ROCKETS reached their first final in four years after beating Myerscough College to book their place in the final.
Despite being without the services of Sam Grant (long term back injury) coupled to the absence of Rockets Australian guard Ben Dixon, Rockets eased themselves into the final with speed of transition causing Myerscough to turn the ball over too much and Rockets capitalising with 35 points from this source alone.
With a comfortable lead in the initial three periods, Coach Keane gave his six academy players much court time in the final quarter as they gained experience for the final on Sunday, February 2 at Essex University with a 3.30 pm tip.
Rockets couldn’t complete the transfer of their new recruit before the game but he’ll be registered for next week’s Sunday Rivermead game against Liverpool. Which tips at 3.30 pm.
Liam Davis scored Rockets first points with a left handed hook before Pau Mayor finished with a lay-up. Nick Richards began his usual up beat tempo with a fine drive and score, also drawing the foul and making it a three point play.
Matias Boho took an assist from Richards to stroke a treble from the top of the key and see Rockets enjoy a lead of 16-8 before Coach Keane introduced Ross Stepney and Asher Ndal onto court and seeing Rockets go to the first break with a 22-16 advantage.
Richards and Ndah were the high personal points contributors of the second period with 8 and seven points respectively with 17 year-old Ndah hitting an impressive treble and making another three point play as he was fouled in scoring and then hit the penalty shot too.
Rockets had quickly moved to a 36-18 lead before Richards finished with a tip in after rising high and mighty above the opposition. Another academy player, Kivuvu Live, made his debut appearance at Rivermead and soon hit a jump shot to score.
Rockets captain, Ed Potter, was leading by example by taking a charge but Rockets thirteen steals showed the main difference between the teams at the interval with Rockets 46-28 ahead.
Myerscough scored first after Rockets missed on their opening possession but it was back to normal service as Richards made yet another steal and then sent an assist to Boho to score. Davis hit a pair from the free throw line as Rockets reached 50 points with a 20 point lead. Mayor and Richards hit trebles whilst Potter worked tirelessly under the basket to score seven personal points as Rockets went into the final quarter 65 – 37 ahead.
Again Myerscough scored first and had a 7-3 run interrupted only as David Chive banked a treble. Kivuvu played well on his debut and hit six more points in this quarter though Myerscough took the opportunity as Coach Keane rested all his senior players and took the final quarter 21-12 .
A Kivuvu dish to Chive was one of the highlights of this period as the future looks promising for Rockets academy players as they are such an integral part of Rockets Seniors and seek to further develop themselves at the highest level in English basketball. The final score was 77 -58 though the primary goal was a fine victory and cup final place, something the team delivered and deserved.
Top scorers for Rockets were Nick Richards with 16 points, six assists and four steals as Matias Boho hit 13 points, took down five rebounds and made three steals. Captain Ed Potter was also in double figures as he hit 10 points and took down seven rebounds though watching the development of the academy players remains a great joy for the Rockets leadership team and the supporters.