Category: Match Report

Match Report – Reading Rockets v Bradford Dragons

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Results

TeamScoreOutcome
Reading Rockets100Win
Bradford Dragons60Loss

With both teams suffering recent heavy defeats and tumbling down the table at a time when both are seeking Play-off Championship places,  they knew that one of them would be encouraged and strive for that elusive place and hopefully home advantage in this most competitive of leagues where 4 games finished within 2 points of each other the night before.

The ever improving American A J Carr hit a treble, had a tip in and stroked one free throw in the opening minutes though Dragons stirred up some fire to level on 8 points each. Rockets had worked all week on their defence as identified as ‘ not up to standard ‘ by Head Coach Alan Keane after recent losses. , and how that showed as they pressurised Dragons from tip to buzzer. 16 yo David Chive hit a treble, took an assist from Sydney Donaldson to make another 3 point play before Tanner Kuehn hit a step back treble to see Rockets lead 21-15 at the first break.

Chive was quickly out of the traps as he made a steal, went coast to coast and scored with the opening offensive of period two before he sent an assist to Kuehn to score and give Rockets a double digit lead at 25-15, something they were to extend significantly as they cruised the quarter 33-13 having a 54-28 lead at the interval. Both Carr and  Arinze Emeka-Anyakwo hit wide trebles and Kuehn sent an exquisite bounce pass to his captain Danny Carter to score with a slam dunk. When Donaldson went off the glass Rockets enjoyed a twenty point advantage and then Chive hit another treble this time from the top of the key.

Dragons had been stirred during the interval as Ricky Fetske stroked three consecutive trebles though Donaldson, Chive and Carr replied for Rockets but Dragons took the quarter 25-19 reducing Rockets lead to 73-53 despite a big Carr rejection and a Carter spin fake score.

The fourth quarter saw Rockets imperious from beyond the arc as they stroked five trebles in a 27-7 final push as they secured a key 100-60 victory. Nine of Rockets players scored in this period with the biggest appreciation coming as the academy youngsters all scored  with 16 yo  James Jolly hitting the 100 point score on the buzzer as he finished a fine Rockets move. Adrian O’Sullivan had had ten minutes court time in his first game for 5 weeks hitting a brace of trebles in this period whilst Trae Pemberton  delved deep to hit a pair of downtown trebles too. And Adrian Nosa sank a big treble moments before Academy youngster David Obediah scored to loud applause from the appreciative supporters.

Though A J Carr yet again top scored for Rockets with 28 pts.,and 8 rebounds, it was the 16 yo David Chive who had his best game of the season to date as he scored 18 pts., took down 4 rebounds, made 5 steals and had 4 assists to complete an excellent performance. Sydney Donaldson hit 11 pts.,made 4 assists and 3 steals whilst Trae Pemberton hit 10 pts.

Rockets stay in 7th place in the table but have 2 games in hand over the 4th and 5th placed teams so everything to play for in the final 7 weeks of the league season.

Details

Date Time League Season
17/02/2019 17:00 NBL Division 1 2018 / 2019

Venue

Rivermead
24 Richfield Ave, Reading, Reading RG1, UK

Match Report: Reading Rockets v Leicester Warriors

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Results

TeamScoreOutcome
Reading Rockets63Loss
Leicester Warriors89Win

Though having defeated Warriors away in early Nov by 96-82, the depleted Rockets ( Adrian O’Sullivan still out with an ankle injury and joined by Sam Grant ) were acutely aware of Riders recent signings and the return to the court of experienced guard  Carl Pearson so knew the challenge was significant. However they didn’t foresee the awesome game played by Riders Raphell Thomas – Edwards  as he hit 34 points , took down 18 rebounds and made 6 steals to be the outstanding player on the court.

Rockets scored first as the ever improving big man A J Carr stroked a treble from out wide but a 12-1 Warriors run including a brace of trebles confirmed the challenge ahead.  Sydney Donaldson hit a treble to encourage the appreciative fans as Rockets drew level on 13 and 15 . Warriors edged ahead but an awesome cross court pass from Carr to Trae Pemberton saw the shooting guard claw Rockets close at 21-24 as the opening period ended.

