BENDIGO Braves coach Megan Moody believes her side is riding a wave of confidence heading into Saturday’s SEABL preliminary final against Kilsyth Cobras.
The first-year coach was delighted with the Braves’ response to their first and only defeat this season in week one of the finals against Launceston Tornadoes and could draw only positives from last week’s 99-74 semi-final win against Geelong Supercats.
“Hopefully we can continue that good form we showed last week and bring that confidence into this game,” Moody said.
“I thought we did some things really, really well last week.
“It was good to see everyone hit the floor in the right mental space because sometimes having a loss takes a bit longer to bounce back from.
“Credit to the playing group, they did a fantastic job and we need to be confident coming out of that game, but also know that we are coming into a tough game this week.”
The Braves women will be chasing a second consecutive national grand final appearance after facing the Supercats in last year’s title decider.
Standing in their way is a resolute Cobras, who could not have been more imposing than in their 81-58 demolition of Nunawading Spectres in week one of the finals.
The Spectres recovered from that with a win against Melbourne Tigers last week and have earned the right to play Launceston in the other preliminary final.
Moody is expecting nothing other than a fierce contest against the Cobras, who have strengthened since an 87-66 loss to the Braves in early June.
“They have a great line-up; a really experienced line up. We expect it to be a really tough battle going down there to play,” she said.
“They always get a great crowd and plenty of support.
“They executed really well against Nunawading and their intensity was fantastic the whole time.
“Their big-name players really stepped up and their role players really contributed; it was a fantastic team win.”
Last season’s league MVP Angela Beadle had a big game with 24 points and nine rebounds, while Steph Blicavs contributed 18 points and four rebounds.
The Braves were able to restrict Beadle to just seven points earlier this season in a contest dominated by point guard Kelly Wilson (18 points, 12 assists, four steals).
Ash Karaitiana will enter the game on a high following 27 points, eight rebounds and seven assists against the Supercats.
Moody hoped a strong contingent of Bendigo fans would make the trip to Kilsyth to get behind the Braves.
The game at Kilsyth Sports Centre starts at 7pm.
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