The Latrobe City Energy men snapped a three-game BigV division one losing streak with a much needed victory on the road over Keilor Thunder at the weekend.
Improved defence was the foundation for Energy’s 90-74 win, with just 33 points conceded in a second half which saw the visitor amass 53 at the other end.
Coach Les Stothard said defensive lapses had been the side’s downfall in its previous three outings, and was stoked to see an improvement on Sunday.
“Defensively we haven’t been anywhere near good enough, we were allowing teams to dictate terms rather than us taking it to them and being a little bit passive rather than aggressive,” he said.
“We came out with a much more aggressive mindset (on Sunday), it didn’t work initially… as the game went on we got better and the second half was fantastic, it was probably our best half for the year.
“It all started from our defence, we were a lot more aggressive, had an emphasis on the defensive end and it led to some easy buckets in transition.”
Trailing by four points at half-time, Energy made all the running in the third and fourth quarters.
After early foul trouble United States import Terrance Beasley returned to the fray and made an impact at both ends, ending up with a double-double 17 points and 10 rebounds.
Jordan Canovan continued his run of form with 22 points and 10 rebounds, while Nick Sedley came off the bench and went five from eight at the three point line to rack up 17 points.
Stothard said it was a weight off to return to winning form after a lean patch, and as reigning premier admitted it was foreign territory being the hunted side of the competition.
“Relief is definitely one word (to describe it). We haven’t been playing anywhere near our best and we’ve been found out,” Stothard said.
“I still think our best is good enough to match it with the best teams, we won a championship last year. It’s not that we’ve dropped off in terms of our ability, it’s probably more a mindset thing and keeping guys motivated and focused.
“We’re now the team everyone wants to beat, people are putting a lot of time and effort into beating us and we’ve got to find ways to work through it.”
Boosted by a training visit from former Australian representative Belinda Snell, the Energy women made it a winning weekend for the club with a 77-71 win over Sunbury.