LATROBE City Energy scored a big win over Warrandyte Venom at home on Saturday night, but it was not enough to secure a home final in Big V division one.
Needing Hawthorn or McKinnon to falter for a chance at a top two finish, Energy did all it could to maximise its differential with a 34-point win, but the Magic’s tense two-point triumph over Whittlesea ensured Latrobe City remained third on the conference ladder. The result means Energy will travel to Mildura for its first cross conference playoff, a fixture it won handily 96-59 in the penultimate round of matches last fortnight.
Texan star Russell Permenter, who was fit but rested as a precaution against a minor ankle concern, said Energy was pumped to dive into the playoffs after missing out by the barest of margins in 2012.
“Missing out last year was a really tough pill to swallow… we just want to make the most of the opportunity. Hopefully we’re just going to come out with the same hunger and same intensity,” Permenter said.
“We’re definitely looking forward to getting up there again and getting a well deserved win.
“It’s single elimination up to the finals so everybody is going to come out a little more nitty and gritty and they’re not going to want to drop a game… we’ve just got to make sure we come out focused and ready to play each game like our last because it very well could be.”
Having won eight of its last nine matches, Permenter said Energy’s morale was high heading into finals.
“We’re doing fantastic right now, confidence is sky high and the guys and everybody around the team are really getting around each other,” he said.
“My teammates have been outstanding to watch in the last couple of weeks and I wouldn’t want another group of guys to go in to battle with.”
With Permenter on the sidelines Jordan Canovan led the in-form Energy with 22 points, eight assists and eight steals. The reliable Calvin Rees turned in a double double consisting of 18 points and 14 rebounds, while Jarryd Moss and Steve Bonacci both put up 11 points.
The side will play away at Mildura on Saturday at 7pm.
In the women’s match Energy’s winning streak fizzled to an end in a 55-74 loss to Warrandyte. Out of the finals race and playing for pride, Jamilee Pearce capped off a fine season with another all round performance, tallying 12 points, 14 rebounds and four blocks.
Pearce finished the 18-round season on top of the point scorers’ list with 320 to her name, and finished in the top five for almost every BigV statistical category.
Division One Men
Chelsea Gulls lt Hawthorn Magic 51-82
Geelong Supercats lt McKinnon Cougars 75-95
Craigieburn Eagles lt Mildura Heat 44-70
Latrobe City Energy d Warrandyte Venom 86-52
Warrnambool Seahawks lt Southern Peninsula Sharks 63-66
Blackburn Vikings d Sunbury Jets 96-52
Melbourne University Black Angels d Craigieburn Eagles 76-63
Camberwell Dragons lt Mildura Heat 72-87
Sunbury Jets d Altona Gators 102-88
Hawthorn Magic d Whittlesea Pacers 80-78
Division One Women
Craigieburn Eagles d Geelong Supercats 60-45
Latrobe City Energy lt Warrandyte Venom 54-77
Whittlesea Pacers d Hawthorn Magic 76-50
Camberwell Dragons lt Geelong Supercats 48-54
Sunbury Jets d Altona Gators 79-47