Vines saps the Energy

May 29, 2018

Shepparton Gators import Cameron Vines has lifted in recent weeks, dropping 69 points and reeling in 23 rebounds across his past two games.

Shepparton’s exceptional Big V division one season continued on Saturday night with a dominant performance on the road yet again.

The Gators smashed lowly Latrobe City Energy by 35 points to take their away record to 8-0 this campaign to go nicely with an overall standing of 12-1.

The Energy went into the clash a far cry from full strength, but Gators coach Leigh Bathman was still happy with the output of his troops in the convincing win.

‘‘They went into the game with both of their imports and a veteran guard out, so we probably did what was expected of us,’’ Bathman said.

‘‘We dominated pretty much from go-to-whoa, we were about 15 points up at quarter-time and extended our lead at every change.’’

Cameron Vines netted himself 34 points, 12 rebounds, four assists and three steals to continue his rich vein of form in recent weeks, while Matt Bartlett (21 points), Spencer Coleman (17 points and 18 rebounds), Nick Dodd (15 points) and Tyrone Mohamed (10 points) all cracked double figures in the scoring procession from the visitors.

‘‘We shot reasonably well from the field and we were just a bit too classy across the court,’’ Bathman said.

‘‘Cameron Vines was great and I think Nick Dodd was pretty good as well, and Matt Bartlett found a little bit more range.’’

As always there were still areas of the game the Gators could improve on, including their three-point shooting efficiency (25 per cent) and bench contributions.

‘‘They exposed us in a couple of areas, their size gave us a bit of trouble in the low post,’’ Bathman said.

‘‘We only had two points from the bench as well, so that’s an area we need to improve on.’’

The Gators return home this weekend for the start of a run of four matches at Shepparton Sports Stadium, but with big men Jake Cowling and Dodd likely to miss, it will once again fall to the rest of the squad to stand taller on the court.

‘‘The next four games we play are at home, but against really tough opposition,’’ Bathman said.

‘‘We probably won’t risk Jake Cowling this week coming back from his ankle injury and Nick Dodd is out again with work commitments.

‘‘But to get those hard-fought wins on the road this year when we’ve been low on numbers and rotations builds really good team character and trust within the group, so we’ll just take what comes at us.’’

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