AGL COBRA WOMEN vs BALLARAT RUSH – 52-63 LOSS

Taylah Black (14pts/7reb), Bree Mackenzie (10pts/4ast), Elise Dykes (9pts/7reb)


Just as they did the week before against conference leaders Dandenong, the Cobras gave second place Ballarat all they could handle for three quarters, trailing by just four points going into the final period. However, Ed Dunstan’s shorthanded group faltered over the final four minutes – an 8-0 run by the Rush pushed a three-point lead to 11 with just a minute remaining, with the Cobras shooting just 1-11 from the field over that stretch. Black had her best game of the season, stepping up in the absence of leading scorer Jenna Verhoef-Jenkins, as did Grace Moxey, with eight points in just 11 minutes.


Though the Cobras dropped to 5-6 with the loss, there have been solid signs over the past two games – the undermanned, inexperienced Cobras have tested the best two teams in the Watson Conference, but badly need a win in order to keep in finals contention. 

 

AGL COBRAS vs ELTHAM WILDCATS – 63-50 WIN
Kieran Murphy (14pts/12reb/3blk)

A dominant first half was enough for the Cobras to win their ninth consecutive game, albeit in scrappy fashion. Kilsyth used a big second quarter to take a 13-point lead into the half, the final margin in the game. The Cobras struggled to get anything going offensively in the second half, and even free throws were hard to come by, missing 12 for the game. However, just as they have done all season, Kilsyth relied on their suffocating defence, snuffing out any chance of an Eltham comeback, and holding yet another team under 60 points. Peter Godfrey’s league-best defence forced 16 turnovers, while seven players scored 7+ points, led by Murphy’s double-double.

 

AGL COBRAS vs HAWTHORN MAGIC – 75-50 WIN
Adrian Tomada (18pts), Luke Moon (12pts/5reb), Jorden Adnam (11pts), Kieran Murphy (10pts/6reb)


After a big first half against Eltham the night before, the Cobras exploded in the second half against the Magic, overwhelming them on both ends of the court in earning their 10th straight victory. The Cobras 45-23 second half turned a close game at the half into a blowout, thanks to yet another dismantling defensive performance. Hawthorn shot just 32% for the game, making just 1-17 from distance. The 50 points yielded by the Cobras makes Hawthorn the sixth opponent Kilsyth has held under 60 points this year. Tomada continued his outstanding play in his debut VYC season, going 8-10 from the field in just 23 minutes.


A perfect 10-0 start has the Cobras comfortably ahead both conferences, which is no surprise when you look at the team statistics – Kilsyth scores more than anyone in VYC (85.4ppg) and has the leagues stingiest defence (58.0ppg). They will look to make it 11 straight when they travel to Diamond Valley on Sunday in a 2013 championship rematch.

 

SWINBURNE LADY COBRAS vs GEELONG SUPERCATS – 74-95 LOSS
Yvonne Anderson (18pts/4reb/3ast/4stl), Rosie Moult (16pts/10reb), Sarah Parsons (14pts/7reb/4ast), Olivia Bontempelli (12pts/3ast)


Dubbed the SEABL Women’s Game of the Week, the Lady Cobras came out blazing, racing out to an early 11-3 lead. The hot start was short lived, though, as Geelong went on a 20-3 run to close the first quarter to take the lead for good. Foul trouble limited leading scorer Anderson for the majority of the second and third quarters, and the Cobras couldn’t keep with the Supercats dominant inside game. If there has been a weakness for the undersized Cobras to date, it has been their ability to rebound and protect the paint, where they surrendered 44 points to the Supercats while being outrebounded, 44-27. The much-anticipated arrival of Louella Tomlinson will bolster the Cobras frontline moving forward, with the 6’5” shotblocker arriving this week.

