NBL1: Breaking down the Centre of Excellence women's team
We take a look back at the CoE team's hugely promising NBL1 wildcard campaign.
The Basketball Australia Centre of Excellence (CoE) women’s team finished the NBL1 season a credible 10-6, showcasing some of the generation’s most intriguing talent along the way. They weren’t eligible for the playoffs in any conference, instead playing as a wildcard in an unusual system that nonetheless gave its young charges exposure to a wide range of NBL1 teams with varying play styles and depth levels across the country.
Among their most impressive victories were a furious fourth quarter comeback to secure a close win over the Willetton Tigers —last year’s NBL1 West champions— and a comfortable victory over the Joondalup Wolves, who at that stage were top of the table in the west. They also blew out some teams, recording winning margins of 40 (against East Perth) and 43 (Sutherland) and demolishing North Adelaide 98-37 in an embarrassingly one-sided encounter.
While they suffered some heavy losses, at other times, they acquitted themselves well while being on the wrong side of the result. A 7-point loss to the Frankston Blues, for example, was no disgrace, with current World Cup squad member Darcee Garbin (29 points) being the difference maker and the CoE team missing several regulars. Similarly, a narrow loss to a Townsville side coached by Shannon Seebohm and starring Steph Reid was an honourable defeat.
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