By SAMUEL DARROCH
LATROBE City Energy’s men started the second half of their BigV division one basketball campaign on the right note with a comfortable 13-point win over Melbourne University Black Angels at Traralgon.
Energy led from start to finish and quashed the Black Angels’ third quarter rally with a convincing 24-17 final period to remain within one win of fifth-placed Mildura Heat on the competition ladder.
Perennial point getters Jordan Canovan and Russell Permenter again led the way for Energy with 22 and 16 respectively while Nick Sedley posted 12 including two three-point efforts.
Energy’s dominance allowed coach Les Stothard to cycle through almost the entire rotation with 12 players used in total.
Michael Bridgman, Sebastian Fontaine and Jack White were all used in spurts, while Permenter enjoyed a rare week of peace with just 28 minutes of court time.
Despite the brevity of stay, the Texan made his presence felt in the post yet again with nine rebounds and four blocks, categories he is first and second respectively on average in the league.
The Energy women fell just shy of securing a Latrobe City double in a narrow four-point loss to Mildura Heat.
Energy led by two points at three-quarter-time but could not stave off Heat’s final quarter challenge and lost 82-86.
Jamilee Pearce amassed a monstrous game high 36 points to go with nine rebounds while Laura Joyce proved a great provider with seven assists.
Pearce has emerged as one of the league’s most valuable players with consistent performances week in week out.
In BigV average categories the Energy lynchpin sits: third for points per game (17.5), fifth for rebounds (9.6) and second for blocks (2.3) and steals (2.9).
Pearce’s 140 points places her fourth in the overall points department.
Energy has missed the impact of former Australian and Canberra Capitals player Michelle Cosier, who has played just one game for the club this season.
The men have a double header this weekend against Southern Peninsula Sharks and Sunbury Jets while the women face Geelong Supercats at home on Saturday.
Division One women
Camberwell Dragons d Altona Gators 52-50
Craigieburn Eagles d Whittlesea Pacers 59-55
Latrobe City Energy lt Mildura Heat 82-86
Sunbury Jets lt Warrandyte Venom 62-79
Division One Men
Hawthorn Magic lt Chelsea Gulls 59-74
Warrnambool Seahawks lt Altona Gators 71-90
Craigieburn Eagles lt Whittlesea Pacers 65-67
Melbourne University Black Angels d Sunbury Jets 69-66
Altona Gators lt Hawthorn Magic 65-75
Blackburn Vikings d Southern Peninsula Sharks 90-64
Whittlesea Pacers d Mildura Heat 67-61
Latrobe City Energy d Melbourne University Black Angels 83-70
Camberwell Dragons d Craigieburn Eagles 81-50
Geelong Supercats d Warrandyte Venom 74-71
Sunbury Jets lt McKinnon Cougars 75-76