North Adelaide: 85
After beating the Eagles at home less than 24 hours earlier, the Warriors looked to go 2 straight while the Rockets wanted to redeem themselves after a 6-point loss to the Bearcats the night before.
With Woodville opening up the contest and looking good early leaving the scores nearly even midway through the first term, a great contest was in store. The amount of hustle was extravagant and displayed on the scoreboard with both clubs trading baskets. This wasn’t the only thing that was being traded as the lead changed 7-times within the first quarter.
The second quarter was much the same with leads flipping back and forth. But it was the Warriors who took the lead heading into the second half after 5 lead changes throughout the quarter.
North Adelaide’s John Wernham opened the second quarter with 2 of his 4 points for the contest. Daniel Carlin (8 points, 9 rebounds) replied with a nice standing dunk keeping the margin to only 1-point.
Luke Mapunda (9-points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists), the North Adelaide veteran, showed some of his skill dropping a triple over a defender once again for 30-27 lead. With a tight lead, the Warriors went on a 12-3 run with 5:13 remaining in the half.
Woodville were up by a small 6-points at the halftime break but showed their determination to extend it by demonstrating extra defensive hustle around the rim with back-to-back blocks by Stanbridge and Miller respectively. Despite this, the Rockets chipped away and took the lead late in the third term. After a quick Warrior take back of the lead, the Rockets were able to extend their new lead out to a few possessions heading into the final term.
The third term showed some exciting passages of play with North Adelaide’s Ray Harding finishing through contact after a pretty move. Also, with some excellent defence forcing the Rockets to use the entire shot-clock, Darcy Aistrope (11-points and 1 rebound) put up a buzzer beater and sunk a bank shot to cut the margin at the time to 2. Brad Jonnek also sent his defender flying after a wonderful pump fake. Jonnek chipped in 20-points and 7 rebounds in the game.
Opening what was supposed to be the final term was the unusually quiet Alex Starling after a nice dish from Mapunda. Starling scored 12-points, well below his season average (24.75) and grabbed an outstanding 17 rebounds including 2 offensive boards. With emotions running high, the contest was getting much more physical by the minute.
With the end of the 4th insight, the Rockets had a 5-point lead with under a minute remaining. This was until Christopher Clausen (14-points, 6 rebounds) dropped a nice 3 with 42 seconds remaining and delivered again soon after hitting 2 clutch free throws to tie the game with just under 30 seconds remaining. Despite having the final shot of the contest, Woodville couldn’t get the win in regulation time.
With only playing an overtime game last week where they were victorious, they would have loved to continue that momentum. That is exactly what North Adelaide did. The Rockets took over and outscored their opponents 16-8 giving them the 8-point victory.
This victory leaves the Rockets a 2-point lead over the second place Sturt Sabres while the Warriors are still battling for 7th place, 2-points and percentage behind the Panthers. Both clubs will have a chance to extend and close their respective gaps on June 17th when the Warriors host the Bearcats and the Rockets travel to the ARC to take on Norwood.