After a titanic battle in the first three periods, Rockets exploded in the final quarter to take it 35-17 to storm to their fourth consecutive league win and keep them fighting for league honours though it’s in the early stages of the season. Hemel hit five trebles in the first quarter as they edged ahead by 23-18 with Adrian O’Sullivan and Sydney Donaldson keeping Rockets in the hunt.
An upbeat second period saw Rockets drain five trebles too with O’Sullivan nailing a buzzer beating shot to take Rockets to the locker room 45-42 ahead. Both teams had players on 17 points apiece by the break in O’Sullivan and Freckleton for Storm. A J Carr was side-lined for much of this time as he was called for a pair of fouls within the opening 4 minutes and by the interval Storm had hit double figures from the free throw line and by the end of the game had had 31 attempts compared to Rockets 15. Despite finding themselves in foul trouble with key experienced players having to sit out, Rockets Academy players again stepped up to the mark as Arinze Emeka- Anyakwo stroked a brace of trebles supported by a pair of assists from David Chive and a crucial score from Adrian Nosa Castillo.
The very physical game , most competitive in all areas of the court, had both sets of supporters rocking at The Mead as the third quarter saw Hemel have the slenderest of advantages at 63-62. No-one could have foresaw the final stanza as Rockets truly launched themselves as their first five was able to take to the court to start the period as they sought another league victory. A Donaldson 2and 1 followed immediately by captain Danny Carter repeating the play coupled to a fast break and exquisite bounce pass from Carr to Trae Pemberton caused Hemel to call a time out as they were on the wrong end of a 8-0 run and found themselves trailing Rockets by 7pts. Step up Emeka-Anyakwo to stroke a treble which Pemberton matched moments later and Rockets had ignited to lead and hit a 19-0 run. The storm was calmed as the 82-64 advantage had them chasing the game that they were in full contention for for three quarters. A Hemel 6-0 was quickly rebuffed again by Rockets as Pemberton threw a great cross court pass for Emeka-Anyakwo to take his season high to 13 points.
The mercurial Irishman O’Sullivan had made his most impressive contribution so far this season as he top scored with 32 points 7 rebounds , 3 assists and a pair of steals as Head Coach Alan Keane is increasingly seeing his charges grow in stature and confidence. Carr came late to the party with 10 pts and 6 rebounds with Donaldson hitting 14 pts., and taking down 6 rebounds with Trae Pemberton having 5 trebles in his 17 pts, 8 rebounds and 5 assists. Arinze Emeka-Anyakwo season’s best of 13 pts. and 5 rebounds gives great encouragement for the long season ahead.
|11/11/2018||17:00||NBL Division 1||2018 / 2019|
|24 Richfield Ave, Reading, Reading RG1, UK|