A pair of dramatic runs have fuelled the VYC Cobra Women and Men to victories over Hawthorn and Nunawading, respectively, to remain perfect at home in 2021.
The Cobra Women exploded out of the gates against Hawthorn, blowing the Magic out of the water with an incredible 34-5 run to open the game as they cruised to a 77-40 victory. The Cobras defence was stifling over the first 15 minutes of Sunday’s game, holding the Magic to a single made field goal on 23 attempts while forcing seven turnovers as they built an insurmountable lead. With the Cobras defence operating at an elite level, it was Bella Clark and Miranda Gartner shouldering the load offensively early on, with the pair combining for 21 of Kilsyth’s 38 first half points.
Gartner stayed hot heading into the second half, erupting for 14 third quarter points to help push the lead to 64-26 entering the final period. The lead would balloon to as much as 43 late, as the Cobras recorded their third straight victory by at least 27 points. Gartner led the Cobras with a game-high 27 points, Clark continued her standout start to the season with 15 points, 10 rebounds and four assists, while Caitlyn Groves added 13 points and a game-high 12 rebounds in the win.
The win moved Claire Knight’s team to a perfect 4-0, with an average winning margin of 28.8ppg through three rounds.
For the Cobra Men, it was a late run which led them to victory over rivals Nunawading, with a 20-3 spurt in crunch time to capping a 16-point comeback as they downed the Spectres, 79-71.
Plagued by a horror start, the Cobras found themselves down as many as 16 points in the first half, and trailed 43-57 midway through the third period before chipping away at the Spectres lead. Three straight buckets by Hamish MacDonald – capped by a powerful two-hand slam in transition – got the Cobras rolling, fuelling a 14-4 run to close the quarter and cutting the lead to 57-61 entering the final stanza.
The Cobras remained hot to start the final period, with Brad Heywood sparking Kilsyth’s game-clinching run with a tough basket inside and a corner three to trim the Spectres lead to one. The Cobras would follow with a trio of three-pointers by Lachie Vander Vorm, Tony Marchese and Dyson Sumsion to go ahead for good, and a pair of buckets inside by Vander Vorm and Heywood pushed Kilsyth’s lead out to 11 points late to complete an impressive second half turnaround. The Cobras defence held the Spectres to just 1-for-9 shooting and seven turnovers during their late run, and just 20 second half points as they improved to 3-1 on the season.
Heywood led the Cobras with 20 points to go along with six rebounds and three steals, MacDonald was impressive once again with 19 points, seven rebounds and four assists, Sumsion added 16 points and Ben Bara chipped-in with 10 points and three assists in the win.
The Cobras return home on Saturday April 10 when they take on Bendigo (Women) and Diamond Valley (Men) in a Round 4 evening doubleheader.
Defensive specialist Sarah Haberfield has re-signed with the Kilsyth Cobras for the 2024 NBL1 season. Haberfield was a solid contributor to the Cobras roster in 2023, starting in 20 of 22 regular season games and ranking amongst the team leaders in assists (2.1), steals (1.0) and rebounding (3.3). The SEBC Saints junior recorded a
Mitch Dielemans has re-signed with the Kilsyth Cobras for the 2024 NBL1 season. Dielemans enjoyed a strong 2023 NBL1 campaign with the Cobras, averaging a career-high 8.9 points per game to go along with 2.2 assists per game, shooting team-bests of 40.3% from three point range and 80.3% from the foul line. He recoded