Tag: #matchreport

Match Report – Rockets secure Cup semi-final spot

Essex + Herts Leopards 82-98 Reading Rockets

After an outstanding league win the previous evening to second placed Worthing Thunder, moving Rockets into joint second themselves, Head Coach Alan Keane needed to ensure this quarter final was not an ‘ after the Lord Mayor’s show’ performance.

Leopards leapt out of the box with a brisk 8-2 opening run before Rockets outstanding threesome from the night before imposed themselves with Carr making a spin move, Nick Richards giving an assist for Liam Davis to slam before the power forward made a big block and went the length of the court to drive but was fouled so hit a pair of free throws seeing Rockets on a 8-0 run and the lead at 10-8. The scores remained tied on 12 and 14 but five quick Leopards points including a treble eased them ahead, a lead they kept to the end of the quarter at 21-18 .

A 26-18 second period for Rockets was lit by 18 yo David Chive as he hit nine personal points coupled to A J Carr stroking his first treble of the game. From 20-27 adrift Rockets came back to level on 29 before Nick Richards took an offensive rebound, scored and drew the foul . A Leopards treble was matched by Rockets and the game tied again on 37 before a Richards storm of six lightning quick pints, a Matias Boho block and a Pau Mayor penalty score saw Rockets into the locker room with a 44-39 lead. The interval stats sheet showed both teams were evenly matched on virtually everything from points in the paint, points from turnovers, fast break points , biggest scoring runs and biggest lead so would Rockets suffer from the double header weekend as the third period beckoned with Rockets having a slender 44-39 lead.

Not at all. In fact it was a game changing quarter as Rockets hit 39 points with Richards scoring thirteen, Davis eleven and Mayor eight as they took the game by the scruff of the neck and launched themselves towards the semi final with a 83-60 advantage. Carr sent an arrow pass to 17 yo Asher Ndah to score and moments later Ndah made a stop. Carr stroked a treble and then in the next offence took down an offensive rebound and gave Davis a three point play as he was fouled when scoring. Rockets were flying high and some great team play saw Richards hit a treble from the top of the key to lead 59-43 mid way through the quarter. Leopards stroked four trebles to stay in contention but the mercurial American Richards was a joy to behold as he hit a pull up jump shot and then made a characteristic steal and finish. Mayor did likewise and closed Rockets scoring for the period which they won 39-21.

With such an advantage you may have thought Rockets might have stepped off the gas but no chance as Rockets defence was prominent from the start of this quarter causing Leopards into a 24 second violation . Coach Keane gave his academy players Ndah, Chive and David Obediah more court time with Obediah scoring with a jump shot. Leopards hit a brace of trebles to encourage the hosts supporters but Rockets eased into the semi-final stage with a 98-82 victory.

Top scorers for Rockets were Nick Richards with 33 pts, 7 rebounds , 4 assists and a huge 6 steals. Liam Daviis had another double double with 19 pts and 10 rebounds. A J Carr hit 16 pts, took down 7 rebounds and made 6 assists with Pau Mayor now recovered from his leg and knee injury and scoring 11 pts and taking down 5 rebounds.

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Match Report – Reading Rockets v Worthing Thunder

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Results

TeamScoreOutcome
Worthing Thunder81Loss
Reading Rockets100Win

With an awesome display against second in the table Thunder on the south coast on Saturday evening, Rockets blitzed the final quarter after losing the lead at 74-75 in the opening exchanges to go on a 26-6 run to earn a vital victory and join three other teams in a tie for second position in the league.

With Sam Grant side-lined for the rest of the year and captain Ed Potter playing with strapping over his 2 broken fingers, it was still good to see Pau Major recovered from his leg and knee injuries and the absence of the sickness that dramatically impacted the team in the last 2 weeks. The Thunderdome is always a menacing place to go to and when Thunder’s captain Taylor launched the first treble with the first offence the writing was clearly on the wall for Head Coach Alan Keane to see. A 2-7 early deficit was rectified by six A J Carr points, a Nick Richards pull up jump shot coupled to a pair of successful free throws from Ben Dixon as Rockets went on a 8-0 run. A magnificent piece of team play gave 6’9” Liam Davis the first of his slams whilst Richards went coast to coast to extend Rockets lead but Thunder stormed the next few minutes to be just 15/16 adrift before back to back shots including a big treble by Carr and another Richards score saw Rockets enjoy an eight point advantage at 23-15 and though Thunder came again it was a seven point haul from Davis including a buzzer beating treble that gave Rockets an opening period lead of 32-24 with Thunder having scored nine of their points from the free throw line.

