The Kilsyth Cobras and Geelong Supercats go head-to-head in our game of the week, plus we preview each match.
By Grant Richardson
Game of The Week – Kilsyth v Geelong
Saturday 2nd May- 8:00pm @ Kilsyth Sports Centre
A Round 1 loss is a forgotten memory for the Kilsyth Cobras after four straight wins has earned them a two game edge on top of the South Conference. The Geelong Supercats are searching for consistency and may have found it after handing Albury-Wodonga their first loss of the season last round.
Kyle Adnam led from the front as the Cobras swept Round 3 with 22-point defeats of Hobart and Ballarat. He averaged 24.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and five assists against the likes of Tiri Masunda and Roy Booker, earning him Player of the Week. Next on Adnam’s hit list is Nick Owusu who will need support from Nathan Herbert and Jack Duck to slow down the rampaging point guard.
Alongside Adnam, Tim Lang starred with two 20-point games over the weekend. Combined with Taylor Cameron and Auryn Macmillan, the trio averaged 24 rebounds and are fast becoming one of the most dangerous front courts in the league.
Facing an unbeaten Bandits side with a 1-2 record was a tough situation for Geelong but they sent a message of resurgence to the rest of the competition after leading by as much as 19 points in the 96-87 win.
Six players reached double figures including Eric Gaff (10 points, 13 rebounds) and Ash Cannan (14, five and six assists off the bench). Their size will be an intriguing match-up for Kilsyth’s big men.
The Cobras’ starting five are one of SEABL’s best but only Gerard Leonard and Jackson Brazier scored off their bench in either game last weekend. Adnam is the man to stop for the Supercats but if Owusu can negate his influence, Geelong’s deeper roster with the likes of Cannan, Liam McInerney and Joel Smith will cause problems for the home side.
Prediction: Kilsyth by 6
Friday 1st May –
Hobart v Brisbane
A winless side hosts an unbeaten team as Brisbane hit the road for the first time after a 3-0 home stand. All victories have been within five points but the composure shown in their overtime win against Sandringham last week was impressive. Hobart’s woes are predominantly at the offensive end. Despite three players averaging double figures, Kyle Hunt (60%) is the only Charger shooting better than 36%.
Saturday 2nd May –
Dandenong v Mt. Gambier
The past two Championship winners are searching for consistency after three rounds. The Pioneers are the final team to hit the road but could be without Brad Hill who is questionable after missing the last two games with a shoulder injury. Daequon Montreal, Chris Patton and Lucas Walker are dominating the boards for Dandenong but Andrew Harms needs some help in the back court.
Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence v Albury-Wodonga
A 50% shooting night was not enough for the Bandits last weekend as Geelong punished them with 15 points off turnovers and 10 second chance points. Cory Dixon (24.8 points per game) and Donte Nicholas (22.5) are flying and Albury-Wodonga will become even more dangerous if Deba George can improve his 27% field goal shooting. For the CoE, Jack White averaged 12.5 points and 7.5 rebounds as they split their opening round.
N-W Tasmania v Brisbane
Currently sitting at 2-2, the Thunder will be hoping their 20-point beating of the CoE in which six players scored 11+ will bring some consistency to their game. Monziago Williams is second in the league for steals but will have a hard time defending Brisbane’s trio of guards in Scott Kenny, Brendan Teys and Izzy Tueta.
Nunawading v Ballarat
With realistic aspirations of top spot in the East Conference, neither side would be pleased with their 2-2 start. Ballarat gave up 100 points to Kilsyth last weekend for a second straight defeat while Nunawading split Round 3 with a win over Dandenong following a loss to Bendigo. To help cover Roy Booker, the home side will be desperate to get Captain Shane McDonald back after a three game absence with cellulitis.
Bendigo v Sandringham
The Braves got on the winners list against Nunawading in Round 3 on the back of Grant Johnson’s 29 points while Tony Lewis and Jordan Vandenberg combined for 10 offensive rebounds. Sandringham fell short in overtime to Brisbane and have not won since Round 1. However, Junior Hairston and Rayshawn Goins (both averaging double-doubles) have the length to contend with Bendigo’s front court while Mitch Chapman will celebrate his 300th game.
Sunday 26th April –
Ballarat v Frankston
With a week’s break between games, the winless Blues will back their legs down the stretch against a Miners side that will have played in Nunawading the night before. Aside from Robbie Linton’s 5-11 shooting in their season opener, Frankston are shooting 17-67 (25%) from the three point line.
Sandringham v Mt. Gambier
The Sabres will look to recapture their Round 1 form which saw them sweep the Tasmanian road trip as they start a four game home stand. Mt. Gambier’s ideal starting five all average double figures but their depth will be put to the test as they play their first back-to-back with Lukass Blicavs and Monyjath Makoi possibly receiving more minutes.
Canberra v Albury-Wodonga
Nnaebuka Anyaorah and Dan Jackson have hit game winners in consecutive rounds as Canberra surprised Dandenong and N-W Tasmania. With a week’s extra break compared to the Bandits, they could get themselves off the bottom of the East Conference and truly earn the title of giant killers.