Homecoming victory for Rockets

A pair of major wins in the run up to the end of the league season for Rockets.

Still without the injured Fin Porter, Rockets took victory against a talented team fighting relegation at Rivermead on Saturday evening before entertaining Thames Valley Cavaliers on Sunday back at their home court of Loddon Valley. Mitch Clarke ignited Rockets in the opening two quarters amassing 16 of Rockets 34 points at the interval. He began his scoring with a drive before Reis Pinnock showed his immense value to the defensive qualities of Rockets with a pair of early interceptions, the latter of which Pinnock sent an assist to Clarke to bury a treble. From 7-0 down Elite went on a 8-0 run to show their fighting spirit but a top of the key treble from Clarke matched only by a treble from Lewis Champion saw the game tied on 13 though a third Clarke score from beyond the arc edged Rockets ahead 18-13 at the first break. 

Reading Rockets VS London Elite in NBL action at Rivermead Leisure Centre.

With both teams defences strong, the game was low scoring by the interval though Rockets had enjoyed a double digit lead for most of the second period with Zack Powell getting back to something like his best form and Clarke outstanding as they went to the interval 34-23 ahead. Clarke and Champion continued to reign havoc on Elite but with only their second treble Elite reduced the deficit to 38-47 in Rockets favour as the final quarter beckoned. The officials were now expressing their authority calling more fouls, offensive and defensive together with technical fouls on both teams. This took away from the earlier flow of the game and impacted Rockets more though Elite’s travelling supporters made themselves known in the arena. 

Zack Powell of Reading Rockets. Reading Rockets VS London Elite in NBL action at Rivermead Leisure Centre.

A buzzer beating treble by Elijah Maynard was mirrored a minute later as Rockets appeared to take control at 60-47 and when Jermiah Jenkins hit a treble with his only points of the game Elite trailed 49-65 . However Elite were energised and fought tirelessly in the end game scenario going on a 17-7 finishing run as they stroked trebles, and Rockets missed with regularity from the free throw line bringing more encouragement to the visitors. However with most of the game stats quite similar it was the fact that Elite only held the lead in the earliest exchanges for some 20 secs and that Rockets led throughout the remainder was the deciding factor, just having enough fuel in the tank to see them over the line.