The Cobras had just eight players available, including VYC call-up Jorden Adnam, with Kyle Adnam, Joel Naburgs, Jackson Brazier and Gerard Leonard all unable to go due to injuries. With Kilsyth on the ropes facing a 12 point hole late in the third quarter, they showed incredible resolve in crunch time, clamping down on the defensive end during a stellar 10 minute stretch.

After an Aaron Reinbott three-pointer trimmed the Gunners lead to 58-49 heading into the final period, the Cobras got busy on the defensive end, holding Canberra to just six points over the final 10 minutes of regulation. After a slow start, Avery Johnson got going in when it mattered most, scoring nine points in the fourth quarter, including the game-tying basket with just over one minute remaining.

Another Canberra miss gave the Cobras possession with a chance score the go-ahead bucket, but Tim Lang and Alex Vanrenen both came up short as the game headed into overtime.

Despite playing the entire 40 minutes heading into the extra session, Johnson showed no signs of fatigue as continued to carry the Cobras on the offensive end. His jumper from beyond the arc put Kilsyth up, 69-66 with 1:40 remaining, but the Gunners responded with a 6-0 run to reclaim the lead. Johnson responded with a pair from the line, then tied the game once more on the ensuing possession – completing a nine point spree by the guard – to force a second overtime.

A pair of baskets from Tim Lang put the Cobras ahead, 77-75, with under three minutes remaining, but after scrapping to stay alive for the entire evening, they finally ran out of gas as the Gunners took control late. The Cobras went scoreless over the game’s final two minutes, sealing their fate as they suffered a devastating road loss.

Johnson was spectacular, finishing with a game-high 28 points to go along with 10 rebounds in 50 minutes of action, while Lang was just as big, with the captain recording a 27-point, 14-rebound double-double. The Cobras supporting cast of Vanrenen, Reinbott, Michael Knoll, Will Sinclair and Kieran Murphy were called upon for increased minutes and didn’t disappoint, but a lack of offensive firepower doomed Kilsyth as they fell short of a stunning upset.

The loss moves Kilsyth to 6-7 on the season. Despite their recent struggles, they remain just one game out of fourth place in the South Conference; and with a huge weekend ahead, the Cobras have a chance to jump back into the conference’s top-four.

Kilsyth travels to Sandringham on Saturday night to take on the Sabres (7.00pm), before returning home to take on the fourth-placed NW Tasmania Thunder on Sunday (2.00pm).