The second quarter began with Thunder going on a 10 -2 run to level the scores on 34 apiece. Carr again kept Rockets side of the scoreboard turning over whilst guard Richards leapt high to slam dunk to open up a five point gap before Carr sank a big treble to give him a personal tally of twenty points midway through the second period. Rockets enjoyed a double digit lead as Richards hit a treble and then the three key Rockets scored and made assists for each other in the dying minutes before the interval as Carr helped Davis to an easy score before Richards did likewise to Davis and then A J finished the quarter’s scoring on the buzzer helping Rockets to a 56-44 lead at the interval. A three point play and a brace of trebles including a buzzer beating one from Thunder couldn’t stop Rockets fire.

The break did Thunder a power of good as they stormed to a 7-2 run to cut the deficit but academy player Asher Ndah continued his big improvement as he dived on the floor to regain possession for Rockets . Carr scored again and Richards stole the ball and finished to see Rockets back with an eleven point advantage at 66-55. Thunder were again secure from the penalty stripe coupled to a brace of trebles and even though another great piece of team play saw Davis slam dunk it was Thunder who took the quarter 27-18 to not only be back in this top of the table clash but also meaning Rockets advantage was just 74-71 going into the final quarter.

Within fourteen seconds Thunder had scored and moments later the Thunderdome erupted as Thunder took the lead at 75-74. How would Rockets react after playing well for so long ? Magnificently was the answer as they poured in twenty six points to just six for Thunder as Rockets blitzed the final quarter 26-10. Richards drove twice in succession to regain Rockets lead before making a huge rejection as Thunder threatened to score….the Thunderdome was quietened but four unanswered Thunder points saw the scores 80-79 in Rockets favour with just over six minutes remaining. And what a period this was Rockets as 17 year old Ndah hit seven personal points including a wide game defining treble and Richards and Davis gave Rockets the final lift off with a 20-2 run to secure a big and major win in their endeavour to stay in touch with undefeated league leaders Solent Kestrels .

Three of Rockets players played exceptionally well as between them they amassed 84 of Rockets 100 points with Nick Richards scoring 32 points, taking down 9 rebounds and making 5 assists. A J Carr and Liam Davis hit 26 pts each with Carr taking down 9 rebounds and making 6 assist as Davis hit a double double with 13 rebounds to add to his 26 points. Asher Ndah scored 9 points and took down 8 rebounds as the academy player continues his growth at the senior level.

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Details

Date Time League Season
14/12/2019 19:30 NBL Div 1 2019 / 2020

Venue

Worthing LC
46 Shaftesbury Ave, Worthing, West Sussex BN12 4EQ, UK

Match Report – Reading Rockets v Bradford Dragons

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Results

TeamScoreOutcome
Reading Rockets78Win
Bradford Dragons75Loss

With injury and sickness having depleted Coach Keane’s squad and interfered with his game preparation, he had no hesitation in promoting 18yo Asher Ndah to the starting five. The John Madejski Academy student showed not only his talent but also his invaluable worth to Rockets at this top level as he blitzed the opening quarter with ten personal point but also stroked a key buzzer beating treble getting Rockets to within a single point of their visitors at the interval.

In fact the first score of the game was a treble from Ndah and though the mercurial Nick Richards spun to extend Rockets early advantage, a 6-0 Bradford Dragons run caused Coach Keane to call a time-out. Liam Davis hit a jump shot and then a long two but Dragons shooting guard David Walsh was on electric form hitting three trebles in the opening period as he also took the last shot to give the visitors a 27-20 lead at the first break.

