess bringing the coaches praise.
“Tim was a late replacement for the flight this morning when we found out Croft was too sick to play, he gained some valuable experience and did a respectable job guarding a starting NBL point guard in Gibson.”
“Burgess was huge tonight, we gave him the start to combat the big Spartans line up and his 16 rebounds was a great response.”
Joe Werner scored 15pts in the last quarter and Malvik and Leonard tried desperately to get the Cobras back in the game but to no prevail.
Now 3-3, the Cobras travel to Ballarat next Saturday night to take on the Miners in what will be another test of the Cobras depth. The return of Lee and Croft will provide an important spark off the bench, and the Cobras will be looking to break their two game skid to stay in touch with South Conference front runners Frankston and Geelong.
Coach Grant Wallace will conduct an interview this week which will be available from the Kilsyth Basketball site on Wednesday. Grant will be discussing how the Cobras have been going so far in 2008 and give an insight into the SEABL and the team.
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