Rocky flies by Meteors to meet Cairns

By RACHAEL BORICH

THE results have finally fallen the right way for the Rockhampton Stadium Nightclub Rockets men's basketball team which has fired into the 2005 finals.

They booked their top four finish with a comfortable 114-83 win over the Mackay Meteors at Rockhampton's Hegvold Stadium on Saturday night.

After the Rockets' win their captain Darren Richardson was straight out of the change rooms and on to the internet to see what was happening in the game between Cairns and Townsville.

It was a game the Rockets needed Cairns to win, and they did, 103-92 after the scores were locked at 50-all at half-time.

The pressure now intensifies this week when the Rockets head north to face an NBL-loaded Cairns Marlins team in the Cavalier Corporation QABL (Queensland Australian Basketball League) Sunstate league division in the best-of-three finals series starting on Friday night.

In the State's south the Southern Districts Spartans and Gold Coast will do battle to try to book their start in the next playoffs round when they play crossover finals against the Southern Cross league's top two teams.

Rockets coach Neal Tweedy realises the finals will be a tough ask for his team with Cairns boasting players like Cairns Taipans NBL player Aaron Grabau while Tim Berendorff is expected to return from NBL pre-season training with the New Zealand Breakers.

The Rockets will turn to players like US import Michael Hart, who compiled 33 points in Saturday night's win, and the team's young talent to help guide them to the next level.

Mackay, who defeated the Rockets in Mackay when the two teams last met, were struggling from the start by arriving without key players Peter Duck and Carl Teske.

"We did enough to get through,'' said Tweedy, who used all his players during the game.

Rockets forward Craig Bosel, who continues to grow in confidence, made the most of his court time, hitting 15 points.



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