Guard Ben Dixon took his usual charge, a characteristic of the Aussie and then he drove, drew the foul and made a crucial three point play and cause Dragons Head Coach Chris Mellor to take a time-out. Another pair of trebles from the Dragons guard Walsh was matched with fast breaks and steals from Rockets which they converted into points to reduce the deficit. A Davis block lit up the court and a Richards electrically fast back track stopped a certain Dragons score. A brace of free throws from Carr brought Rockets to within three points before another Dragons treble. However the tempo had now increased markedly by the hosts and with Carr scoring off an offensive rebound and receiving an assist from Richards to add to his score, it was just left to the young Ndah to stroke the buzzer beating treble seeing the home team behind by just 45-46 at the interval.

As the third quarter started Dragons Walsh had scored 22 of their 46 points so was clearly a target for Rockets better defence….and how well they stopped him throughout the remainder of the game as Walsh didn’t add to his personal score. Davis and Richards gave Rockets the lead at the start of the period and then a Richards steal and finger roll coupled to a Dixon drive and a Davis pull up jump shot saw Rockets 55-50 up. Ndah and Dixon double teamed Dragons to cause the visitors to turn the ball over much to the delight of the appreciative crowd and then Matias Boho hit a wide treble to increase Rockets lead midway through the quarter having also kept Dragons to just four points in that time. Carr needed a further rest having been winded in one collision , and he didn’t have much wind at the start of the game !!.Captain Potter came in for a three point play but five unanswered points including a buzzer beating Dragons treble meant Rockets lead was just 63-61 as the final quarter beckoned.

Details

Date Time League Season
08/12/2019 17:00 NBL Div 1 2019 / 2020

Venue

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

Match Report – Reading Rockets v Derby Trailblazers

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Results

TeamScoreOutcome
Reading Rockets77Loss
Derby Trailblazers102Win

The sickness that has been in the team camp all week and beyond for one player, took its toll as the weakened team just couldn’t stay with the fast and effective Midlands outfit in the second half of this thrilling game at Rivermead. With Pau Major still out with a leg injury, Coach Keane knew this was going to be a testing encounter as Derby have just strengthened their roster but Keane’s team worked extremely hard despite their lack of training this past week.

Liam Davis hit Rockets first points with a hook shot before Ben Dixon gave the first Rockets assist to A J Carr to score with a fade away shot but Derby hit six unanswered points to take the lead on 8-4. Matias Boho introduced himself to the scorers with Rockets first treble and Davis hit another hook score. Dixon was called for two quick fouls so had to be rested as Rockets fought to maintain their winning streak as they were chasing win ten from eleven. They took the lead for the second time at 15-14. Captain Ed Potter extended the lead with four quick points and Nick Richards finished a drive with a finger roll but a pair of inside scores from the Trailblazers saw them enjoy a 24-21 opening quarter advantage.

A turnover form Rockets first possession coupled to a miss gave Trailblazers the opportunity to go further ahead but two excellent moves with assists form Davis and Boho to Richards and Sam Grant saw the Rockets duo stroke a brace of trebles to take the lead again at 27-26. A Davis swat away stopped one certain Derby score but the scores were level on 31 apiece midway through the second period. A Richards steal and Davis score was interrupted by a Derby treble and the hard working Potter took a charge which he quickly followed with an assist to Richards to edge Rockets ahead again at 37-36. An off the ball foul by Davis saw him having to spend time n the bench but Dixon sent another assist to Boho to stroke another treble which Carr followed with a brilliant arrow pass for Potter to lay up and score. Carr scored off the glass taking the hosts to a 44-36 lead but a 11-3 reverse saw the game tied on 47 each at the interval.

A David Chive drive and score followed by a Boho assist to Carr edged Rockets ahead again but a Derby treble and inside score saw them go ahead 52-51. Eight more points either side of a Chive stop and go score saw Rockets 53-60 down . This got worse as five more unanswered Derby points gave the travelling side a 65-53 lead. Could the energy sapped Rockets come again ? A three second violation stopped Davis scoring but Carr hit a treble and Boho hit one from two from the line to reduce the deficit to eight down, a gap that was to stay as the quarter ended on 61-69.

