Cobras Advance to Grand Final to take on Heelers

Cobras Advance to Grand Final to take on Heelers

A second win in as many days has seen the Kilsyth Cobras move into the Grand Final today while the Wollongong Roller Hawks will play off for third after falling in the Preliminary Final.

Having finished on top of the ladder at the end of the regular season, the Roller Hawks will be disappointed not to be competing for the ultimate prize after the 73-78 loss.

In an extremely tight Preliminary Final, the lead never exceeded five points for either side but Wollongong did take a four-point advantage into half-time.

Kilsyth responded with a 23-18 third term, momentarily grabbed a four-point margin themselves before the visitors cut the lead to just one at the final change.

The arm-wrestle continued in the fourth quarter with the match tied inside the last three minutes. From there, the Cobras went on a 7-0 run to clinch the game thanks to a three-pointer from Tristan Knowles and another three points from Shawn Russell (14 points).

With a near triple-double, Knowles (33 points, seven rebounds, 12 assists) was outstanding all day while Daniel Del Toso was also instrumental (25 points, ten boards). Turnovers will be a concern for Kilsyth though as they gave up 22 points off 17 mistakes.

Wollongong will rue missed chances as they also recorded eight more offensive rebounds than their opponents but scored just 6-4 in second chance points.

Allowing the Cobras to shoot 61% from the field proved their downfall despite solid contributions across the board from Brett Stibners (26 points), Michael Auprince (17 and ten rebounds), Nick Taylor (14, seven and eight assists) and Luke Pople (14 and eight assists).

Both the third and first placed playoff games can be viewed live via Basketball Australia's YouTube channel today. The Roller Hawks will face the RSL Queensland Spinning Bullets at 11am before the Cobras clash with the Red Dust Heelers at 1pm in the Grand Final.