The Rockets Boys faced a tough opponent in reigning premier Woodville on Saturday night at Hillcrest, determined to maintain their good start to the season. History shows that we had not beaten Woodville in any of the last 6 games at this venue and had not beaten them at all since 2012, so a big task. The Warriors had also added current Sixer Mitch Creek to their roster over the summer, to compliment what was already a very good team.

The first quarter was a close affair with neither offence able to dominate. Both defences were on top, and it took Woodville until the 7 minute mark to hit their first field goal, keeping themselves in touch through foul shooting. The Rocket boys managed to get to an early lead, but unfortunately some early fouls, with Brett Collins and Luke Mapunda on 2 each, restricting them to the bench for an extended period. Scoring was very even for us, with Lucky, John Wernham (2 of 2 from the field) and Pikey all managing to score 4, whilst for Woodville, Creek had already displayed some of his many skills with 8 first quarter points.  After a good start by the boys, the early fouls caused some readjustment and we found ourselves down 17-23 at the first break, with Woodville scoring 9 of those points from the foul line. 

The second quarter saw Woodville stretch their lead to 11 at one stage, largely on the back of Creek adding 11 more points to his tally (up to 19) and 5 more rebounds (up to 7), but the Rockets had several contributors, with Tom Rowe notching up 8 points and Adam Schild coming in off the bench (following John Wernham’s third personal foul), snaring a couple of defensive rebounds and a big block.  Despite us managing to get the deficit back to 2 with only a few seconds to go, Woodville enjoyed a 4 point buffer at half time. The Rockets scoring was still very even, with Aric on 7, Lucky and Tommy on 8, and Pikey on 6. John Wernham led the way in the rebound count with 4.

The half time break gave the coaches time to reassess, and their request for more defensive pressure in the 3rd was delivered in spades. We outscored Woodville 29 to 17 with fast aggressive offence and smothering defence evident. The team displayed great confidence in a match winning quarter. Aric showed the sort of player he can be with 11 points for the quarter (3 of 3 from outside the three point line), 3 assists and a couple of steals !!  Pikey also continued his great form off the bench with a 6 point quarter, Luke Mapunda was up to 8 rebounds, John Wernham despite having 4 fouls managed 5 rebounds and 8 points and Adam Schild had racked up 5 rebounds (3 offensive) and 6 important points.  But the most rewarding team stat of all showed what great defence we played with Mitch Creek not registering a point or a rebound, but turning the ball over 3 times in 10 playing minutes !!!!!!! A fantastic team effort. At the last change, scores were 70-62 and the Rocket boys had their heads up.

The last quarter was very tight and scores were kept low, with defences again on top. Woodville managed to get it back to 6 points a couple of times, but the North boys maintained their composure (despite some misses from the foul line) and won, with a final score of 84-77. Brett Collins, Tom Rowe and Aric maintained control at the point, and made sure that Woodville didn’t get any momentum going. The noisy bench and big crowd also contributed to the win with lots of vocal support. Statistical leaders for the game were Aric Miller with 22 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals, Lucky with 11 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals, John Wernham with 10 points, 5 rebounds, and 1 blocked shot, Tom Rowe with 14 points, 7 rebounds, and a steal, Adam Schild with 6 points, 7 rebounds (3 offensive), and a blocked shot, Luke Mapunda with 9 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists and a steal, and Luke Pike with 12 points and 3 rebounds. Again a great team effort with the difference being the ability of all our players to contribute in different ways.

2 and 0, with South next Saturday at Hillcrest. Long way to go but a great start.



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