By samuel darroch
A HEARTBREAKING one-point loss to Southern Peninsula Sharks at home on Saturday night fuelled Latrobe City Energy men’s fire for their Sunday road trip to Sunbury.
Energy grounded the Jets in an impressive 91-79 win away from home after a slow start to the division one game.
“It was a well deserved win and the guys… wanted to respond from the disappointing loss on Saturday night,” coach Les Stothard said.
“We seemed to have it in control; every time they made a bit of a run we responded with a run of our own.”
Despite the turnaround, Stothard said the loss at home to the Sharks was a sore point in the double header.
“It was a very disappointing loss; we just didn’t have any urgency defensively for the majority of the game,” he said.
“To get back in the game it shows where the guys are headed and the character of the guys, they could have easily just folded over.”
After winning the first quarter 25-22, a lack of defensive enthusiasm and poor shooting at the line left Energy playing catchup for the remainder of the night.
Trailing by 10 at the final break, Energy rallied to mount a spirited fourth quarter fightback but failed to execute in the final 30 seconds as the Sharks held their nerve at the line to win by one point.
While Energy won the fourth quarter 28-19, the damage had been done earlier in the match; in the third Energy managed just three from 16 field goal attempts and made five of 13 free throws.
“Going nine for 20 (from the foul line) was unacceptable to be honest, we missed far too many free throws and lay ups at critical stages of the game and in the end it was probably the difference,” Stothard said.
Energy remains in fourth on the Watson ladder and increased its lead over the Sharks despite losing their clash.
“We have dropped some games we probably expected ourselves to win but luckily those games haven’t done too much damage in terms of ladder position,” Stothard said.
“If someone had of said we’d be in fourth position with eight games to go I certainly would have taken that at the start of the year.”
Energy’s division one women’s season continued to disappoint with a 79-66 loss to Geelong Supercats on Saturday.
The home side went to the main break on even keel with Geelong at 31-31, but was outscored 27-19 and 21-16 in the second half.
Outside shooting proved a stumbling point, with two from 13 successful three-point attempts.