Lions search for further improvement after passing Cougars test

Brisbane West Lions are seeking further improvement after blowing Samsung QSNL Division 1 wide open with a win over competition giants Brisbane North Cougars last weekend.

The Lions snapped the Cougars perfect 7-0 run with a 56-55 win in Toowoomba, reigniting a competition which had begun to look like a foregone conclusion.

Even more impressive than the result was the tenacity shown by Brisbane West, as they reeled off five straight fourth quarter goals to roll over the top of their opposition after trailing all game.

Coach Christine Voge said her side had the Cougars rematch in the back of their minds since their round five loss to the defending premiers.

“The game against Cougars was one we were really looking forward to. We were disappointed with our performance last time we played them where we weren’t at our best,” Voge said.

“The girls really stuck to our game plan and prepared well. We were down by seven goals after the first quarter, but we were getting better. We were starting to ruffle the Cougars and we significantly improved as the game went on. Our tall goal keeper Ashlen Garrett was injected in the last quarter and she made a strong impact.

“The girls were really happy and it’s important to celebrate those milestone wins. It was a great team effort. We built, improved and rattled them in that last quarter to get the victory.”

The Lions have significantly benefited from the end of the representative season, with Queensland stars such as Lucinda Benjamin, Tippah Dwan and Mia Henderson now training with their club side regularly.

“We have a lot of talented players in the group and to have everyone back twice a week working really hard on court is important,” Voge said.

“It’s helped us. We addressed early in the season that the first half was going to be really challenging for us because of the representative commitments of the girls. We talked about the second half of the season being ours and really pushing hard to get where we wanted to be when we hit that point.

“We’re under no illusion though that every other team we come up against over the coming weeks will have also improved. They have also had more time together, so we’re not taking anyone lightly.”

The Lions take on Suncoast Lynx on their opposition’s home court at Morayfield Leisure Centre tomorrow, with the top four race still well and truly on with a fortnight to play.

“Because each team is a little bit different we need to be prepared to adapt and change the way we defend or attack. We can’t just do the same thing and become predictable,” Voge said.

“We’ve talked and planned really well during the week as to who we’re playing and what we need to do to be successful. I’ll keep challenging the group to step up to consider their opposition so we can do better.

“We also need to become more cohesive in attack. Defensively we’ve improved significantly and I feel like we’re meeting our benchmarks, but in attack we need to become quicker and smarter out there.

“We take every game as it comes, but our aim at the start of the season was to be in finals contention and push to win it for the region.”