Nottingham Hoods 67 v 97 Reading Rockets
In a very high tempo affair in the East Midlands Rockets performed well without the services of Sam Grant and not having yet replaced the ‘out for the season’ A J Carr as they travelled north with just 10 players.
Rockets won the tip and Ben Dixon stroked the first of his three trebles before Matias Boho maintained his significant improvement with a stop and a treble as seven of Rockets players all scored in the first six minutes of the game as they opened up a double digit lead at 20-10.
Potter worked tirelessly around the boards and was rewarded with seven personal points in the opening period which Rockets won 33-12.
Keane began the second quarter with three seniors on the bench and it was a delight to see David Obediah give an assist to Richards before Richards gave Dixon an assist for Dixon’s second treble before Boho was the recipient of yet another Richards assist as he sank yet another treble and Rockets had a twenty point lead at 42-22.
With just 17 seconds before the interval Pau Mayor brought the ball up court before making a fast drive to the basket where he scored, was fouled and hit the penalty shot to see Rockets with a 53-26 advantage.
Rockets speed of offence caused Hoods much trouble and though Hoods took the third quarter by 25-22 with a 6-0 finishing run, Rockets still enjoyed a 75-51 lead going into the final period. Dixon had his purple patch with seven personal points whilst Potter caused trouble around the basket as he hit six more points including one play where he made three fake moves before scoring under the basket.
18 year old Kelsey Espeut got his debut court time experience with an assist to his captain Potter before Mayor hit Rockets last five points to seal a very good team performance and crucial win on the road with a thirty point victory 97-67.
Top scorers for Rockets were Liam Davis with a double double of 20 pts and 11 rebounds as all Rockets six seniors turned in double digit scores for the first time this season. Ben Dixon and Ed Potter hit 15 pts apiece with Pau Mayor having 13 pts and Nick Richards 12 pts.
Reading Rockets 81 – 101 Thames Valley Cavaliers
Having returned to Reading at 1am after victory away to Nottingham Hoods the evening before, the fourth and final quarter was a quarter too far for the Rockets as they lost it 32-20.
Pau Mayor stroked Rockets first treble to get the home team on the scoreboard which he followed up with another score but the visitors were also in good form and levelled on 14 and 16 before Richards finished the period with six quick points from an assist from Mayor.
Mayor extended his personal tally and David Chive gave an assist to Liam Davis to score inside before Davis hit a long shot. However Cavaliers found their length from beyond the arc as they stroked three trebles in a most competitive quarter.
A Richards coast to coast score and another Davis slam off more great Rockets team work was answered in a 16-6 Cavaliers finish seeing Rockets trail 45-47 at the interval.
Captain Ed Potter scored off an offensive rebound as the scores remained very close at 56-58 but a 10-5 Cavaliers finish saw them lead 68-61 into the final period. Despite Richards stopping the rot as Rockets passes went astray and they couldn’t finish around the basket.
A Mayor lay-up and a Ben Dixon treble saw the score at 70-74 within three minutes of the resumption but Rockets looked somewhat jaded in the last seven minutes as Cavaliers converted on virtually every foray into Rockets half whilst Rockets lost their finishing touch as Cavaliers again had a positive finish with a 26-11 run to take the win 100-81.
Top scorers for Rockets were Nick Richards with 25 pts, five rebounds, five assists and six steals. Liam Davis hit a double double with 19 pts, and 10 rebounds and Pau Mayor continued his influence with 18 pts and 3 assists with Matias Boho hitting 12 pts
Liam Davis was Nando’s Player of the Game