The Swinburne Lady Cobras have sat in 4th position on the ladder since Round 11 of the Crazy Johns SEABL Championship but could be displaced from the finals altogether with a loss to the Dandenong Rangers this weekend.
Kilsyth defeated the Rangers 79-62 on the road in Round 14 but have won just two of their last five games since, both wins over Frankston.
League MVP favourite Amy Denson is providing many WNBL coaches with plenty to think about as she continues her stellar season. This week she will be up against one of the best in the business – Dandenong’s Elyse Penaluna. Denson and Penaluna cancelled themselves out in the teams previous match up both finishing with over 20 points and 10 rebounds.
This match up is sure to play a major role in the eventual winner, but Sarah Parsons and Clare Papavs have been the Lady Cobras sparks for the past two years and will need to be at their best to ensure Kilsyth have the opportunity to defend their title.
Hayley Moffatt has been the surprise package for Kilsyth in 2009 averaging 12.2 points and 5.4 rebounds per game. Along with veterans Gemma Kerr and Erica McMenamin, she will need to provide the support for the Lady Cobras at both ends of the floor.
Dandenong enter the game on a five game win streak and needing a win to secure a finals position. Although a the Lady Cobras could still make finals if they loss, they do not want to wait for the Albury and Nunawading results on Sunday to confirm their appearance in the finals.
For coach Jason Knight and the team, they have been here before defeating Ballarat at home in the final regular season game of 2008 to secure a finals position over the Lady Miners, Kilsyth then went onto defeat Launceston, Bendigo and Nunawading on the road to winning the Title.
Tip off is scheduled for 6.15pm and all Lady Cobras fans are urged to get to the game and cheer the girls to a win.
Following the women, the Swinburne Cobras will play their final regular season home game on 2009 against North West Tasmania. Kilsyth are locked into a finals position but have an opportunity to move up to second should the Knox Raiders loss to Nunawading and Kilsyth win both games this weekend against NW Tasmania and Ballarat (Sunday).
Either way the Cobras are guaranteed of a home final and will be keen to return to the Championship game after being Runners Up in 2005 and 2007.
Joe Werner has had an outstanding season after a slow start and will be a strong contender for League MVP honours. Last week he and front court team mate Tim Lang took care of the AIS students in the Cobras win. Both players are averaging double-doubles and have become a formidable match up for opposition teams.
Gerard Leonard found some shooting touch last week and will again need to bring his A-game against the Thunder. Not only will be Cobras need Leonard for his shooting prowess but his ability to defend the Thunder guards will surely be required for Kilsyth to gain the victory.
NW Tasmania Player/Coach Sam Armstrong is the League’s leading scorer at 25.5ppg and led his team to a 110-102 win over the Cobras earlier in the season.
Kilsyth will need their backcourt rotation of Leonard, Mick Wheeler, Matt Shanahan and Jon Lee to lock down the sharp shooting Thunder but get themselves into the action at the offensive end.
The Cobras will travel to Ballarat on Sunday to conclude their regular season in what could become a mini final should Ballarat defeat Bendigo on Saturday night. Somehow the Miners have managed to resurrect their season with three wins in their last five games and remain a chance of making the finals.
Two wins this weekend would elevate the Miners into 4th position and a trip to Kilsyth for a semi final next weekend.
Tip off for Saturday 1 August 2009 is scheduled for 8.15pm.
Be sure to stay tuned to www.cobras.net.au for all the finals schedules on Monday 3 August 2009.
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