Thunder starts with a bang

Isabelle Bourne. (Kilsyth Cobras)

Oliver Lees

Keilor Thunder has made the perfect start under new coach Kristi Harrower in the National Basketball League 1 South women’s competition.

Despite only having a handful of training sessions with Harrower’s new look list, the Thunder have found a way to gel early and currently sit unbeaten after three games.

Picking up where they left off after defeating Frankston 80-76, the Thunder travelled to the Diamond Valley on April 9.

In a convincing performance, the Thunder outscored their opponent by 17 points in the first term and the Eagles were never able to recover.

Even with their new star Maddison Rocci shooting just 22 per cent from the field, The Thunder played out a 72-53 win on the back of a scoring spread where five players finished in double digits.

But perhaps even more impressive was the Thunder’s match on Thursday against Kilsyth.

Rocci was not available for the match due to personal reasons, forcing Harrower to dig deeper into the rotation for the answers.

The Thunder outscored the Cobras in every quarter, including a third quarter where they held their opponent to just six points.

Grace Graham proved her worth coming off the bench, as she top scored for the Thunder with 18 points in 25 minutes.

Harrower said she was impressed with the on-court chemistry she’s seen among her players so far.

“It is a great start for us,” she said.

“We have great personnel in our group and a lot of experience, but I don’t want my players thinking we can just walk on the floor and expect to win.

“The chemistry is coming together slowly, Izzy [Bourne] and Penina [Davidson] had never played together before a couple weeks ago, but they’re already gelling.”

The Thunder are fielding an entirely new starting five from last season, with Harrower able to draw on her extensive experience as a player at the highest level.

Reflecting on the start of the year, she said she was most pleased with the efforts on the defensive end.

“Even when I was a player, the teams I was on where we were winning were all about defence,” she said.

“That’s the way I’m trying to coach the team, it’s about wearing teams down over 40 minutes.”

Meanwhile it’s been a less convincing start to the year for the Thunder men’s.

The Liam Glascott coached side was able to turn things around from its first game defeat when they travelled to Diamond Valley.

They beat the Eagles 110-106 in a see-sawing encounter, with the Eagles dominant 33 point final term not enough to get them across the line.

But the Thunder couldn’t back it up against Kilsyth.

After heading in to the quarter time break level, the Cobras pulled away to win 108-81.

Jalen Gibbs top scored for the Thunder with 27 points to go with eight rebounds, four assists and two steals.

The Thunder men’s and women’s played Geelong on Sunday in their first home game of season.