|Team Solent Kestrels||91||Win|
In a pulsating game at Rivermead on Saturday evening, Rockets got to within a whisker of defeating Kestrels, missing some free throws with less than 10 seconds remaining. Nonetheless this was most encouraging from Rockets in a game where two players had outstanding performances namely Kestrels Travis Charles with 29 points and ten rebounds together with Rockets Trae Pemberton with 30 points , 5 assists, 2 steals and 5 rebounds. ..a pair of gladiators trying to help their team across the winning line.
Kestrels shot off to a 10-2 start but after a time out by Rockets Head Coach Alan Keane, Rockets went on a 21-10 run to take the opening quarter 23-20 with captain Danny Carter scoring 10 points including a brace of trebles and Tanner Kuehn tipping in on the buzzer. The Mead had an electric atmosphere. Kestrels are not just joint league leaders and title favourites for nothing and responded with a 20-7 run in the second period restricting Rockets to just 16 points too and hitting a buzzer beating treble to take a 43-39 interval advantage to the dressing room.
A Pemberton treble brought the deficit back to a single point with the first offence of the third quarter and soon an A J Carr hook gave Rockets the lead. Another treble from Pemberton extended the advantage before Kestrels tied the game on 49, 51 and 53 prior to a barrage of four trebles as they just couldn’t miss, which saw Rockets 7 points adrift. 14 Pemberton points and a buzzer beating treble from Academy player Arinze Emeka-Anyakwo kept Rockets in the hunt for the victory though 64-69 down as the final stanza began.
17 year old David Chive scored to start this vital period but again four more Kestrels trebles were only answered by a Pemberton one as Kestrels led by 11 points at 79-68 with just over 7 minutes remaining. Sydney Donaldson sent an assist to Pemberton to stroke another treble and scored 4 quick points himself to keep Rockets very much in the hunt. Adrian O’Sullivan sank a treble and hit a free throw as Rockets found themselves 4 points down with 1 min 23 secs on the clock. An exchange of baskets saw Kestrels open up a 5 point lead with 29.3 secs left. Up strolls Pemberton to hit a treble and The Mead was alive with noise and drums. Carter was called for his fifth personal foul so left the court with 21.2 secs to go but Kestrels missed both free throws. Rockets went to the line and unfortunately repeated the lack of success as the tension was at fever pitch. Kestrels hit 1 from 2 from the line to have a 3 point advantage with 6.7 secs left but with just 1.5 secs left Rockets had 2 free throws. The instruction went out that to tie the game Rockets needed to score the first free throw ( which they did ) but purposely miss the second one so Rockets could grab the rebound and score. Unfortunately the ball hit the side of the ring and backboard but instead of falling out dropped in leaving the final score somewhat disappointing at 90-91 but what a great game, what an improved team performance and encouragement as the league season draws to an end of March for Rockets. Don’t miss their remaining home games !!
Top scorers for Rockets were Trae Pemberton with 30 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals; Danny Carter with 14 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 steals; A J Carr with 14 points, 7 rebounds and 8 assists; Adrian O’Sullivan with 11 points and 3 assists and Sydney Donaldson with 10 points and 5 rebounds.
|02/03/2019||17:00||NBL Division 1||2018 / 2019|
|24 Richfield Ave, Reading, Reading RG1, UK|