Having been delayed because of an accident on the M1 the team arrived just 45 minutes before tip and besides Tim Gill, looked jaded and out of sorts in the opening quarter though Gill’s 14 points kept Rockets just one point behind the hosts at 24-25. Danny Carter and Hendricks had scored trebles and Declan Soukup kept his purple patch of performances going. His bounce pass to Gill cut through Warriors defence whilst his first assist of the evening was gratefully accepted by Sydney Donaldson.
Warriors shot brilliantly in the second period and took it by 25-18 as Rockets couldn’t find their range but Carter and Soukup ensured Rockets kept in touch despite being adrift 42-50 at the interval. The changing rooms saw change in commitment as the third quarter ignited Scotty Hendricks who hit a brace of trebles, had a 3 point play from the free throw line and drove for two scores. With Soukup running the show for Rockets, the band of Rockets supporters showed their appreciation, and Soukup hit the first of his pair of trebles as well as scoring from a determined drive, though his floor dive to get Rockets possession showed everyone Rockets want this one.
At 65-69 Rockets had halved the deficit as the final quarter began and in moments Carter and Ed Potter brought the scores level on 69 apiece. A Carter rejection stopped
Warriors but again and again Warriors kept a one or two point advantage right up until the last 30.2 seconds. Gill and Carter worked tirelessly inside alone and together bringing fight and drawing fouls. At one point down with 3 minutes to go Hendricks thought he’d got his three point score off before the buzzer but the table ruled it out so more determination needed to get the vital win and try for the home draw in the Play-offs. At 84-86 with 30.2 seconds left Carter stroked one from two form the line but again Warriors matched it though Soukup jumped high and hit a great treble from the top of the key to give Rockets the single point lead causing Warriors to take a time -out. Rockets stopped Warriors offence and when Carter was fouled as he took down the rebound, he was secure from the penalty stripe so Rockets advantage was three points with 5 secs left. Another Warriors time out and with the buzzer about to go off Warriors outstanding player Carl Pearson stumbled, dropped the ball but got the shot off only to see him bank a treble and take the game to overtime, Rockets first of the season as the scores were level on 90.
Pearson immediately hit another treble to give Warriors an early lead in this five minute period but Donaldson stroked a rare treble to tie the game. Yet another Gill rebound saw him hit one from two from the line before Carter stroked a crucial treble, his fourth of the evening. Warriors weren’t going to give it up now and Pearson hit yet another treble, his third in less than 2 minutes of play. Carter went off the glass but another Warriors treble tied it all at 99 with less than two minutes to go. Warriors edged ahead but a Hendricks treble gave Rockets a single point lead at 102-101. Warriors scored from the free throw line to level it again on 102 with 40 seconds left. Rockets defended with all their might and tenacity causing Warriors to have a 24 second violation and more importantly lose possession. Head Coach Manuel Pena Garces called a time-out as 16.3 seconds showed on the clock. Rockets inbound the ball, used up the time before Scotty Hendricks took a shot beyond the arc and was fouled, right on the end of game buzzer. Hendricks went to the line and hit all three shots to see Rockets still in contention for a top four league place and a vital victory by 105-102.
A truly competitive game as always promised at Leicester with top scorers for Rockets being Scotty Henricks with 29 pts., pts and 4 steals, Danny Carter with 26 pts., and 6 rebounds, Tim Gill with another double double of 20 pts., and 14 rebounds. Declan Soukup had 15 pts.,6 assists and 5 rebounds with Sydney Donaldson finishing with 11 pts., and 4 assists.
Rockets now play again tomorrow ( Sunday ) at home against Derby Trailblazers, tip off 5 pm.
Basketball Hotline 0118 926 3040
|10/03/2018||17:30||NBL Division 1||2017 / 2018|
|A47, Leicester, Leicester LE3 1JN, UK|