Swinburne Kilsyth Cobras (19-8) v Bendigo Braves (18-9), Kilsyth Indoor Sports Centre, 7:30pm Saturday, Aug 7
Kilsyth will be buoyed by the fact that they defeated championship contender Geelong last week, a win that is even more significant given that it was at the Supercats home venue. The Swinburne Cobras are currently on a seven game winning streak and one of the form sides in the competition.
Bendigo will take some confidence from beating Mt Gambier in the last week of the season. Although the Pioneers are 6th in the South conference, they can be a tough opponent at home. However, Bendigo have also lost to Knox and Hobart at home in the last month, possibly a worrying sign for the Braves.
Undoubtedly Fernandez Lockett is the most dangerous player on the Swinburne Cobras roster, averaging 16.3 points and 8.7 rebounds per game. But Kilsyth also have a great spread of contributors, including Ryan Bathie, Matt O’Hae and Tim Lang
If Lockett is important to the Swinburne Cobras, then Ivan McFarlin is critical to the Braves success. The power-forward averages 19.4 points and league leading 13.7 rebounds. More striking is the fact that McFarlin’s numbers are up to 22.0 points and 19.0 rebounds over the last 4 games. Luke Meyer and Adam Tanner are the other standouts for the Braves, but the Swinburne Cobras frontcourt will have their hands full containing McFarlin.
Although only in his second year, Quincy Henderson does a lot of work that goes unnoticed. His defensive pressure is outstanding, and remains calm under pressure; the right kind of ingredients for this time of year.
The amount Chris Hogan contributes might go some way to deciding the winner. Hogan is a pure shooter, jacking up 142 three-point attempts this year at a very commendable 41.5 percent. Watch out if he gets his streak going.
Key Match ups
Ivan McFarlin v Tim Lang
Tim Lang is one of four Kilsyth Players averaging over 14 points per game, and is part of a balanced offence that is hard to cover. But Lang may have to sacrifice some of his offence to step up at the defensive end. Keep Ivan McFarlin quite, and the Swinburne Cobras will go a long way to winning this one.
Fernandez Lockett v Adam Tanner
Lockett averages 17.3 points, 9.0 rebounds and 2.3 assists when Kilsyth win. When the Swinburne Cobras lose, those numbers drop to 13.0 points, 7.6 rebounds and 2.0 assists. If Tanner can restrict Lockett’s influence, and still get to double figures himself, then the Swinburne Cobras might have a few problems.
Previous Meetings This Year
Kilsyth 74 def Bendigo 61 @ Bendigo
Bendigo 93 def Kilsyth 65 @ Kilsyt
The teams have split their games this year, with both teams winning away. Ryan Bathie was especially good on both occasions however, averaging 22.5 points. Bendigo shot the ball poorly in the first encounter (38.5 FG%) before improving to 56.5 FG% on the return game.
These teams met in the first round of playoffs last year, with Kilsyth winning 100 to 77. Kilsyth were knocked out by eventual champion Knox in the next round. Bendigo beat Kilsyth back in the 2007 conference grand final, and although Ben Harvey was not coaching the Braves back then, he was on the playing roster.
Bendigo started the year well, with a 10-3 record after 9 rounds. Their form as tapered off a little, but they have done enough to put themselves in a position where they are guaranteed a home final.
Kilsyth however, have had a sterling finish to the year, having won their last seven in a row. The team does not rely on one or two stars, but has an even spread of scorers, and a top defender in Henderson.
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
Our Kilsyth Junior Cobras teams for the 2024 VJBL season have been announced. Congratulations to all of our new and returning Cobras on their selections — and for those who have missed out this season, we hope to see you back next year. See below for our 2024 teams as well as important uniform, registration