window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; function gtag(){dataLayer.push(arguments);} gtag('js', new Date()); gtag('config', 'G-C0NEPLQW4Z');

Cougars NBL1 West Preview – Round 10

Share this article

Both Cockburn Cougars teams head to Kalgoorlie to take on the Goldfields Giants on Saturday night which means the unbeaten women put their perfect record on the line against Darcee Garbin while the men will attempt to defy the odds on the road.

It’s set to be a fascinating pair of match ups for the Cougars at Niels Hansen Basketball Stadium on Saturday night in Round 10 of the 2023 NBL1 West season.

The action will get underway on Saturday evening at 5.30pm with the Cougars women putting their perfect 9-0 record this season on the line against a Giants team now featuring Australian Opal and former Perth Lynx captain Darcee Garbin.

That will lead into the men’s match up where the injury hit Cougars will take on a Giants team fresh off a win also on their home floor against the Perry Lakes Hawks. That will tip-off at 7.30pm on Saturday night.





The challenges keep coming for the Cockburn Cougars women to remain undefeated this NBL1 West season as they head to Kalgoorlie to face Darcee Garbin and the Goldfields Giants on Saturday night.

While the Cougars come into the contest at Niels Hansen Basketball Stadium two games clear on top of the NBL1 West standings and the Giants are only just clinging to playoff contention, it shapes as being a significantly more fascinating match up than that suggests.

Cockburn is fresh off continuing its unbeaten start to the season with last Saturday night’s 85-74 victory on the road to the Joondalup Wolves as they now prepare for the trip to Kalgoorlie.

Meanwhile, the Giants snapped their three-game losing run last Saturday night as well with their 92-85 victory at home to the Perry Lakes Hawks who had been on their own five-match winning streak.

That leads into what shapes as a fascinating match up this Saturday night in Kalgoorlie with the Cougars taking on a Giants team now featuring Australian Opals bronze medal winning star, former Perth Lynx captain and three-time championship winner at the Rockingham Flames, Garbin.

The Giants have also been boosted with the addition of 162-game two-time championship winning guard Talisia Bourne in recent weeks as they try to overcome the loss of key trio Amanda Wayment, Rachel Kehoe and Olivia Berry.

Suddenly that means taking on the Giants is a significantly different challenge now for the Cougars this Saturday as they attempt to make it 10 consecutive wins.

Cockburn produced another standout performance to beat the Wolves last Saturday night with Sarah Mortensen putting up 30 points, 11 rebounds and four assists, Steph Gorman 20 points, four assists and three boards, Jewel Williams 20 points and three assists, and Jessie Edwards 13 points and four rebounds.

That means that the Cougars head to Kalgoorlie in red hot form, but coach Tyrone Thwaites isn’t taking anything for granted heading into the match up with the Giants.

“It’s what you want, you want to be tested every week because that’s how you get better,” Thwaites said.

“Certainly from a coaching perspective I’m taking zero for granted, 9-0 means nothing for us in terms of how we prepare. I’ve been working through how we’re going to deal with the Goldfields Giants on Saturday night.

“I mean Perry Lakes are a good team and they took care of them on Saturday. We know Darcee makes a big difference and I really rate Regan Turnour-McCarty, and even Hawaikirangi is being impactful for them on the wing as well.

“It’s a difficult place to play in Kalgoorlie, we take nothing for granted and we’ll make sure we are super prepared and ready to make sure that the reason we’re 9-0 is because we are as prepared as we are, and take care of it on Saturday.”

As for the bigger picture, while Garbin will be mighty tough for the Cougars to stop on Saturday night after she had 34 points, 14 rebounds and six assists in the win over Perry Lakes, Thwaites thinks it’s great for the league to have someone of her calibre come back.

“I think it’s great for the league and the more talent, and especially WA talent we have the better,” Thwaites said.

“I love that Darcee is going back to play for the Goldfields even though make no mistake, I’d love to have her playing for Cockburn because she owns a house around the corner from us.

“But seriously, for Goldfields to have her I think it’s exceptional and it makes them significantly better than their injury decimated season that unfortunately robbed them of the team they have.

“It’s huge for them and she’s an Australian Opal so it will take some team defence from us for us to be able to deal with her.”



The Cockburn Cougars will have to dig deep when they head to Kalgoorlie on Saturday night to take on a Goldfields Giants fresh off a win also at home against the Perry Lakes Hawks.

The challenges continue to be thrown at the Cougars men’s team this season and Luke Phillips will be sidelined for Saturday night’s trip to Kalgoorlie joining vice-captain and veteran point guard Seva Chan, Charlie Dimmock and possibly Nathan Pond and Hayden Bell as the players unavailable.

That makes it an even greater challenge for the shorthanded Cougars to take on the Giants in Kalgoorlie on Saturday night, but at the same time that doesn’t mean they aren’t every chance of what would be a morale boosting victory.

Cockburn had another strong showing last Saturday night before a narrow loss to the Joondalup Wolves where losing Luke Phillips in the third quarter and having Courtney Alexander II in foul trouble was a significant factor on top of the absence of Chan, Pond and Bell.

While the Cougars have won three of the past six matches this season, those three losses with two of them to the Wolves and another to the Perth Redbacks have all only come by a combined 17 points and all three matches could have gone the other way.

That means that despite the challenges, the Cougars head to Kalgoorlie confident of coming back with the win with the leadership of Gavin Field, the building form of imports Alexader and Taj Benning, the continued emergence of Keegan Phillips and Josh Hunt, and with Kieran Berry running the point.

It won’t be easy against a Giants team fresh off beating the league-leading Perry Lakes Hawks, but coach Andrew Cooper will back his team in to overcome the odds.

“No weeks are going to get any easier and this one is no different. All the teams above us are playing well which is going to make it really difficult for us, but all we can do is control our own destiny and win games which will help for sure,” Cooper said.

“There’s no easy weeks I don’t think, which is a good thing but also a challenge. Kalgoorlie is playing some really good basketball and to knock off Perry Lakes out there is a big win for them.

“Scott Manton is doing a heck of a job in his first season after the big turnover of the playing group that they’ve had. So they will be a really big challenge for us and we’ll be without Luke, which is pretty obvious.

“We had challenges last year and went out there without Gav and got it done, so this week will just be another challenge for us and another big opportunity to try and make something happen.”

With Chan, Pond and Bell all remaining under injury clouds, with Luke Phillips ruled out after the knock he took last Saturday night and even youngster Charlie Dimmock now unavailable, Cooper knows that things are racking up against his team, but it also opens up other opportunities.

“Charlie’s now off to the US as well so he’s another one who is out for us so to be honest we’re really thin and we’ll be relying on Pondy to be fit and come back from injury,” Cooper said.

“Otherwise Courtney’s workload goes up a lot and we’re going to have to play a few guys out of position, and mix things up a bit. But I guess that’s part of the art of coaching as well is trying to make round pegs fit into square holes sometimes, so that might be what we have to do.”

Major Partner - Dentistry Plus