Bendigo Braves women one step away from SEABL championship

Kelly Wilson's 15 points and 15 assists was one of many bright performances for the Braves women in an even team performance against Kilsyth Cobras. Picture: NONI HYETT
Kelly Wilson's 15 points and 15 assists was one of many bright performances for the Braves women in an even team performance against Kilsyth Cobras. Picture: NONI HYETT

BENDIGO Braves women’s coach Megan Moody has hailed a composed and even team performance in Saturday night’s SEABL preliminary final win against Kilsyth Cobras.

The Braves stormed into a second-straight national grand final with a 29 point drubbing of the Cobras on their home court at the Kilsyth Sports Centre.

It was a remarkably even team performance which ensured the Braves a convincing 93-64 victory and earned them the right to take on Launceston Tornadoes next Saturday at the State Basketball Centre.

Moody, who is in her first season at the helm, said it was difficult to pin-point strong performances.

“I don’t think there was any clear standout – it was a real team effort,” she said.

“I hope our best game is next week, but that was definitely one of our best performances of the season.

“It was disappointing for Kilsyth, who were obviously missing Steph (Blicavs); she’s a huge piece of their team, but in saying that our girls did a great job of really locking down on the things we addressed in training this week.”

All five Braves starters scored in double figures, with Gabe Richards and Ash Karaitiana the leaders with 17 points.

Bendigo won the assist count 26-11, aided largely by Kelly Wilson, who had a game-high 15 to match her 15 points.

They also won the rebound count 43-31.

The Braves conceded the first five points of the contest, but were sparked into action by young guard Kara Tessari, who nailed a trio of three-pointers in the opening term, to give her side a one point lead at the first break.

It was a one-sided contest from then on.

Moody paid credit to the strong contingent of Braves fans, who made the trip to Melbourne for the final.

“Their support was absolutely phenomenal; it was like playing at home,” she said.

“It was amazing to hear the Bendigo Braves chant going around the stadium and to see all the people in blue.

“It had to be one of the biggest crowds we have had at an away game and the most vocal. It really was uplifting for the whole group.”