Wilson wants run to roll on

February 19, 2024 BY

Team player: While Bendigo Spirit legend Kelly Wilson marked a personal milestone recently, she said she’s firmly focused on keeping her team’s hot streak alive and pushing for a deep post-season run. Photo: FILE

AS she approaches her four-hundred and fifty-second match in Women’s National Basketball League action, Kelly Wilson does not want Bendigo Spirit’s surge to stop.

Spirit fans are being urged to pack Red Energy Arena this Saturday night for a huge showdown with Perth Lynx.

A special promotion to celebrate Wilson’s record 450th WNBL match which she played on Canberra’s court last Thursday includes free entry for children to the Spirit and Lynx contest.

Bendigo’s team rides a five-game winning streak in to the last round of the regular season.

An 11-9 record has Spirit in third place.

Beat Lynx and Spirit is into the play-offs.

It’s been a “must win” scenario for Wilson and her team-mates for many weeks in the Cygnett-backed Women’s National Basketball League season.

A 93-60 victory against reigning champions and ladder-leading Townsville last Sunday was clearly Spirit’s best result so far.

“To be in the finals is why we all play the game,” Wilson said.  “We are playing with confidence and the momentum has kept building each game.”

Two of the club’s and league’s finest players, Wilson and Kelsey Griffin chalked up milestones as Spirit took on Canberra last Thursday.

On a night where Wilson played game 450, Griffin lined up for game 150 in Spirit colours and also passed the 3500-points mark.

The Spirit stars are four-time WNBL champions whose experience and skill has played a big part in Spirit’s resurgence.

“It was not the best start [0-4], but we have kept working incredibly hard,” Wilson said of this season’s run.

“In any season there will be highs and lows.

“Playing Fire at Townsville was always going to be a tough match.”

Belief within the group it could upset Fire was high.

“The mindset was a win in Townsville was achievable, but we would have to work really hard to do so,” Wilson said.

The Kennedy Kereama-coached Spirit won every quarter against the Fire.

More importantly was the spread of contributions, not just in points, but rebounds, assists, and defensive acts.

Spirit’s late-season surge began with a 21-point win on Perth’s court.

It was a few days after a 21-point loss to Southside Flyers in Melbourne.

“Southside’s a great team, but we did not play the type of basketball we are capable of,” Wilson said.

“There was not a lot of time to dwell on defeat.

“We quickly moved on to preparing for the next game against Perth. A win there was the confidence boost we needed.”

Now the focus is on Lynx and marking another home-court victory.

“Playing in Bendigo means so much to me,” Wilson said.

“Bendigo is home and it’s another chance to play in front of family, friends, and a passionate group of Spirit fans.

Saturday night’s match between Spirit and Lynx tips off at 7.30pm.

To get courtside for the action adult tickets are two for $20 and kids go free with an adult ticket purchase. Use promo code 20OFFER when booking.