On Saturday morning Kilsyth Cobras’ coach Samantha Woosnam was wondering what else could go wrong.
After finishing on top of the ladder and securing a home Semi-Final against Bendigo Lady Braves, two of her leading players had fallen ill.
Star scorer Steph Cumming has battled illness all week while veteran star Sarah Parsons came down with gastro on game day.
“I didn’t want to use it as an excuse as even if we were 100 per cent there was no guarantee we would have beaten Bendigo as they have so many weapons,” Woosnam said.
“Steph was ill during the week and missed practice then I got a call from Sarah on Saturday saying she was unwell and we still have Rosie [Moult] on limited minutes as she is recovering from injury.
“I did wonder on Saturday morning about what I had done for all this to happen.”
The Cobras had a slim lead at half time over the Braves but Woosnam said the effort had taken too much energy from her embattled side.
“We started off really well but it was only a matter of time for it to hit them and that definitely happened at half-time,” Woosnam said.
“Bendigo have so many weapons and when you concentrate on shutting down someone like Elyse Penaluna then you leave Tessa Lavey open and she just hit everything on us in the second half.”
Despite Woosnam’s concerns she may pass out, Cumming still scored a team-high 18 points and Parsons still pulled in 13 rebounds but the Braves had too much energy in the second half and won the game.
The Cobras will host Launceston this Saturday night in the Preliminary Final with the winner to travel to Bendigo for the Conference Final.
While the Cobras’ lost both matches to Launceston this season, Woosnam said Cumming and Parsons appeared to be coming good.
She also said her side had bounced back well from their disappointment and would be ready to play.
“The girls are disappointed but this is why you work so hard to get that second chance,” Woosnam said.
“Steph is on antibiotics and she tells me she is feeling better while I think Sarah will be right to go.
“As a player I didn’t like to have the week off during the finals so it may help us to keep playing. While we lost both games to Launceston this season, when we lost over there it was on the second game of a road trip and we had focused on beating Hobart as we were battling them at the time for the conference lead.
“They are a really good team but I don’t think we have lost two games in a row this season, hopefully we can keep that going.”
In the early rounds of this season Woosnam gave birth to her first child, baby girl Myah, and she said both Myah and partner Alex Vanrenen were doing well going into the finals.
“She is sleeping well and never cries so it hasn’t been a problem,” Woosnam said.
“She is a little older now so she doesn’t come to training anymore, my mum is here and helping out so are Alex’s parents so it’s been really good.”
*Launceston’s Mikaela Ruef put out all the stops to help her side beat Hobart finishing with 11 points, 22 rebounds and six assists while Lauren Mansfield and Emilee Harmon had 17 points each.
*Hobart’s Izzy Chilcott led her side with 19 points and 10 rebounds.
*Bendigo’s Kelly Wilson scored 25 points, seven assists and five steals in the Lady Braves’ win over Kilsyth while backcourt partner Tessa Lavey added 23 points.
*Cobras’ guard Steph Cumming led her side with 18 points while Sarah Parsons grabbed 13 rebounds.
*Nunawading’s Nicole Romeo had 18 points and Kate Oliver 16 points as the Spectres beat Brisbane who were led by Hollie Smith’s 19.
*Dandenong Rangers’ beat Geelong with four players in double figures led by Amelia Todhunter’s 17 points and Aimee Clydesdale’s 16 points.
*Geelong had Sara Blicavs top score with 16 points and seven rebounds while Tayla Roberts had 13 and 13.
SEABL media links
*The Examiner’s Corey Martin on Launceston’s win over Hobart. Report: http://www.examiner.com.au/story/3298427/ruef-rules-for-torns/?cs=96
*Dandenong Journal’s Jarrod Potter (@JarrodPotter) reports on Dandenong Rangers’ semi finals win. Report: http://dandenong.starcommunity.com.au/journal/2015-08-23/rangers-in-it-to-win-it/
*Potter also reports on Dandenong WNBL’s fixture. Report: http://dandenong.starcommunity.com.au/journal/2015-08-23/season-opener-on-the-road/
*Geelong Advertiser’s Wes Cusworth (@WesCusworth) reports on the Lady Supercats’ close loss. Report: http://www.geelongadvertiser.com.au/sport/local-sport/seabl-lady-supercats-pay-high-price-for-third-quarter-fade-out/story-fnjuhs0b-1227495224052
*Bendigo Advertiser’s Adam Bourke on the Lady Braves win. Report: http://www.bendigoadvertiser.com.au/story/3299595/lady-braves-storm-into-conference-final/?cs=81
*Bendigo Advertiser also reports on Bendigo Spirit’s tough start to the WNBL season. Report: http://www.bendigoadvertiser.com.au/story/3286381/tough-start-awaits-spirit/?cs=2459
*Bendigo Advertiser reports Andrea Wilson had re-signed with the Spirit. Report: http://www.bendigoadvertiser.com.au/story/3292765/wilson-rejoins-bendigo-spirit/?cs=2459
*Leader’s Megan Hustwaite (@meganhustwaite) reports on Kilsyth needing their second chance. Report: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/leader/outer-east/kilsyth-women-fall-back-on-seabl-double-chance-while-its-season-over-for-the-cobras-men/story-fnrwkho1-1227496040527
*The Age reports Melbourne Boomers and Bendigo Spirit’s reactions to the WNBL fixture. Report: http://www.theage.com.au/sport/basketball/melbourne-boomers-look-to-holiday-eve-blockbusters-in-new-wnbl-fixture-20150818-gj1oxf.html
Roy Ward (@rpjward) is a freelance sports writer who has covered the NBA, NBL, WNBL, SEABL and Big V during his career. He will be filing weekly columns on the SEABL men’s and women’s competitions during this season. For feedback or suggestions send Roy a tweet or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.