Playoff peril for Energy

LATROBE City Energy stumbled out of the BigV division one men’s finals series at the weekend while the women are on their last legs following a two-point overtime loss to Geelong.

The men’s side was eliminated by Melton in its semi-final showdown at Caroline Springs after a 92-76 loss.

Melton savaged the Energy in the first half with back-to-back 28 point quarters to lead by 29 points at half-time.

The visitor threw everything at it in the second half, which it won by 13 points, but the deficit was too great in the end.

United States imports Jordan Coleman (28 points, seven rebounds) and Raheem Lemons (16 points, 13 rebounds) led the way as they have done all season offensively as their adopted side bowed out of contention for 2016.

The Energy women are still alive but have a tough road ahead to progress to the grand final after dropping game one at home to Geelong in a best of three semi-final series.

It was a back and forth battle from start to finish and the teams could not be separated in normal time.

Energy had a chance to steal the win but missed with the final shot of the fourth quarter, which led to overtime.

The Supercats clawed out a 10-8 extra-time win to claim a thrilling 77-75 victory.

Energy women’s coach Andrew Harlow said it would be a hard ask to win twice on the road to Geelong next week, but had no doubt it was possible.

“You’ve got to win your home final and we’ve made it hard for ourselves, but we’re still in it,” Harlow said.

“We’ve just got to find a way. We beat them in Geelong last time and we’ve got to get back to that sort of form again.

“We have to find a way to counteract their centre, throw their offence into a different look and knock down our own shots, that’s the key to it.”

The Geelong centre in question was Candice Rogers, who knocked down 31 points and grabbed 17 rebounds in a match-winning double-double.

“We contained the rest of the team really well we just couldn’t contain her, she had a big night,” Harlow said.

Energy had contributors across the court.

Alysha Marcucci (20 points, 11 rebounds) and Chelsea D’Angelo (15 points, eight rebounds, four assists) slotted back into the lineup this week and each made an impact.

US import Shanice Steenholdt recorded yet another double-double of 17 points and 13 rebounds, while Tanarly Hood’s 16 points and six steals were full of merit.

“It was tight all game. We drew the first quarter,” Harlow said.

“We won the last quarter, we had the last shot of the game and couldn’t knock it down. We went into overtime and just couldn’t get over the line in the end.

“We had good output but we just needed a little bit more off the bench; a couple of extra-points here and there can make all the difference.”

Energy must now win twice on the road to advance to the BigV division one grand final.

The side is set to play Geelong in game two on Saturday with a chance to force a third and deciding game on Sunday, which would also be staged in Geelong.

“It was really important we get this win at home… now it becomes sudden death for us and we’ve got to win this next one,” Harlow said.