We’re six rounds into the 2016 VYC season, and our Cobra Men and Women find themselves in a battle for playoff positioning. See what’s hot, what’s not, and their road ahead as they enter the the mid-portion of the season.
After splitting their doubleheader weekend with a home win over Waverley and a road loss to Eltham, Ed Dunstan’s Women sit sixth in the Watson Conference with a 2-5 record. Although the Cobras have struggled early in the season, they are just two games behind fourth placed Bendigo, with the conference shaping up to be extremely tight yet again in 2016.
The Good: The development of Brooke McGurgan. Though not relied on as a scorer, the lengthy forward boasts a dominant all-around stat line, amongst VYC’s top-five in rebounding (9.0rpg), assists (3.0apg) and blocked shots (2.2bpg). McGurgan also leads the team in steals (1.8spg) and should push for the league’s Defensive Player of the Year award.
The Bad: Scoring. While the Cobras defence has been impressive thus far, they have struggled to capitalise on the other end of the floor, currently averaging a shade under 50 points per game. Injuries to Jenna Verhoef-Jenkins and Paige Anderson have hurt Kilsyth – the pair were arguably Dunstan’s most reliable scorers in 2015 – but their return to the hardwood should give the Cobras a significant boost.
The Road Ahead: Things don’t get any easier in the immediate future for the Cobras, with their next four games coming against the league’s top-four teams (record-wise). If the Women can steal a win during this brutal midseason stretch, they still have a chance to remain within striking distance for a playoff spot, as their schedule is somewhat favourable from Round 10 onwards.
A home loss to Waverley on Saturday night has seen the VYC Men fall to 3-8 on the season. After a promising start to the year which saw them go 3-3, the Cobras have followed with a five game skid, with Mark Landells’ young group struggling to get out of their funk.
The Good: The Cobras future is bright. Point guards Jed Wilson and Mitch Dielemans have showed promise, but it has been the play of Jamie Ahale and Kieran Urquart that has surprised many over the first half of the season. Urquart was outstanding in Kilsyth’s first six games, averaging just under 19 points per contest, and though he has seen a slight dip in his numbers of late, the forward still leads the team in scoring (15.9ppg). Ahale has taken charge over the last four games, leading the team in both scoring and rebounding during that stretch (17.0ppg/7.8rpg). The 17-year old sharpshooter ranks in the league’s top-five for 3-point makes (27 3PM) and 3-point percentage (40.9% from deep).
The Bad: Defence. The vastly undersized Cobras have struggled mightily on the defensive end, surrendering an average of 81 points per game. Rebounding and points in the paint have been the main areas of concern, with Landells’ group lacking a true interior presence on the defensive end.
The Road Ahead: After a hectic start to the season, the Cobras schedule slows down, with just two games (at Keilor, at Bulleen) upcoming over the next three weekends. Missing star wing Jorden Adnam to injury for much of season has hurt Kilsyth, which currently sits 4.5 games outside of fourth place in the Watson Conference. Adnam has looked good in recent games and is without question the team’s best player when healthy, but he and the Cobras must put an end to their slide now if they wish to keep their playoff hopes alive.
Star point guard Adi Tomada has re-signed with the Kilsyth Cobras for the 2024 NBL1 season. Tomada enjoyed a standout 2023 season with the Cobras, leading the team in assists (4.6apg) and steals (1.4spg), ranking second in scoring (19.5ppg) and three pointers made (2.0 3PM), while finding his way to the free throw
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