The second quarter saw a hail of trebles from Warriors increase their lead whatever Rockets did and Carr hit 14 personal points to add to his double digit opening period score to lead all scorers at the break with 24 points as Thomas -Edwards only had 13 at this stage. Warriors led  46-38 with 18 of those points beyond the ark. Danny Carter opened his account with the first score after the break and Arinze Emeka-Anyakwo did likewise moments later to draw Rockets to 42-46. Warriors stroked a treble but this was matched by a Pemberton treble but midway through the third period he was called for his fourth personal foul adding pressure to the young and inexperienced Rockets. When Carter also troubled the referees he picked up his fourth foul and despite Tanner Kuehn scoring his first Rockets points at The Mead Rockets found themselves 51-65 adrift as the fourth quarter beckoned.

The strong and powerful Warriors hit 4 more trebles to quash whatever resistance Rockets could muster and Thomas -Edwards took his second half tally to 20 points as he dominated both ends of the court to give the Man of the Match performance. Rest assured this Warriors team will be moving hurriedly up the league table having reversed  the original game score between these two sides and will be doing likewise with others for the remainder of the next 2 months in this most competitive of leagues. With Carr well marshalled by Warriors after the break, Carter fouled out and Pemberton having to be so restrained on four fouls, this was as good as it was getting to get on what some called a ‘bad hair day’ for Rockets.

A J Carr scored 24 pts. and took down 4 rebounds with Trae Pemberton hitting 18 pts and taking down 6 rebounds as Donaldson was Rockets best defender on the boards with 8 rebounds to match his 8 points. New signing Tanner Kuehnscored 6 points on his Rivermead debut.

Details

Date Time League Season
02/02/2019 17:00 NBL Division 1 2018 / 2019

Venue

Rivermead
24 Richfield Ave, Reading, Reading RG1, UK

Match Report – Sick and depleted Rockets bow out in semi-final

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Results

TeamScoreOutcome
Reading Rockets66Loss
Loughborough Student Riders91Win

Not being able to play at Rivermead was a huge disappointment to the players and management of Rockets so the John Madejski Academy sports hall hosted this crucial semi- final. With captain Danny Carter getting out of a sick bed to shirt up, Ronan O’Sullivan still out with a long term hand injury,  Adrian O’Sullivan needing at least another week before returning to training with an ankle injury and then Sam Grant wearing a surgical boot from an injury picked up yesterday, Head Coach Alan Keane knew he’d be heavily dependent on his two Americans, one other senior, new signing Tanner Kuehn ( who arrived at Rockets Thursday evening ) and the Academy young men. As courageous as Rockets were, even leading by 7 points early in the second period, a barrage of four trebles and a stronger in depth team saw Riders lead by 7 at the interval, a lead they were never going to relinquish for the remainder of the game.

The opening quarter with Rockets 18-13 became 35-42 by the break with the game having been tied 3 times and with both teams being restricted by the other to scoring runs that didn’t exceed 7 whilst Rockets biggest lead was 7 pts., and Riders just 8 pts., such was the competition to secure a place in the National Trophy final . Riders were coming off victory in the National Cup Final last Sunday when they beat the league’s top side Solent Kestrels by 19 pts  so were oozing with confidence despite being on the wrong end of a league loss at Rockets hands just 5 weeks ago in Reading.

The third quarter was the defining period for Riders as they extended their advantage to 13 pts at 63=50 with 3 more trebles and only Trae Pemberton and A J Carr scoring for Rockets. The final stanza opened with A J just not having the rub of the ring, Riders scoring and Carter being called for his fourth foul. Within 3 minutes of the restart both Rockets big men A J Carr and Danny Carter were excluded as having received 5 personal fouls each and now the game was probably truly against Rockets . Nonetheless Pemberton continued to encourage the Academy guys and Sydney Donaldson hit 4 from 4 from the free throw line. Tanner Kuehn had hit a treble as his first Rockets points and hit a jumper but three consecutive trebles from Riders saw them a safe distance ahead as Rockets depleted team just couldn’t reduce the deficit and the game ended 91-66 in Riders favour.

Both Rockets Americans had again been outstanding as A J Carr hit 23 pts., 7 rebounds and 4 assists and Trae Pemberton 15 pts., 6 rebounds, 2 assists and 3 steals. Rockets other leading scorers were Danny Carter with 7 pts as did Sydney Donaldson.

