Rockets moved into third position and extended their winning streak to six with another brilliant win at Rivermead tonight, despite not returning to the town till gone midnight after the overtime away victory at Leicester last night. A Midlands double began with an avalanche of Rockets trebles in the opening quarter where they hit five from eight by four different players as they stormed through the period 34-17 whilst Derby got their breath. Rockets turned on a special show for Mother’s day where all the ladies attending received a free cuppa !!
Looking to build confidence to the lesser experienced players and resting his key guys as much as he dared, Head Coach Manuel Pena Garces rung the changes frequently before the interval by which time Rockets still enjoyed a fifteen point advantage at 61-46. Jonny Foulds took a couple of hands in his face as he stood firm to take charges whilst Ali Sbai sent the arrow pass of the first half to Tim Gill who continued his domination of the boards whilst also adding to his personal points tally. A pair of Sbai stops and a wide score lifted the crowd. Declan Soukup made his customary steals and sent assists around the court as Rockets hit a season high points score before the break of sixty one. With Donaldson 100% from beyond the arc, Rockets had a comfortable lead but knew not to be complacent against a talented Trailblazers who finished the second period with four straight trebles to stay in touch with a rampaging Rockets. Seven of the last scores in the quarter were from trebles as Ed Potter got in on the act as did Sbai.
A 7-0 run encouraged Derby at the start of the third period but another Donaldson treble stopped the rot. Derby hit another four quick points but then Scotty Hendricks sent an assist to Jonny Foulds to hit a treble moments before being the recipient of great inter-passing from Rockets and draining a treble. Then Gill came up with a tough three point play extending their lead to twenty at 78-58 mid way through the period. A couple of technical fouls from Derby’s Head Coach meaning he was ejected, didn’t help Derby but they fought on reducing the arrears even though Carter made a block and then a tip in to see Derby trail 68-85 as the final quarter beckoned.
A final 24-19 period saw Rockets hit three figures on consecutive days, a rare occasion for the Berkshire outfit as they come into fine form with just three league games left though two are against the champions elect Solent Stars next Saturday and then a double header finish up north against defending champions team N’bria and Lancashire. Hendricks was in mesmerising form from beyond the arc as he stroked four trebles in the last quarter, two of them from well downtown !! Donaldson showed the breadth of his game as he went base line to score, hit a jump shot and made a brace of steals in this period to cap a fine all round performance. It was only proper that Rockets finished with a treble as they amassed fifteen during the game, their biggest by far this season .
This was a very good team performance with all players making meaningful contributions and all scoring 7 or more points. Top of the scorers were Scotty Hendricks with 26 pts.,5 assists and 4 rebounds; Sydney Donaldson with 23 pts.,5 steals, 3 assists and 6 rebounds; Tim Gill with his customary double double of 17 pts., and 13 rebounds and Jonny Foulds with 11 pts., and 4 rebounds.
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|11/03/2018||17:00||NBL Division 1||2017 / 2018|
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