The Rockets boys have done it again. After being down to Centrals by as many as 12 points half way through the 2nd Quarter, and with key player Aric Miller on 4 fouls, the boys hung tough, maintained their belief and managed to fight their way back (again) and win by a comfortable 15 points in front of an enthusiastic Starplex crowd. We certainly can’t complain about the games being interesting and exciting so far in 2015 !!


The game started particularly well for us, with a quick 7 point run. Lucky got a great layup, Aric hit a 3 and followed it with another 2 and the Rocket bench was jumping. Centrals were reeling and reacted by subbing out 3 players after just 75 seconds. It paid immediate dividends for them however, as they settled into the game and fought their way back. Import Tyler Kennedy hit a couple of 3 pointers, which set the tone for the rest of the night, Centrals showing that this year they will rely on the 3 point shot somewhat.  Despite the great start, the mood changed quickly for the Rockets as Aric picked up his 3rd foul with 4 minutes still on the clock which required Coach Hawkes to make a change sooner than he would have liked. As the quarter wore on it became an arm wrestle, with the scoreboard showing Rockets 22, Centrals 26. Lucky had a great start with 8 points, and a couple of rebounds, and despite his early fouls, Aric had 6 points and an assist.


The second quarter proved a little frustrating as things just didn’t seem to be going the Rockets way. Cheap fouls, a few unnecessary turnovers, and Centrals just seemed to be hitting a lot of long 3 point shots (they had hit 9 by half time). To make matters worse Coach Hawkes couldn’t get Aric back on the court, in an effort to protect him from further foul trouble. He was finally reintroduced at the 7 and a half minute mark, but within 30 seconds had picked up an offensive foul, making it 4 in total and again he had to go to the bench.  It seemed to be one of those nights, with Centrals getting the lead to 12 early in the quarter, however, Lucky (12 points) John Wernham (11 points, 5 rebounds), Leroy (6 points, 6 rebounds) and Luke Pike who was enjoying some extra valuable minutes off the bench (8 points, 3 rebounds), all kept us in the game. Half time score 49-50.


Things were very positive in the change room at half time and the Coach’s plea for better defensive effort which he assured everyone would see them struggle to score (he suggested we could keep them to less than 15 points) proved to be prophetic and his decision to start Aric despite his 4 fouls was inspirational.


The third quarter saw “Rocket Ball” at its very best.  Run, run, run and smothering defense. A 13–0 start to the boys, with Aric contributing 9, saw us lead by 12, (62-50). Centrals were struggling, made several changes in personnel, called a time out and tried everything they could, but the Rocket boys could not be stopped. We out-scored them 29-11 (Aric had 21 for the quarter), and everyone who stepped on the court contributed.  Lucky was up to 16 points, (5 of 9 from the field), John Wernham had 9 rebounds, Tom Rowe had 4 assists, Brett Collins had 4 rebounds (2 offensive) and Leroy had 9 rebounds. Aric was up to 27 points and the lead blew out to 21, allowing Coach to introduce Brad Jonnek for some extended court time. Brad scored 45 in the Men’s Reserves during the week so the boys were looking for some continuation of that form. The score at the last break was 78-61.


The last was more like the first and second quarters with Centrals hitting some long threes, keeping themselves within touch but never really threatening to win the game. The difference did get down to 9 points at one stage but the bench had been “cleared” and the boys were always in control. The final score was 103-88, a comfortable 15 points, and keeping us on track for a good season. Contributions came across the board, with Aric (29 points in limited minutes, 4 assists and 2 steals), Lucky (18 points, 2 assists and 2 steals), John (22 points, 9 rebounds), Tom (7 points, 5 assists, and 2 steals), Brett (5 rebounds (3 offensive), and only 1 turnover), Brad (hit his required 3 pointer, and 2 rebounds), Adam (2 points, 2 rebounds), Leroy (13 rebounds, 2 assists and 6 points), Pikey (4 rebounds, 8 points) and Isaac had a very productive 1 minute 30 seconds off the bench for 5 points.


Big week coming up with 3 games in 8 days (Friday the 17thWednesday the 22nd and Saturdaythe 25th). Make sure you are there.


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