Rockets guard Chris Fowler on his way to sinking a basket.
Rockets guard Chris Fowler on his way to sinking a basket. Allan Reinikka ROK270517arockets

Dream debut not enough for Rockets win

BASKETBALL: American import Chris Fowler has hit the Hegvold floor running for the Rockhampton Rockets.

Despite a double double for 21 points and 12 assists, the dynamic guard could do little to halt the might and power of the Townsville Heat.

Fatigue cost the home side dearly, as the Heat upped the ante in the second half to earn a valuable 92-81 win.

Rockets coach Neal Tweedy conceded his side struggled with the Heat's tactics in the final quarters but was encouraged by the signs of progress.

"They might have won but it was very close, closer than 11 points,” he said.

"We were up by eight at half-time, then they change up their defence to a trapping style and we didn't execute.

"They ran out our misses while we were walk ours, they got it right tactically.”

QBL Ladder

1. Mackay Meteors

2. Brisbane Capitals

3. USC Rip City

4. Cairns Marlins

5. Townsville Heat

6. Ipswich Force

7. Gold Coast Rollers

8. Rockhampton Rockets

9. Logan Thunder

10. Toowoomba Mountaineers

11. Gladstone Port City Power

12. Sunshine Coast Pheonix

13. South West Metro Pirates

Up against a seasoned side, with NBL and Australian players throughout, the Rockets gave away chemistry as well.

Tweedy said they were missing a bit of size in the paint.

"Chris was outstanding in his first game, he got fatigued though which is more of a match fitness thing,” he said.

"This league is all about winning on the road so losing at home is disappointing. But we know we are building. All the ins and outs make it hard.

"Townsville have been together a long time and just have better chemistry. Playing against an elite team with the likes of Justin Baker (30 points) Todd Blanchfield and Peter Crawford is difficult.

"It will take a couple of weeks before we are at our best but the signs are there definitely.”

The Rockets take on the undefeated Mackay Meteors away next round.



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