NBL1 mid-season review: Kilsyth Cobras

IN the mid-season break, Basketball Draft Central takes a look at each National Basketball League (NBL)1 team in both the men’s and women’s competition and will analyse how they have performed to date, some of their top performers, and the run home to see if they can make finals. Today we analyse the Kilsyth Cobras, with the men’s and women’s sides on opposite trajectories as the former won its first game after five consecutive losses last week, while the latter is on a red-hot seven-game winning streak.

Men:

Position: 5th
Wins: 7
Losses: 5

Home: 3-3
Away: 4-2
Last 10: 5-5

Points For: 1056
Points Against: 1001
Percentage: 105.5
Points: 21

Summary:

The Cobras’ big win over Waverley Falcons last round was a massive relief after five consecutive losses saw the Cobras tumble down the table after appearing to be a top contender earlier in the season. While a loss against Ballarat Miners was respectable, the Cobras would be kicking themselves over losses to Southern Sabres, Diamond Valley Eagles, Albury Wodonga Bandits and Eltham Wildcats, who are all in the bottom seven teams. They have done enough to put themselves in control ahead of the last stretch, but must win at least four of their eight games on the run home to secure a finals spot. Peter Hooley is the Cobras’ top scorer with 17.3 points, 4.0 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 2.0 steals per game, while Tohi Smith-Milner (14.5 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.0 assists) and Chris Patton (12.3 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.8 assists) are the other two regular starters who have helped the Cobras to the position they are at this point of the season. Owen Odigie has also started in 11 of the 12 matches, posting 7.8 points and 6.5 rebounds per game.

The run home:

R10: Knox Raiders (H)
R11: Nunawading Spectres (H)
R12: Dandenong Rangers (A)
R13: Hobart Huskies (A) | North West Thunder (A)
R14: Nunawading Spectres (A) | Frankston Blues (H)
R15: Dandenong Rangers (H)

The run home is far from easy for the Cobras, who have five games against top eight sides, including home-and-away fixtures against title contenders Dandenong Rangers and Nunawading Spectres. The next match against Knox Raiders and the trip down south to the Apple Isle is vital for the Cobras to come away with wins and set themselves up for a finals tilt.

Women:

Position: 5th
Wins: 8
Losses: 4

Home: 5-1
Away: 3-3
Last 10: 7-3

Points For: 907
Points Against: 782
Percentage: 116.0
Points: 24

Summary:

If the men’s season seemed to slip off the tracks over the past two months, the women’s season managed to get back on track to the point of being the second most in-form team in the competition. The Cobras sat at 1-4 after five rounds, but have piled on seven consecutive wins, the second most of any side behind the ladder leaders, Geelong Supercats. With a tough draw on the run home, the Cobras will get to really see where they are at with such an even side. Lauren Nicholson has been the standout this season with 21.8 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.7 steals per game, while Klara Wischer has been a strong contributor with 12.2 points, 7.7 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.3 steals per game. American Sarah Boothe has been strong off the boards with 10.4 points, 8.2 rebounds and 2.1 assists, while Clare Camac has been busy off the bench with 8.3 points, 3.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game.

The run home:

R10: Knox Raiders (H)
R11: Nunawading Spectres (H)
R12: Dandenong Rangers (A)
R13: Hobart Huskies (A) | North West Thunder (A)
R14: Nunawading Spectres (A) | Frankston Blues (H)
R15: Dandenong Rangers (H)

The Cobras have five games against top six sides, including the two matches each against Dandenong Rangers and Nunawading Spectres. A home game against Knox Raiders this round will prove a must-win, as will a trip to Tasmania, and home game against Frankston in Round 14. If the Cobras keep up the form they would be eyeing off a top four spot ahead of finals.

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