Rockets take down the Trailblazers

In probably Rockets best team performances of the season they took the
scalp of the league leaders and title favourites in an outstanding display at
The Valley on Good Friday. The visitors won the Kitking Trophy just 10 days
before and defeated Rockets in Derby less than 6 weeks before by 99-81
so the task ahead at tip was immense for Head Coach Samit Nuruzade
who was again , and still without Fin Porter.

Elijah Maynard of Reading Rockets. Reading Rockets VS Derby Trailblazers in NBL action at Loddon Valley.

Trailblazers troubled the scorers first from the free throw line where they
went 25 times compared to only 16 for Rockets but Rockets team
basketball began immediately giving Elijah Maynard his first points. Captain
Lewis Champion made the first of his 4 assists to Chris Alexander before
another great team play saw Mitch Clarke finish. When Jermiah Jenkins
stroked the first of his 5 trebles Rockets had a double digit lead of 18-7,
much to the surprise of the travelling supporters and most encouraging to
the home spectators. Could Rockets win from a 26-11 opening quarter?
Title chasing Trailblazers edged the second period 24-20 but Rockets still
went to the interval 46-35 ahead thanks mainly to determined defence and
fast passing of the ball around the key, coupled to 5 steals. Reis Pinnock
again showed his value to the team with his speed to interrupt Trailblazers
advances, assists and steals whilst Clarke was everywhere controlling the
team momentum and finishing well.

Rockets maintained their influences at both ends of the court as
Trailblazers captain Malcolm Smith ,Corey Johnson and Sam Maslen tried
to take control but another 25-22 quarter gave the hosts a 71-57 advantage
going into the final stanza as Maynard lit up the court with a brace of
trebles , Pinnock made an excellent tip in and the supper team ball gave
Rockets the continued edge.

When the fourth period began with Rockets being called for 4 fouls in the
opening 2 minutes and 6 within 3 minutes, Trailblazers came alive and
much closer at 73-66. The travelling supporters could now be clearly heard

as they looked to the win that would significantly help them to the league
title. However cometh the hour cometh the captain to drain a pair of trebles
but Trailblazers had 2 x 3 point plays leaving the game in the balance with
Rockets ahead by 7 points with 7 minutes remaining. The atmosphere at
The Valley was loud and exciting.

Jermiah Jenkins of Reading Rockets. Reading Rockets VS Derby Trailblazers in NBL action at Loddon Valley.

The deficit was just 4 points at midway
through the quarter at 80-76 and then the scores were level on 80 apiece.
Then Trailblazers stroked a treble to take the lead with less than 4 minutes
on the clock. Maynard scored with a drive and then Jenkins imposed
himself with 4 trebles including one when he was fouled in shooting and hit
the free throw for a rare 4 point play. Trailblazers and their supporters were
shocked and adrift at 97-90 into the final minute. They made a 3 point play
but fouled Jenkins twice and he sealed the deserved victory with 4 from 4
from the free throw line to complete a game that will last long in the
memories who were there to see it.

Rockets now head to their last league game on Sun 7th April tipping at 4 pm
with a certain place in the Play-off Championship but hoping to secure a
home tie the following weekend.