Saturday night saw the start of the 2011 SEABL Season for the Swinburne Kilsyth Lady Cobras and the Swinburne Kilsyth Cobras. Travelling down the road to face-off against their arch rivals the Knox Raiders in the annual Cystic Fibrosis Cup.

With a huge crowd in attendance the night was all set up for two great games, unfortunately for Kilsyth neither result went our way. With the Swinburne Lady Cobras going down 67-60 and the Swinburne Cobras losing 90-81, it meant that the Cystic Fibrosis Cup was not coming home.

Up first was the Swinburne Kilsyth Lady Cobras, Head Coach Cheryl Chambers has put together a line-up that will test everyone they come up against, but with the team only coming together as a whole for the first time on Saturday it was always going to take some time to gel. The game was fought out over four tough and tight quarters with the Raiders finishing the game strong to end up 7 point winners.

The opening quarter was close and hard fought contest, as you would expect from the opening round of Season 2011. Kilsyth took a 12-9 lead into the first change with neither team able to gain the ascendency.

The second quarter saw the Raiders take control of the match with their ability to shoot the three (60% 3p%), and dominating Kilsyth under the ring with 12 rebounds for the quarter. After being down by 3 at quarter time Knox took a 34-30 lead into half-time.

A scoring blitz in the third saw Knox out to an 11 point lead in the third quarter, The Swinburne Lady Cobras failed to capitalise on their opportunities (22% FG), which allowed Knox to go on a 17-10 run to close out the quarter.

As the game went on the Swinburne Lady Cobras clicked as a team and with the Raiders getting into some foul trouble managed to outscore Knox 20-16 in the last quarter.

Newcomer and Australian Opal Abby Bishop top scored with 17 points but with Hayley Moffatt (12pts, 7rbds) the only other Swinburne Lady Cobra in double figures it was a tough night at the basket for the Kilsyth.

Knox had three players in double figures led by Sarah Graham (21pts, 2rbds), ex-Cobra Amy Denson (19pts, 8rbds) and Danni Bone (10pts).

Kilsyth are better for the run and the more time the girls spend together the tougher they are going to be to come up against.

The Swinburne Kilsyth Lady Cobras take on the Geelong Supercats for their first home game on Sunday 10 April tip-off 1pm.

With the crowd growing to almost capacity for the Men’s game the scene was set for a gruelling contest. Knox was always going to be a challenge for the Swinburne Cobras and after three tight quarters the Raiders big men wore down Kilsyth in the last running out 90-81 winners. 

The game began with neither side able to take the ascendency; Auryn MacMillan did his best to ensure all the Kilsyth fans had something to cheer for with a huge dunk, the quarter ended in a stale mate 19 apiece.  

The second and third quarters saw the game being played at a ferocious pace with both Kilsyth and Knox trading baskets, however it was Knox’s accuracy that saw them take a 44-43 half time and 61-58 three quarter lead.

With Quincy Henderson in foul trouble, CJ Massingale (23pts, 7rbds) and Lester Strong were able to dictate the play in the last, allowing the Raiders to outscore the Swinburne Cobras by ten 29-19. Kilsyth were strong from the three point line compared to Knox making eight 3 point baskets compared to Knox with only two. However it was Knox’s accuracy that won them the game (47% FG) contrasted with Kilsyth (35% FG).

The Swinburne Cobras had an even spread of contributors for the night with four players in double figures; Fresh of the plane Auryn MacMillan top scored (19pts, 11rbds), new recruit Tariq Naqqash (18pts), Zach Malvic (16pts, 10rbds) and Quincy Henderson (15pts). Unfortunately Kilsyth was not able to counter the assault from Knox’s big men with Lester Strong dominating the match with 40 points and 16 rebounds.

The Swinburne Kilsyth Cobras then travelled to Dandenong on Sunday to take on the Rangers, after a nine point loss on Saturday night the Swinburne Cobras knew that they needed to beat Dandenong to ensure they came out square for the weekend. A tight contest that went into overtime say Kilsyth come out victors 104-101.

Backing up after a Saturday night game is always tough, but Kilsyth came out of the blocks strong with a 27-21 lead in the first quarter, the inaccuracy that had plagued the Swinburne Cobras the night before was nowhere to be seen (60% FG, 100% 3P) compared to Dandenong (40% FG, 20% 3P).

The second began in some confusion with possession given to the Rangers instead of Kilsyth; however Matt O’Hea (34pts, 5 rbds) starred for the Swinburne Cobras shooting six from seven 3 pointers for the match to ensure that Kilsyth stayed in front going into half time 52-49.

The third was as even as it gets with both sides trading baskets, scoring 25 points each, meaning Kilsyth kept their slender three point lead into the last. The fourth quarter was edge of your seat stuff with both teams struggling to make the most of their opportunities, Kilsyth (40% FG) and Dandenong (44% FG), fought for possession in the end it was Dandenong’s ability to make the most of their free throws that saw the match all tied up at 91 apiece and going into overtime.

Heading into overtime the small crowd was making its fair share of noise in support of their teams as the five minutes of overtime seemed to go forever with Kilsyth making the early plays to take the lead. It took two great three pointers from Dandenong’s Dwayne Campbell to bring the game back to square. Some great defensive work by Quincy Henderson (12pts, 7rbds), then saw the Swinburne Cobras hold on and take their first win for SEABL 2011.

Kilsyth had an even spread of scorers for the game with Zach Malvic (24pts, 4rbds), Tariq Naqqash (14pts, 4rbds) and Auryn MacMillan (10pts) joining O’Hea and Henderson in double figures. Swinburne Cobras Head Coach, Grant Wallace happy to come out of a tough weekend all square, “I was really proud of the younger guys today, they really stood up and all in all I’m happy to spilt the weekend and have Tim Lang join us in coming weeks”.

The Swinburne Kilsyth Cobras play their next game on Friday 15 April in a double header at home against North West Tasmania; Tip off for the men is at 8.15pm