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Round 11 Women’s Recap – Cougars with best win of season

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The Cockburn Cougars women took care of business against the shorthanded Mandurah Magic on Friday but it was the win over the Warwick Senators on Saturday that coach Tyrone Thwaites has labelled his team’s best of the NBL1 West season.

The Cougars put their undefeated record on the line twice in Round 11 of the NBL1 West starting at Wally Hagan Stadium against the Magic on Friday and they would go on to dominate the contest to score the 84-63 victory.

That set the stage for Saturday’s trip to Warwick Stadium against the defending NBL1 West and National Champion Senators who were in their best patch of form at the season.

What eventuated might well have been the best and most dramatic game of the season, but the big plays late went the way of the Cougars in the eventual 75-73 victory.

That leaves Cockburn perfect at 12-0 this season and coach Thwaites was delighted especially with the win against the Senators on Saturday night.

“It’s pretty season defining for us I think. I mean you had a Warwick team who are the national champions and were on their home court, and they would have seen it as an opportunity to knock us off,” Thwaites said.

“On our side, it was about holding our ground and showing the league we’re real. I think we did that. It wasn’t easy and things didn’t necessarily go to plan or how we’d like, and Patty (Brossmann) getting hurt early didn’t help when we lost her for most of the first quarter.

“We lost Jewel to foul trouble and I know they had the same with Karly Murphy. But to battle from a nine or 10-point deficit with some really big clutch moments as the game went on, and the togetherness the group showed as well was really nice, and I would say it was our best win of the year so far.”

On Saturday night, the Senators looked on target to hand the Cougars their first loss of the season when leading by six early in the fourth after a triple from Alaska Rhebok.

Showing the fearlessness only a 16-year-old can have, Amelia Corasaniti knocked down two three-pointers to keep Cockburn close before Steph Gorman knocked down another long ball for the Cougars fresh off signing at the Perth Lynx during the week.

It was Corasaniti who knocked down a third triple in just over three minutes of the fourth quarter to keep Cockburn within a point before Gorman showed her defensive acumen by stripping Stacey Barr and going up to score the layup to put Cockburn back on top.

It had been a game turning run from the Cougars with their winning streak on the line and they would never surrender the lead again with a massive Jessie Edwards block on Karly Murphy decisive on a play where the Senators could have tied scores up.

It was another monster performance from Danish import Sarah Mortensen for the Cougars as she delivered 33 points, 20 rebounds and four assists on 14/21 shooting with 4/8 from downtown.

Corasaniti nailed those three massive three-pointers to start the fourth quarter on her way to 11 points and seven rebounds with Steph Gorman playing stifling defence on Stacey Barr and having nine points, six steals, five assists and three rebounds.

Edwards added eight points, seven rebounds, five blocks and two assists, new import Patty Brossmann six points and three boards, and Jewel Williams five points, five assists and four rebounds.

It was the big moments late that Thwaites was especially happy with.

“Jessie ended up with five blocks and they were big blocks. Those sort of defensive moments weren’t part of Jessie’s game two years ago and she’s worked really hard to integrate them now,” Thwaites said.

“You would have seen the emotion from Jessie on one of those blocks and she’s not usually an overly emotional player on the court. I think that showed how much those moments meant to the group.

“Equally Steph put us up one when she pickpocketed Stacey, and she had six steals for the game, which were just big, big moments for us.

“The other part was when Jewel went out and young Amelia Corasaniti steps in and hits three big triples, which is a big stage to do it on for a youngster.

“To be fair, a bit of luck always has to go your way in these things too and we had a bit of that, but those things all added up fortunately to a two-point win.”

There was so much to like about what the Cougars did across both games on the weekend, but perhaps nothing more exciting than the efforts of teenagers Kinley Paterson and Amelia Corasaniti.

Paterson had a huge impact in her 12 minutes on Friday night with seven points and four rebounds while hounding Magic veteran Sam Richards before Corasaniti had a stunning cameo then on Saturday.

“It’s a really nice sign of what’s to come in the future for us as a club. To have two of them, we call them the hound dogs on the bench and they just come in and disrupt, annoy and frustrate,” Thwaites added.

“They dive on every loose ball and get up and in, and bother the opposition. For Amelia to impact the offensive end and also have to run the point on a big stage, I mean that’s why she was invited as part of an extended Australian squad and we expect big things from her in the future.

“That was a really nice moment and a good reward for effort for her.”

The other significant part of the weekend for the Cougars was import Patty Brossmann playing her first two games of the season after her season in Italy wrapped up.

She had seven points, eight rebounds and two assists in 25 minutes on Friday against Mandurah, then six points and three boards in just under 25 minutes on Saturday, and Thwaites is delighted to have her on board.

“It’s incredibly good to have Patty out there playing. Herself and Sarah Mortensen have hit it off immediately and they’ve known each other a long time through playing international basketball against each other growing up with Germany against Denmark,” Thwaites said.

“Patty knows she’s coming into a team that’s playing good basketball at the moment and knows she has  a role to play in that, and it was lovely on Friday night for her to have a steal and layup in her first moment of the game.

“The crowd loved it and that continued into Saturday. She’s finding her feet, and gives us flexibility with our line-up, which gives more opportunity to give Jessie a rest which makes her more effective too.

“It will take a few weeks to truly integrate her and we lost a bit of our offensive chemistry on the weekend, but that was expected. I think that will not only grow back, but grow an extra leg over the last six, seven weeks of the year.”

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