The Rockets Men’s Premier League Team went down to Woodville on Saturday night at the St Clair Recreation Centre, in a very entertaining game. Despite being down by 17 at the first break, the boys fought back to give themselves a chance with a quarter to go, but Woodville, mainly off the back of their 36ers connection (Creek with 23 points & 19 rebounds and Ng with 28 points), despite some anxious moments, managed to run out 10 point winners 89-79.


Both teams looked to start the game quickly, crashing the boards and running hard, but some unnecessary turnovers (6 for North and 5 for Woodville for the quarter) curtailed the scoring and by the 5 minute mark, it was just 6-11 with John Wernham contributing 4 points, a block and a steal for us.  With 3 minutes to go the boys were 5 points down (10-15), but a burst from Woodville with Ng in particular showing why he was an NBL scorer for several years and hitting some 3’s, saw them outscore us 2-14 in the remaining time before the opportunity to regroup presented at the break. Some adjustments needed to be made and Coach Hawkes made sure the boys knew what was required. Of major concern was the fact we were outrebounded 8-14, but the coaching staff remained positive and asked the boys to play the way they have all season, and be confident. For the Rockets, the scoring statistics were even, with John, Leroy and Aric all having 4 points whilst Ng was already up to 12 for Woodville.


The 2nd quarter was much better with the boys outscoring the opposition 27-23. Having said that it was certainly an interesting period with the lead being whittled down to 10 in the first 3 minutes (19-29), before blowing back out to 20 (24-44), then slowly the boys pegged it back to 13 (39-52)at the main break. Luke Pike came in to the game off the bench for the first time and had an immediate impact with 2 points, 3 rebounds and an assist for the quarter, whilst John Wernham continued to play well with 13 points (3 rebounds a steal and a block). Other statistical contributors were Leroy with 7 points (5 rebounds, and a steal), Aric with 10 points (1 rebound, 3 assists and a steal), Lucky with 4 points, (2 rebounds, 3 assists), and Adam 3 points (4 rebounds and a steal). The boys scored some great fast break baskets against Woodville’s trap, and of particular note was Adam’s dunk, against some serious opposition, before swinging on the ring for a few seconds and bringing the bench and the crowd into the game. Again our rebounding was a concern, (we trailed Woodville 18-25 with Creek up to 7), as was the shooting of Darren Ng (now up to 21) so adjustments had to be made to ensure we stayed in the game. It was also noteworthy that our foul shooting wasn’t the best (6 of 14), and was certainly a contributor to the gap being in double figures.


The 3rd quarter was another good one for the Rockets. We outscored Woodville 23-20 and everyone contributed in a very team oriented offence. An 11-0 run from the 8 minute mark saw the lead cut to just 7 and the boys were up and about, forcing Woodville to call a time out to slow the momentum.  Once again however it was Creek (6 points and 7 rebounds for the quarter) and Ng (5 points for the quarter) who were proving very difficult to contain. For the Rockets, John was up to 17 points, Aric 16, Leroy 11 and Lucky 7. A quarter to go and the difference just 10 points !!


The last quarter was a tight affair, both teams managing just 17 points, with defences very tight. An early free throw to John and a big 3 to Lucky saw the lead at just 6 with a minute and a half gone, and the Rocket boys were feeling a comeback win (like we have experienced several times this year). Adam Schild’s big block of Mitch Creek also helped, and everyone was getting excited, as it appeared that momentum was with us at the most important time of the game. But again Woodville called a time out, made a few adjustments of their own and steadied the ship. They managed to build the lead up to 14, with a minute to go, before the boys had one last crack, scored a couple of baskets which saw the game finish with a 10 point deficit.


No such thing as a good loss, but the boys (allowing for the bad first quarter) played well and proved once again that they can compete with the best in the league. A confirmation of the work they have been doing for the last 9 months and the game style Coach Hawkes has instilled. Final statistics showed John finished with 20 points (5 rebounds, 3 steals, 1 block), Aric 18 points (2 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals), Lucky 17 points  (following a 10 point last quarter, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals), Leroy 13 points (7 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal), Adam 7 points (7 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 block), Pikey  2 points (3 rebounds, 1 assist),   Tom 2 points (2 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals).


Next game is against South, at Marion and a MUST win.


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