Bendigo Braves women subdued another NBL1 South title contender on the weekend with a 22-point win over the Geelong Supercats.
Braves surprised their opponents by launching into the game with 31 points on the scoreboard in the opening quarter - 20 of which came from Tess Madgen who had just returned from a camp with the Opals.
Supercats regrouped during the breaks to wrestle back control of the game from the Braves.
During the third quarter the Supercats offence started to peak which saw them outscore the Braves by five points which set the stage for a highly-competitive final term.
Braves women's coach Mark Alabakov said his team's strength was being able to get back over the top of teams during moments of "slippage".
"Geelong are a well-coached side with the perfect blend of physicality and skill which made it a test for us to back over the top of them," he said.
"We did an outstanding job of steering back onto the right course as they started to gain an advantage.
"We're becoming quite adept at limiting our moments of slippage to just 30 second windows compared to three minute stints - this is part of the game which we've executed well during the past few weeks."
Alabakov praised Madgen for a mammoth effort on the court which stretched the full 40 minutes of the clash.
"The most pleasing thing about the way Tess plays is that she doesn't pick and choose when she brings it," he said. "The moment Tess crosses the white line, no matter what, she is competing at her best.
"She would've been exhausted having just come back from a week away with the Opals but she put on an absolute blinder offensively and defensively guarding Sara Blicavs.
"Then when Geelong started to hold down Tess, Abbey Wehrung stepped up and caught fire to carry the burden."
Alabakov also praised the all-round effort of Kelly Wilson who set up nine assists and put nine points on the board.
In addition, Cassidy McLean was recognised for her ever-growing strong defensive efforts across the court.
"Cassidy's defence is key to our team's success as her ability to disrupt and lock-down the best ball-handlers on opposing teams is fantastic," Alabakov said. "She is quick enough to be able to guard all types of players and does a great job reacting to any changes of direction during matches."
Braves women sit on top of the ladder with an 11-2 record and are among the handful of teams primed for a competitive shot at taking out the competition.
"During this portion of the season things such as loading can be an issue and it can start to feel like everything is a slog," Alabakov said.
"From a coach's standpoint it's about drip-feeding in any new strategies and to keep practice stimulating and interesting."
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