It was a big Saturday night in Albury Wodonga for the Swinburne Kilsyth Cobras, with both the women and the men returning home with wins.
The Swinburne Lady Cobras knew they had their work cut out for them on Saturday night, after only managing a hard fought two point win the last time they met the Albury Wodonga Lady Bandits back in round two. Kilsyth was again without Abby Bishop who has been away on Australian Opal commitments, but as they did last weekend showed that even without Bishop they have a line-up that has the ability to hurt you.
The game started off slow for the Swinburne Lady Cobras only managing one basket in the first three minutes of the game; however the Lady Bandits could not make the most of their opportunities, taking just a three point lead into the first break.
Kilsyth controlled the second quarter pulling down 12 rebounds to six, but could not get the reward on the scoreboard, winning the quarter by three to have things all tied up 27 apiece at half time.
The Swinburne Lady Cobras got the jump on the Lady Bandits early in the third, but could not pull away. Kilsyth managed to get six points in front, five minutes into the quarter but Albury Wodonga would not lie down drawing scores level with just over a minute to go in the quarter before an Emily van Poppel basket ensured that the Swinburne Lady Cobras took a two point lead into the final change.
With the fourth placed Bendigo Lady Braves snapping at the heels of Kilsyth in third place on the SEABL ladder, the Swinburne Lady Cobras knew that they had to make the most of their opportunities in the last, though Albury Wodonga were not going down without a fight. Kilsyth could not pull away from the Lady Bandits, and with four minutes left on the clock scores were all tied up, the Swinburne Lady Cobras then made their baskets count in the final minutes of the game to come away with a 66-59 win.
Hayley Moffatt (17pts, 13rbds) continued her SEABL player of the week form with a double-double, Chantella Perera back from a week off was full of running also finishing with 17 points and three assists. Eva Afeaki (16pts, 3as) was the other Swinburne Lady Cobra to reach double figures.
The Swinburne Kilsyth Lady Cobras now face their arch rivals and league leader, the Knox Lady Raiders next Saturday night July 2 in “the Battle for Ashes” at Kilsyth Sports Centre, tip-off is at 6.15pm on Hugh McMenamin Court.
After two disappointing losses last weekend the Swinburne Cobras needed to defeat the Albury Wodonga Bandits to keep the gap between themselves in fourth and fifth placed Dandenong on the East Conference SEABL ladder.
Even though Albury Wodonga has only managed the win for the season thus far, their form had been improving and Kilsyth knew that the game was no certainty. The first quarter however did not go plan with the Bandits scoring heavily in the final two minutes to take a 21-13 lead into the second quarter.
Albury Wodonga’s Daniel Briglia was the man who needed to be stopped in the second quarter after scoring 10 of his fifteen points in the opening quarter. The Swinburne Cobras did just that, making the second quarter their own with some great shooting from the field (52.9 % FG), pulling the margin back to just one point at half time.
The Bandits continued their accuracy from the three point line in the third, making two from three to hold Kilsyth from the lead. It appeared that the Swinburne Cobras were going to lead for the first time going into a break until a basket from Nick Payne with 24 seconds left on the clock ensured that Albury Wodonga led by one going into the final quarter.
With so much riding on this game for Kilsyth they needed a big last quarter, and they did just that shooting at 58.3% accuracy from the field, it appeared that the Swinburne Cobras had it in the bag leading by 12 points with just 52 seconds left on the clock, however for all those Cobra supporters watching the game on SEABL live stats the game got too close for comfort with Nick Payne and Jack Duck shooting accurately from the three point line to bring the margin to just four points with six seconds left.
With Tariq Naqqash shooting truly from the free-throw line, Kilsyth got over the line by six points, Auryn Macmillan with 25 points, 17 rebounds, three blocks and two assists was Kilsyth’s best, Matt O’Hea scored 10 of his 13 points in the last quarter to help the Swinburne Cobras get over the line. Tim Lang (19pts, 6rbds) and Zach Malvik (13pts, 6as) were the other players to make double figures for the game.
The Swinburne Cobras now return home for what will be a huge game against arch rivals Knox this Saturday night, with every game as important as the next in the lead up to play-offs the game is sure to be edge of your seat stuff.
The Swinburne Kilsyth Cobras next game sees them take on the Knox Raiders in “the Battle for the Ashes” on Saturday July 2; tip-off is 8:15pm on Hugh McMenamin Court.
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