AS a collective, Latrobe City Energy’s BigV division one women had a year to forget, but the opposite was true for one of its players.
Captain Jamilee Pearce was outstanding throughout a lean campaign for Energy and finished the season among the leaders in almost every BigV statistical category, despite being shuffled around the court from week-to-week.
The 23 year-old topped the total points chart with 320 at 18.8 per game, the second best average in the league, and was top five for rebounds, blocks, steals and free throws.
Part of the senior setup since 2006, Pearce has passed the 300-point mark in five of her past six seasons, including a whopping 438 in 2007, and has become the team’s talisman in recent times.
Free from a troublesome back injury which has plagued her in the past, Pearce said her 2013 season form was largely a byproduct of increased confidence at the top level.
“I’ve probably gained a bit more experience than some of the other players… experience playing at that higher level,” she said.
“This year I have got my back under control so that’s a good factor… I wasn’t as injured and just lots of hard training and… gym sessions as well. I was a lot fitter and it all fell into place.
“It was a tough year this year to previous years and we did struggle, but it was good to still pull some alright numbers throughout the year.”
Energy finished seventh on the ladder but salvaged its season with a late five-game winning streak as the young playing group improved against tough opposition.
“In past years we’ve had a few more taller players, we’ve had a bit more height and this year we’ve had a lot of new players come into the team who are still really young and (they’re) coming up against teams that have just dropped out of championship or are fighting for championship,” Pearce said.
“We got that first win and they got the taste of winning and everyone just worked really hard at training and wanted to keep winning.”
Playing alongside sisters, Danni and Samantha, for the first time in Energy colours, Pearce stepped up to the leadership position in game and at training, where she was active in putting the team through its paces.
In a league saturated with Women’s National Basketball League players and other high performance athletes, Pearce said Energy did well to reach a competitive level by season end.
“It was just good to be out there playing. I suppose it’s hard in a regional team… we’re trying to pull players from everywhere, so it was good just to have a team and be competitive in the league we were in.”
Pearce said she hoped to continue at BigV level but could not confirm her immediate playing future.