Melton has taken a vital 1-0 lead in the men’s Big V basketball division 1 best-of-three grand final series.
In their only home game of the series, the Thoroughbreds recovered from a slow start to storm back into contention in the second quarter.
After being down by 17 points in the first term, Melton found its shooting groove from the floor both from two-point and three-point range.
The Thoroughbreds outscored Latrobe 36-19 in the second quarter to go into half-time level.
Both sides continued the high standard of play in the second half as the momentum bounced around. But Melton made all the right moves and pulled off crucial plays to secure the 96-94 win.
Thoroughbreds coach Julie McCallum was impressed with the way her side responded from the slow start.
“I think we got caught in the headlights a bit in the first quarter,” she said. “We had to regroup and just remind the guys that everything we had done in the past few weeks had been working for us and we just had to relax a little bit.
“We said we didn’t need to do anything special; we just needed to enjoy the game and lift our intensity in defence. We knew we’d have to play really good defence and we didn’t in the first quarter. We stepped that up.”
Cameron McCallum was outstanding for Melton, the big man dominating both ends of the court. He scored 24 points and had 17 rebounds and was one of the driving forces in his side’s comeback.
He was well supported by Ivan Harris, who scored a game-high 26 points.
“Cam and Ivan were too big and too strong,” McCallum said.
“Latrobe don’t really have anyone that can match up on Cam – while Ivan, he didn’t have a standout game but 25 or 30 points is consistent for him now.
“Jeff Crowe had a quiet one by his standards, but someone else stepped up and filled his role. That’s the beauty of this team.”
The series moves to Latrobe this weekend for game two on Saturday night.
If Latrobe wins, the decider will be on Sunday afternoon.
“I don’t think we need to change too much,” McCallum said.
“We gave them a head start [in game one] and if we take away that I think we will be all right.
“It’s going to be tough on their court. We just need to treat this as game one, go in there and start again.”