Rockets now prepare for a return to Rivermead next Saturday

Details

Date Time League Season
27/01/2019 17:30 National Trophy 2018 / 2019

Venue

John Madejski Academy
112-118 Hartland Rd, Reading, Reading RG2, UK

Match Reports – Tough double header finish to weekend for Rockets

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Results

TeamScoreOutcome
Derby Trailblazers74Loss
Reading Rockets87Win

After a prolonged journey troubled by a coach puncture coupled to a late tip off due to a serious injury to a player in the Ladies game that had preceded this Men’s Div.1 game,  it took Rockets most of the first half to settle into the powerful performance that they displayed after the break. Without the services of captain Danny Carter, back injury, Rockets determination to avenge the first home league defeat in October by Derby by ten points showed through as they came back from 37-39 adrift at the interval to secure a fine 13 point victory on the road. This maintains Rockets in third place in the league and with leaders and league favourites Solent Kestrels picking up their second defeat either side of the Christmas break, there’s renewed hope for the trailing 3 / 4 teams including Rockets.

Head Coach Alan Keane has never been afraid to release the prodigious talent he has in Rockets academy and with Ronan O’Sullivan still out with a broken hand and Carter missing, James Jolly was included in the team together with 4 other regular academy youngsters and each played key roles. Arinze Emeka-Anyakwo played for 35 minutes and David Chive had 23 minutes too, showing their importance to this still developing team.  Trailblazers also showed their desire to do the double over Rockets as they stormed the defensive boards with 19 rebounds compared to an unusually low 11 for the visitors, and were 50% more successful from inside and beyond the arc with their shootingas their leading marksman Malcolm Smith had 15 points and 5 rebounds before the break though Rockets restricted him to just 7 more points and 2 more rebounds in the second half. Derby extended their lead to 44-38 in the opening exchanges after the interval but a 33- 9 Rockets run almost exterminated the fire of the Trailblazers. Trae Pemberton was finding his three point shooting eye early in the game and exploded into it with five big trebles from the start of the third quarter till the final buzzer. However three of these trebles were also buzzer beaters, one from just inside his own half. With A J Carr scoring 13 points in the third period Rockets took off with a 34-14 quarter and a lead of 71-53 as the final stanza arrived.

Derby hit three trebles to try and get back into the contest but Coach Keane had clearly encouraged his players to rise to the boards as Rockets took the second half by 26-18 and the players shooting averages had much improved. They only missed one throw from the penalty stripe out of eleven. Keane was also using all his academy players no doubt thinking ahead of the following days game against south coast rivals and title contenders Worthing Thunderbut with less than 2 minutes remaining another ankle injury to the effervescent Irishman Adrian O’Sullivan dampened Rockets spirits a little as they journeyed home though high with a big victory securing that third league placing.

Rockers were led by double doubles from both their American players as Trae Pemberton had 28 pts., 11 rebounds and 6 assists with A J Carr hitting 26 pts.,and also having 11 rebounds. 

Details

Date Time League Season
12/01/2019 19:15 NBL Division 1 2018 / 2019

Venue

Clarence Wiggins Sports Centre
14 Bracknell Dr, Derby DE24 0BP, UK
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Results

TeamScoreOutcome
Reading Rockets67Loss
Worthing Thunder84Win

After a 300 mile round trip on Saturday coupled to a late return in the early hours of Sunday morning AND the absence of effectively 3 Senior players, Rockets just didn’t have the strength in depth. Their energy levels and inexperience with 6 Academy players in the 10 players that took to the court, did their utmost to take the victory against second placed Thunder, but experience won the game.

A tight opening quarter saw both teams size each other up and unable to be separated at the first break at 24 each as three players from each team stroked trebles. The competitiveness and importance of the game saw both teams giving each other much respect and for the first time in Rockets history, the game was officiated by two female referees. A 6-2 quarter finish saw Thunder go the locker room 45-40 ahead at the interval.

