ROCKETS MEN WIN AN ANZAC THRILLER AGAINST NORWOOD

ROCKETS MEN WIN AN ANZAC THRILLER AGAINST NORWOOD 

In an absolute thriller, (the lead changed 17 times) won by a  "Lucky" basket in the last few seconds, the Rocket boys have done it again, fighting their way back from a double digit deficit, to beat a tough Norwood team by a single point. Despite being outmanned following the late withdrawal of John Wernham, the boys showed a spirit worthy of the day, by refusing to lie down when pressured, exemplified by the unbelievable performance of Adam Schild who was awarded the inaugural ANZAC medal for his 40 minute effort.

After two disappointing losses, Coach Hawkes was looking for a response from his team and he got it in spades. Great crowd, great day, great performance and a great win putting the boys back on track!!! 

The game started slowly with both teams appearing nervous given the occasion, and after some three minutes it was only 5-4 Rockets way. Neither side could get any momentum going, and the lead changed back and forth as they traded baskets. Aric and Lucky started well with  4 points each, but Brett Collins, despite only coming on with four minutes to go, had a very good first quarter. His 7 points (on 3 of 3 shooting) and 3 rebounds (2 offensive), hitting a basket on the buzzer, gave the North boys a 1 point lead at the break 23-22. The stat that put a smile on the Coaching staff's collectives faces however, was the rebound count 13-6 Rocket's way, in a big team effort. The only issue was the number of fouls the boys had racked up early (total of 6), with Leroy having 2.

The second quarter started well, Lucky scoring a basket and a bonus free throw, giving us a 4 point lead within the first 15 seconds, but Norwood, mainly though the efforts of Matty Lycett and Andrew Webber fought their way back into the game. NBL'er, Jacob Holmes was also starting to have some influence, with 6 rebounds, but thankfully had not made any impression on the scoreboard. Tom Rowe had 9 points for the quarter, Brett Collins took his tally to 10, with a big three, and Adam with 5 rebounds (3 offensive), and 6 points was starting to be a factor. Lucky was also important, with 9 points, and 3 rebounds, despite having 3 fouls. Norwood did manage to stretch the lead to 10, at the 5 minute mark, but some good defence and quick transition saw the boys peg it back to 5 at the break for a 44-49 score line.

The 3rd quarter was an absolute cracker, with Norwood stretching their lead to 10 points on several occasions. Matt Lycett hit three consecutive 3's in a big couple of minutes, but the North boys didn't panic, concentrating on getting the next stop and running a decent offence. Aric had a fantastic quarter shooting 7 of 10, for 14 points (18 for the game), and dishing out several excellent assists. Adam, now up to 30 minutes playing time had racked up 8 rebounds, 8 points and a big block. Brett Collins had 13, following another 3 pointer, Lucky had 11 and Leroy was up to 6 rebounds, 8 points and 3 assists. Having rotated only seven players a few people may have been wondering if the Rocket boys might run out of puff but as anyone on the squad will tell you, they pride themselves on their fitness, so a big last quarter to come. Scores were 67-68.

If the 3rd was a cracker then the last was an absolute double bunger!!!!!!!  Within seconds a Lycett basket made the margin three points, but a Brett Collins response saw the margin quickly back to just one. There was then a period where defence dominated and both teams struggled to score, but a Daniel Goodluck 3 pointer at the 7 minute mark, saw the Rockets hit the front for the first time since the second quarter. The scores were then level again at 72 all, 74 all, and 76 all, before a Jacob Holmes 3 pointer (his first) saw Norwood take a handy lead 76-79 with 3 minutes 57 seconds to go. The three point deficit remained until the two minute mark when an Adam Schild basket off a great assist by Aric saw the margin at one. An exciting last two minutes appeared likely.  The score was 81-82 and it stayed that way for the rest of the game almost !! With 31 seconds remaining and the deficit still one, the boys looked to run an offence to give themselves the lead, but a bad turnover saw us hand the ball back to Norwood who tried to run the clock down in an effort to make the win impossible for the Rockets. But with still 7 seconds on the clock a Jacob Holmes miss was rebounded by Adam, who outlet the ball to Lucky who managed to get a shot off with what must have been a fraction of a second on the clock. Everyone in the stadium held their breath as the ball arched towards the basket before dropping in for an exciting 1 point win and pandemonium on the North bench. The Boys had done it again, being down and almost out they had come back to win at home, in exciting fashion for the third time, and maintain their unbeaten run at Hillcrest this season.

Adam Schild was the popular choice for the ANZAC medal (awarded for the first time by BSA)  for his 40 minute marathon. He had 14 points, 12 rebounds, and a big block. But what a team effort. Aric had 18 points, 8 rebounds, 9 assists and 2 steals. Lucky had 16 points, 4 rebounds, and a steal; Brett Collins in his best game this year had 15 points, 5 rebounds and an assist; Leroy had 10 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals. Pikey had a quiet offensive game but his 5 rebounds and defensive effort on Matt Lycett at different times, had an influence on the game as did Tom Rowe with his usual Captain's effort, and 9 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists.

To say the boys were pleased is an understatement. Coach Hawkes was impressed with the work rate, portrayed in the 47-39 rebound count and the sheer effort defensively. A big win, putting us at 5 and 2. No one is getting carried away but if you are looking for excitement, this is the team to see.

Another tough game next Saturday night against Forestville at Wayville.




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