AN atrocious, abysmal start cost an insipid Albury-Wodonga Lady Bandits dearly in an 86-45 smashing from Kilsyth Lady Cobras last night.
Kilsyth opened at the Lauren Jackson Sports Centre with a 14-2 run and never looked back.
The visitors repeatedly capitalised on errors to burn their hosts in transition and condemn the Border outfit to a thirteenth straight defeat.
Coach James Ballinger had this week implored his players to “come out swinging” but was instead left to lament an inexplicable first-half display.
“Terrible start and defensively, we didn’t get better until the second half,” Ballinger said.
“Trying to throw silly lob passes, soft turnovers and lack of accountability in transition, and that was it really.
“The start did everyone’s head in, I told them at half-time it simply wasn’t good enough.
“We rushed on offence, tried to be too cute and that’s just not going to get it done.”
Kilsyth was led by skipper Sarah Parsons’ 16 points.
She enjoyed solid support from Yvonne Anderson and Louella Tomlinson with 15 and 14 points respectively.
For Albury-Wodonga, import Emilee Harmon once again battled hard but was well-held by Tomlinson to just 13 points to go along with 11 rebounds.
It was 24-7 after one quarter, a margin that would have looked even worse were it not for a buzzer-beating three-pointer from import forward Rachel Maenpaa.
The Lady Bandits more than doubled their offensive output in the second quarter but still trailed 53-24 at the long break.
To their credit, the Border club battled hard in the third quarter but could not reduce the gap, the deficit remained at 29 points, 67-38, with 10 minutes left.
After that, there was little interest but the margin, Ballinger emptying his bench in the final minutes to give guard Kenna Hullick her first minutes on her home floor.