Most of Rockets key players were now out on their feet as the energy just ebbed away from them and Derby stroked three trebles and eased to a 22 point advantage at 87-65. Richards hit nine personal points in this quarter but the game was won in this period as Rockets fell to only their third defeat of the season.

Nando’s Player of the Game was Matias Boho with 15 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists whilst the other top scorers for Rockets were Nick Richards with 19 pts, 5 rebounds and 3 assists; A J Carr also with 15 pts and 6 rebounds and Liam Davis with 10 pts and 6 rebounds.

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Details

Date Time League Season
01/12/2019 17:00 NBL Div 1 2019 / 2020

Venue

Rivermead
24 Richfield Ave, Reading, Reading RG1, UK

Match Report – Nottingham Hoods v Reading Rockets

After a tough away game the evening before in Essex and four of his senior players injured or sick, it was a depleted in number team that Head Coach Alan Keane took to the north midlands opposition in the fourth round of the National Cup, topped up again with two more academy players Michael Perez and Jacob Cirtautas.

The game opened with Rockets only senior five players conscious that they’d be playing much more than usual and needing to be careful to also not to get into foul trouble. Hoods opened the scoring and then the teams exchanged scores with every offensive as Liam Davis and Nick Richards got Rockets onto the scoreboard. Matias Boho blocked a certain score and Richards stroked a fine treble but back to back trebles from Hoods saw them in the ascendency backed by a noisy and excited crowd inside the arena. A J Carr sent the first of his assists to Davis and the scores were level on 11 apiece. A Hoods treble and three jump shots was answered by a Ben Dixon treble and drive and finish but Rockets found themselves 22-28 down at the end of the opening quarter.

The second period saw Hoods hit three consecutive trebles at the start and ease into a 41-28 lead. Rockets were turning the ball over far too much and compounding this by not being clinical at the offensive end but an awesome 18-3 run gave them an interval advantage of 46-44 as Carr lit up the venue with three trebles and three other scores to take his personal tally to 19 points. From thirteen adrift to two up was a big statement from the Berkshire outfit and meant they were very much still in contention for that quarter final place.

As expected the third period was going to be hard fought as both teams tried to take control but neither did. Hoods levelled on 46 points with the first offensive but six points from Rockets via a Davis pull up and slam dunk coupled to a Dixon assist to Richards to score opened up a 6 point lead. However Hoods did likewise to level on 52 apiece. A Dixon assist to Ross Stepney saw the academy player score before a crucial wide treble from Boho levelled the scores moments before he made a key steal as Hoods looked to extend their lead. Dixon was wiped out as he drove to score but didn’t get any foul from the officials who had a very good game with only 15 fouls called in the whole game and only 5 against Rockets. Nonetheless moments later Boho made a steal and Richards scored and then the courageous Australian Dixon took a charge. It was truly nip and tuck as the scores were equal on 54, 56 and 58 as a 16 points haul for both teams saw Rockets go into the final stanza still with a slim margin advantage of 62-60.

Both teams were fighting for the victory and again the game was tied on 62, 70 and 72 as the end game appeared. A huge downtown treble from Carr brought delight to the travelling supporters but three missed scoring opportunities encouraged the Hoods fans as Rockets were looking tired after their exploits over the 2 weekend games, soon finding themselves 67-70 down.. Could the tired Rockets ignite for the last two minutes. Davis made a great stop and then strove to the other end to slam dunk and see Rockets 4 points with 1 minute 41 seconds remaining. Hoods scored and Coach Keane took a time-out but on the re-start Hoods drove, scored, drew the foul and went into the lead on 77-76 with 21.5 seconds on the clock. Another Keane time-out and plans for the next and probable last offensive with 15.6 left proved to be crucial as the ball was given to Carr who drove to the basket and finished with off the glass to give Rockets the lead. The Hoods time-out and possession that followed was stopped by Rockets who now move onto the National Cup quarter final away to Leopards on Sunday 15th Dec.

Top scorers for Rockets in this breath-taking cup game were A J Carr with 28 pts, Nick Richards with 18 pts, Liam Davis with 14 points but all 9 players were magnificent, even if exhausted.

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