Geelong weekend ahead for Energy

LATROBE City Energy will be fighting to keep their BigV division one women’s finals dream alive when they face off against semi-final rival Geelong for the second time on Saturday.

The two sides fought out a thriller in Traralgon on Saturday, with scores locked at 67 points each at the final siren to send the game into overtime.

The Supercats proved slightly better in the end, managing one extra basket to leave the scoreboard at 77-75.

Despite his side facing a do-or-die away final, Energy women’s coach Andrew Harlow said there was no need to hit the panic button.

“It’s just a matter of tweaking things and getting a little tougher,” Harlow said.

“It’s not (about) major changes, it’s just a rethink of how we defend this team.”

Harlow can take heart from his team’s most recent away performance against Geelong, when the Energy women defeated their rivals 75-63 at the Geelong Arena.

In that game Shanice Steenholdt (25 points, six rebounds) and Chelsea D’Angelo (17 points, four rebounds) were the stand-out players.

Harlow said those two, in addition to Tanarly Hood and Alysha Marcucci, would be key to his side’s fortunes on Saturday.

Latrobe will be pleased that all four players are coming off solid performances in Saturday’s two-point loss.

Marcucci and Steenholdt were the stars, with both women recording double-doubles (20 points, 11 rebounds and 17 points, 11 rebounds, respectively).

Harlow said there would be no wholesale changes.

“We’ve got a full side; we got beaten by two in overtime, so there’s no need to panic,” he said.

One area the Energy will need to work on is how it defends Geelong centre Candice Rogers, who netted 31 points and recorded 17 rebounds at the weekend.

Harlow said his side would need to handle Rogers better and be tighter in defence.

If Latrobe manages to overcome Geelong on Saturday, the two sides will face off again on Sunday with the winner progressing to the grand final.

However, Harlow insisted Sunday was not on his mind.

“I’ve just really got to concentrate on winning on Saturday,” he said.

“That’ll be a rethink (about tactics for Sunday) after the game. We’ve beaten them there before, we know how to do it.

“It’s just a matter of going out and executing… and seeing where this takes us.”

Tip off is 3pm Saturday at the Geelong Arena.