Veteran point guard Kristi Harrower is bruised and battered, but excited about where the Bendigo Bank Spirit is heading after two fighting victories on the road.
Harrower produced two vintage WNBL displays at the weekend, totalling 48 points, 12 rebounds and 18 assists to help the Spirit get over Adelaide and West Coast in round one.
“I didn’t know how we’d actually go being a new team and we haven’t had much time together,” Harrower said.
“Backing up back-to-back is pretty tough to do, missing Renae (Camino) and an import, it was a great weekend for us.
“There’s a lot of teams out there that are pretty good. Getting wins on the road is going to be hard to do this year, so to get two was pretty special.”
The 37-year-old has a swollen index finger on her left hand, a bruised foot and a sore body after an outstanding weekend, but expects to play Bulleen and Dandenong away from home this weekend.
“I can’t really bend (my finger) much at the moment, it’s better than it was (on Sunday), just a bit swollen and bruised, but I hope I’ve just strained some ligaments in it,” Harrower said.
“I’m glad it’s on my left hand and not my shooting hand. The body’s a bit sore... I’m just trying to get myself up for two tough games this weekend.”
Harrower is used to playing injured.
The star battled through the last WNBL season with Achilles and knee problems, only getting close to full fitness in time for her farewell Olympics campaign which ended with a bronze medal.
She feels refreshed this season, likely to be her last, and has tried not to burden herself with too much self-imposed pressure.
“Even after the Olympics I was umming and aahhing if I still wanted to play, I think this year I’ve just come in not expecting too much of myself,” she said.
“Of course I’m still competitive on the court, but (I’m) going out and playing and having fun doing it.”
As with her retirement plans, Harrower doesn’t want to look too far forward – to a possible Spirit finals campaign or, potentially, a championship.
“I try not to think about it too much and I try not to put to much pressure on me and the team,” Harrower said. “We don’t even talk about it.
“With the group we have this year it seems like we’ve got great chemistry.
“We struggled last year because we didn’t have great chemistry.”