The Kilsyth Cobras prevailed in a top-four clash on the weekend, claiming a league-best seventh win for the season while the Canberra Caps Academy dropped to sixth position after losing, 64-84.
Kilsyth had turned the tables on the home side after trailing by three points at quarter-time, taking a nine-point lead into the last break but a three-pointer from Maddison Penn to start the fourth term kept the pressure on the Cobras.
Reigning MVP Angela Beadle (15 points, eight rebounds) responded though, scoring six points in the last quarter while newcomer point guard Taylor Lee (12 points, four assists) added eight points including two three-pointers to help Kilsyth run away with a comfortable victory.
At 7-1, the Cobras have one more win than Bendigo on the season but as the Braves are undefeated, Kilsyth still sit in second place.
Their depth is ensuring they remain in touch with top spot though and every player again hit the scoreboard on Saturday night with Steph Blicavs (21 points, eight rebounds, four assists) leading the way while Hope Terdich recorded ten points off the bench and Jasmine Gill had six points.
After getting off to their best start ever in the history of their club, Canberra have slipped a little on the back of two consecutive losses but those defeats have been compounded by an ACL injury to Kate Gaze who is now expected to miss the rest of 2018, having had surgery over the weekend.
Their leading scorer, Gaze was averaging 22 points and five assists this year so the Caps Academy will be looking to replace her with another potent scorer.
In the meantime, Keely Froling (18 points, nine boards) and import centre Brittni Montgomery (ten points) will need to shoulder more of the load but after suffering a disqualifying foul midway through the third quarter against Kilsyth, Canberra showed how vulnerable they can be without Froling and Gaze.
The biggest round of the 2018 season awaits the women next weekend but the Caps Academy and Cobras face just one game as they host Albury/Wodonga and Diamond Valley respectively.
ROUND 6 RESULTS:
Kilsyth’s victory over Canberra was preceded by a smashing of the CoE on Friday night but Bendigo’s win over Melbourne on Saturday kept them in first place with a 6-0 record. Diamond Valley had a chance to beat Geelong on the buzzer, pushing the ball up the floor with ten seconds remaining but they could not get a good shot, heaving an attempt from just inside half-court before falling by a point. Sydney Uni are on the charge, winning four of their last five games while handing Nunawading, who were undefeated through April, their second straight loss. Launceston tallied the highest score of the season for the women, shooting 52% and out-scoring the Bandits by 45 from beyond the arc with Lauren Mansfield, Ellie Collins and Lauren Nicholson all scoring 20+ points. Frankston have slumped to 0-9 after dropping both games of their Tasmanian road trip and face another double-header next weekend against Ballarat and Melbourne.
BA CoE def. by Kilsyth 46-86
Launceston def. Frankston 98-86
Geelong def. Diamond Valley 67-66
Canberra def. by Kilsyth 64-84
Melbourne def. by Bendigo 76-85
Albury/Wodonga def. by Launceston 93-114
Ballarat def. by Sandringham 66-73
Hobart def. Frankston 85-72
Sydney Uni def. Nunawading 83-66
Andrew Mathieson of the Examiner reported on Lauren Mansfield’s return to form on Friday night: https://www.examiner.com.au/story/5394169/coachs-vision-unfolds-in-a-rush/?cs=96
Siobhan Calafiore of The Courier covered the Rush’s narrow loss to Sandringham: https://www.thecourier.com.au/story/5397240/late-three-pointers-lift-visitors-to-victory-over-rush/
Adam Bourke of the Bendigo Advertiser looked backed on a mixed weekend for the Braves: https://www.bendigoadvertiser.com.au/story/5397564/mixed-weekend-for-braves-in-seabl/
Damien Ractliffe of the Geelong Advertiser featured Daniela Wallen who is proud of her Venezuelan heritage: http://www.geelongadvertiser.com.au/sport/local-sport/seabl-womens-geelong-supercats-import-daniela-wallen-proud-to-be-venezuelan-first/news-story/bff09568f7419ac9e88c24a9134adb18
The women’s Player and Coach of the month for April has been announced with Marena Whittle and Paul Flynn sweeping the awards for Nunawading Spectres: http://seabl.com.au/april-womens-coach-and-player-of-the-month/
Ray Turner and Ben Harvey of the Bendigo Braves swept the men’s Player and Coach of the Month awards for April: http://seabl.com.au/april-mens-coach-and-player-of-the-month/
For all the latest news, interviews and recaps from the 2018 season, tune in to 88.3 Southern FM with Bruce Mitchell from 9am every Sunday morning: www.southernfm.com.au