 

SWINBURNE COBRAS vs GEELONG SUPERCATS – 73-81 LOSS
Tim Lang (22pts/6reb), Auryn Macmillan (13pts/10reb), Kyle Adnam (13pts/5reb/5ast), Cameron Johnson (12pts/4reb/2stl)


Few thought the undermanned Cobras would challenge Geelong, who boast arguably the best starting-5 in all of SEABL. Kilsyth had other ideas, though, matching the Supercats size and perimeter prowess, leading by two with just seconds left in the first half. However, the Cobras gave up five points in as many seconds to trail by three at the break. Geelong carried that momentum into the third period, outscoring Kilsyth 17-8 to take a 12-point lead into the fourth. A valiant comeback by the Cobras brought them to within three with just over two minutes remaining, erasing nearly all of a 14-point deficit in just seven minutes. Kyle Adnam’s 3 to make it a one possession game with 60 seconds left was just off, though, and Geelong was able to survive, thanks large in part to a big fourth quarter by Nathan Herbert. Ultimately, the Cobras inability control the paint sealed their fate, allowing 14 offensive rebounds while surrendering 40 points inside. Johnson had perhaps his best game of his SEABL career, playing incredible defence on Supercats import Mike Mercer, holding him to just 10 points – 10 below his average – on 5-19 shooting.

 

SWINBURNE LADY COBRAS vs ALBURY-WODONGA BANDITS – 84-70 WIN
Yvonne Anderson (23pts/5reb/6ast), Rosie Moult (16pts/9reb/2stl/2blk), Olivia Bontempelli (15pts/19mins), Rebekah O’Donnell (10pts), Sarah Parsons (8pts/14reb/8ast)


The Lady Cobras had little time to regroup following their loss in Geelong the night before, and it appeared early on that their problems would continue against Albury-Wodonga. Kilsyth struggled to match the Bandits energy in the first quarter, as import Emilee Harmon gave the Cobras fits inside. A big second quarter by Kilsyth pushed their lead to 15 at halftime, but the Bandits would come right back at the Lady Cobras, cutting the lead to just seven heading into the final period. Looking nothing like the team with the best record in SEABL for the first 30 minutes, Kilsyth finally showed their early season form, pushing their lead out to 21 points and cruising to a 14-point win. The Bandits had no answer for Anderson, while Bontempelli impressed again in limited minutes, emerging as one of the leagues best bench producers in recent weeks. Parsons finished with a near triple-double, combining with Moult to dominate the glass – the duo have grabbed more than 50% of the Lady Cobras rebounds for the last four games.


The Lady Cobras bounce-back performance keeps them atop the South Conference with a 7-2 record.  Sam Woosnam’s team have a bye this week, giving them plenty of time to ease Louella Tomlinson into the lineup.

 

SWINBURNE COBRAS vs ALBURY-WODONGA BANDITS – 94-63 WIN
Kyle Adnam (27pts/6reb/4ast), Tim Lang (19pts/9reb/2stl), Jackson Brazier (17pts/10reb), Auryn Macmillan (12pts/6reb/2blk)


Facing an improving Albury-Wodonga team, the Cobras made sure the Bandits never had a sniff in Gerard Leonards milestone game, putting on an absolute clinic in the game’s first 10 minutes. Leonard opened proceedings with a 3, which also opened the floodgates, as Kilsyth poured in 40 first quarter points. The Cobras early onslaught was led by Tim Lang, who went 5-5 from the field for 15 points, while Kilsyth as a team shot an incredible 79% from the field. From there, it was the two rookies that Leonard coached as juniors – Adnam and Brazier – who took over, with the Bandits unable to match their energy and athleticism. While Adnam took a beating from the Bandits, he gave their defence a beatdown of his own — attacking the paint at will and making more free throws than the entire Albury-Wodonga team attempted. A blowout victory was just what Rod Popp’s team needed, giving Leonard a comfortable win in his 200th Cobras game and ending a three-game skid in the process.


The Cobra men also have a bye this weekend, and while Macmillan has now departed for the United States, Joel Naburgs will have an extra week to recover from his hand injury in preparation for their May 17 rematch with NW Tasmania.  The Cobras record now stands at 5-4, just 1.5 games behind NW Tasmania for second place in the South Conference.

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