Overtime glory against Elite

Following last weeks’ 17 point comeback against Essex only to lose in the end game, Rockets were determined not to repeat that loss . Having fallen 15 points behind an ever improving new comers to the league, Rockets showed huge spirit and excellent team play to take victory in overtime in north London.

Mitch Clarke started where he ended last weeks game in scintillating form as he stroked the first treble of the game before he sent an assist to Reis Pinnock to follow suit . When Lewis Champion hit Rockets third treble in the opening 90 secs they enjoyed a 10-2 lead. Clarke scored with an exquisite finger roll and then sent a further assist to Champion to hit Rockets 4th treble of the opening period moments before Fin Porter announced his arrival on court with a slam dunk and extend Rockets advantage to 9 points at 18-9. But London fought tirelessly and finished the quarter with a brace of trebles to lead Rockets 22-21 .

Issac Round of Reading Rockets. London Elites VS Reading Rockets in NBL Action

London continued with a purple patch of excellent defence and superb shooting to go on a 15-0 run before Elijah Maynard stopped the rot with a pair of free throws. Pinnock, who was having his best game of the season struck another treble sandwiched by a brace from Maynard but still Rockets trailed 32-37 . Clarke took a charge and sent an assist to Porter to score moments before he picked up his third personal foul. The period ended with an exchange of scores with Rockets still adrift by 40-44 at the interval. The third quarter was peppered with free throws as the referees gave calls that concerned all players and the 2 Head Coaches whilst frustrating the supporters .Jermiah ( Flip ) Jenkins hit a treble and Maynard another pair as Rockets came back to 56-58 in arrears  but London hit three trebles in the remaining 2 minutes to go into the final period 69-63 ahead. 

From what the league table had shown as a ‘should win’ Rockets were in trouble but with  7 quick Clarke points and a Zack Powell slam Rockets get to 2 points behind the hosts on 74-76 with 6 minutes to play. Pinnock was secure from the free throw line and Powell sank a treble to draw the game on 81. Both teams hit trebles, London’s was banked , so they couldn’t be separated on 84 inside the last 52.4 seconds. Clarke took down a defensive rebound, raced towards the London goal , was fouled and hit both penalty points seeing Rockets up by one with less than 20 secs on the clock but London hit a treble to lead and appear to take the win. However Rockets played the ball inside to power forward Chris Alexander who appeared to score as he was fouled. This would put Rockets head by a single point with a free throw to follow but he was adjudged to have his feet on the floor so went to the line hitting one of the two free throws and taking the game into overtime as it was tied on 87.

Reis Pinnock of Reading Rockets. London Elites VS Reading Rockets in NBL Action

A resurgent Rockets now had the bit between their teeth feeling aggrieved of the last referees’ decision and were determined to come away with the victory as Clarke and Pinnock stole this overtime with great offensive and defensive performances to take this period 20-8 and keep Rockets in touch with other teams seeking top league positions early in the season.

Top scorers for Rockets were Mitch Clarke with 27 pts, 7 rebounds and 7 assists as Reis Pinnock hit 20 pts , took down 8 rebounds and made 5 assists. Elijah Maynard stroked 19 pts as three other Rockets players all hit double figures …Fin Porter , Zack Powell and Chris Alexander who also took down 10 rebounds for a double double. Rockets now play at home on Sun 3rd December in the National Cup 5th round  at Loddon Valley tipping at 4 pm