In their most disappointing performance so far this season, the Rockets Premier League Men’s Team lost badly to reigning Premier Woodville 64-92 on Wednesday evening. An off game for several of the boys, combined with the loss of main “big man” John Wernham to an achilles injury early in the first quarter, after what had been a very good start for him, didn’t help our cause, but a career high game from Adam Schild off the bench was one bright spot on what was otherwise a dark night at the Dome.

The game started well enough with the boys playing to instruction, defending aggressively and moving the ball well in offence giving us the opportunity to put up some good shots. But disaster struck at about the 5 minute mark, with John feeling discomfort in his lower leg and he had to be subbed out after scoring 6 points on 3 of 5 field goals, as well as securing a rebound and an assist. Adam Schild entered the fray in John’s place and started what was to be a career high scoring game for him in a massive 35 minutes playing time. Credit to his fitness and effort (having played extended minutes in the Men’s Reserves the night before). 36er Mitch Creek was, as expected, an offensive threat to us, and defensively we made every effort to slow him down in the full court and keep him off the boards, but he was playing well, as were several other Woodville players as they shared the load. At one stage we did lead 11-6, but Woodville pegged us back and quarter time scores were 19-23 their way. Aric had a good first quarter with 9 points and 3 assists, and as mentioned John had 6 points. Of major concern however, even at this early stage was the fact we were outrebounded 8-15. 

Unfortunately the second quarter did not go well. We managed just 12 points (Woodville scored 22), as our offence stuttered and we found no easy avenue to the basket. At one stage we went for almost 3 minutes without scoring at all and even the introduction of Pikey, who has proven to be a very reliable scorer off the bench this season, made no difference. The boys were trying very hard but nothing seemed to be going right with unnecessary turnovers, missed shots and our inability to secure enough rebounds at either end of the floor proving costly. At the half, the score 31-45, Aric had 13 points, 4 assists and 2 steals, and John was still the next best with his 6 from the first quarter.

Despite the difficulties of the first half the mood was positive in the change rooms as the coaches considered what adjustments had to be made. We had shown to be capable of big comebacks in several games this year and with that in mind the third quarter started well.   Adam was really settling into the game, scoring 10 for the quarter and taking several big rebounds, and Lucky got going as he managed another 8. Woodville were proving difficult to stop though, and in an effort to try something a little different, Coach Hawkes introduced Isaac and Brad off the bench, both proven scorers, who certainly approached the opportunity very positively, but could not make any leeway on the scoreboard. Managing to score 21 for the quarter certainly helped our cause, but unfortunately ordinary defence allowed Woodville to score 29 giving them a 22 point lead at the final break. Adam was the shining light with 14 points in total, followed by Aric on 13 and Lucky on 10.  

The last quarter was a tough one. Both teams used their benches for extended periods, with Woodville, given they were in a match winning position playing with freedom, and running the ball from end to end supporting each other. Final score was 64-92, and statistically our worst game of the season in most categories. Coach Hawkes was particularly disappointed in the rebound count (29-53 Woodville’s way), and the overall efficiency (which for the first 5 games averaged 98), falling to a season low of only 42. Adam Schild was the standout with 18 points on 8 of 14 shooting, 7 rebounds, 2 blocks and an efficiency of 23 on his own. Aric finished with 13 points, 5 assists and 2 steals, Lucky 10 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists, Leroy had 7 points, 5 rebounds and an assist. There were also some nice little cameos from the substitutes as players were rotated in and out in an effort to change the momentum. Brad Jonnek in extended court time, scored 5 points on 2 of 2 shooting (one long 3) also managing to snare a couple of defensive rebounds. Isaac also managed to score, took a couple of rebounds and added an assist. Woodville had contributors all over the court, with 4 players in double figure points including Creek who also secured 15 rebounds. A bad night but the boys are still 4 and 2.

Again, little time to reflect as we have another tough game against Norwood on Saturday(Anzac Day), 3:00pm at Hillcrest.  Promises to be a beauty with the North boys having something to prove, after the last two games, and Norwood showing the rest of the competition they mean business, with the addition of NBLer Jacob Holmes to their lineup.



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