SEASON PREVIEW: KILSYTH COBRAS
Last Year: 4 wins, 12 losses- 4th
Roster: Katherine Reed, Jessica Horvath, Kim Hampton, Leanne Del Toso, Jamie Villalon, Laura Davoli, Teisha Shadwell, Kylie Prestwick, Lynne Panayiotis, Bree Mellberg, Alice Hammond, Isabel Martin, Mel Adams, Elyse Penaluna, Briana Obryan.
The Cobras kick season 2017 off when they face the Flames in the first match on Friday, April 21 in a re-match of last year’s bronze medal game. Their bye is then in Round 4 which could make for a nervous last weekend of the regular season but if they do the hard yards early in the year, they will enjoy a nice lead-in to the playoffs.
Kilsyth have brought in a fair bit of experience for season 2017 with Lynne Panayiotis, Kim Hampton and Kylie Prestwick joining players including Laura Davoli who is just 11 years old. Their two leading scorers from last season have returned in Alice Hammond and Leanne Del Toso who each averaged 16.7 points per game but they will need to find a capable passer after they lost Shelley Chaplin who led them for assists in 2016. Elyse Penaluna, a past Opal, is a surprise signing but if she can perform in wheelchair basketball in similar fashion to how she has performed in the WNBL where she won a Championship, the Cobras may have found an x-factor to carry them back into serious finals contention.
One To Watch:
A player that has the opportunity to step up in the absence of Chaplin is Melanie Adams who has become a regular member of the Cobras. Last season she was their fourth leading scorer with 6.3 points to go with 1.3 assists and she will be aiming to increase those numbers while toning down her turnovers which can be her downfall at times. Adams is a proven performer in big games though, recording 11 points and four rebounds in last year’s Semi-Final while in their 2015 Championship win, she collected eight points and three assists.