The third period was again very tight as the lead was swapped with almost each offence but a wide treble from Thunder in the final seconds saw them sneak a 4 point advantage 63-59 as the final quarter beckoned.  This was to be a disappointing period for Rockets as both Americans had worked themselves almost to a standstill over 24 hours at both ends of the court.  The mercurial 16 yo Academy student David Chive and his 18 yo fellow student Arinze Emeka-Anyakwo had spent 32 and 33 minutes each on court in a titanic affair bringing them 10 pts, 6 rebounds and 3 assists and 9 pts and 3 rebounds respectively, as key contributors. Both guys have much opportunity ahead and Rockets has a healthy future. But Thunder’s experienced and seasoned campaigners kept Rockets to just 8 points in the fourth quarter as they hit 21 to see the final margin of victory as 84-67.

The packed Rivermead had witnessed a great battle and Rockets now look forward to a National Trophy semi-final in 2 weeks’ time when it’s hoped both O’Sullivans will be back in action from ankle ( Adrian ) and hand ( Ronan )injuries and captain Danny Carter having rested his back .   The other Rockets top scorers were A J Carr with another double double of 21 pts and 10 rebounds complimented by 6 assists whilst Trae Pemberton had 14 pts and 4 rebounds. Sydney Donaldson took down 9 rebounds to add to his 7 points.

Look on Rockets website social media for confirmation of the date and venue for the semi-final as Rivermead is booked.

Details

Date Time League Season
13/01/2019 17:00 NBL Division 1 2018 / 2019

Venue

Rivermead
24 Richfield Ave, Reading, Reading RG1, UK

Manchester Magic v Reading Rockets – Match Report

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Results

TeamScoreOutcome
Manchester Magic87Loss
Reading Rockets98Win

The first game of 2019 began with Rockets needing some fire and the players looking as though the Christmas pudding had stopped them from getting off the floor and taking rebounds as Magic took down and commanded  the boards, storming into a 17-17 early lead which they extended to 33-19 by the first break. Four trebles and a 3 point play were some of the extent of Magic’s superiority.

With Rockets finding themselves 19-38 down midway through the second quarter, Head Coach Alan Keane had to change many things and personnel switches. These proved most successful as Rockets roared into life taking the second period 24-19 and looking more in the game. A J Carr had proved a handful for Magic as he hit 12 personal points and Trae Pemberton was finding more space but the final play before half time saw Sydney Donaldson receive the inbounded ball as the clock showed less than 10 seconds, used up the time close to the buzzer before driving to score, drawing the foul and

 hitting the penalty shot to lift Rockets as they had a skip in their steps as they walked to the changing room just 11 points adrift with the score 43-54.

The 3 week lay-off was now something of the long past as Rockets powered into the third quarter taking it 30-18 to take a single digit lead at 73-72. Two of Rockets young Academy players were very influential as Sam Grant stroked a brace of trebles and scored with a jump shot whilst Arinze Emeka- Anyakwo made steals, defended the boards well and hit five personal points. Pemberton had found his length and hit three trebles and a pair of floaters to score 13 personal points and help lift Rockets further even with the big American Carr spending much time on the bench with 4 fouls.

A 25-15 final period saw Rockets secure another victory 98 to 87 and lift them to third in the league ahead of the visit of south coast rivals and current second placed Worthing Thunder to Rivermead next Sunday 13th Jan. Magic hit three trebles to stay in contention throughout the fourth quarter but Pemberton was imperious with another eleven point quarter haul coupled to crucial rebounding and steals. Emeka-Anyakwo scored ten personal points and took down a pair of key defensive rebounds as Rockets began to look forward to the 200 mile return journey secure in the knowledge they’re still in the chasing pack seeking the league title.

Top scorers for Rockets were Trae Pemberton with 34 pts.,6 rebounds and 5 steals with Arinze Emeka-Anyakwo hitting 15 pts., taking down 4 rebounds and making 3 steals and A J Carr with 14 pts., and 4 assists plus Sam Grant with his first. 8pts Senior haul and taking down 3 rebounds and making a steal in an impressive forward for the 16 yo who had played a junior Men game some 6 hours earlier in the day and arrived just an hour before tip….surely a game and weekend to remember for Grant.

Details

Date Time League Season
05/01/2019 18:30 NBL Division 1 2018 / 2019

Venue

Amaechi BC
226 Wilbraham Rd, Manchester, Manchester M16 8GN, UK