Rockets eye play-offs after 'one of best games' last night
BASKETBALL: Rockhampton Rockets and Cyclones blasted their Mackay competition last night with two wins to kick off their double-header weekend on the road.
Cyclones continued to solidify their spot in second place with a 81-72 win over the Meteorettes and Rockets settled nicely into fifth place on the QBL ladder after a 113-96 victory.
Rockets' coach Neal Tweedy said the certainty of knowing where they will end up now, as the season begins to wind down, was a positive thing.
"It was good to know that we're going to finish fifth now,” he said.
"The result tonight (against Townsville Heat) won't mean anything. We can't go lower on the table.
"We know our position and know who we're playing against and will be playing Cairns next weekend.”
Tweedy said the Mackay game got off to another great start for the Rockets, who had a 21-point lead at quarter time.
The Rockets carried a 12-point back up of 55-43 two-point attempts throughout most of the first half, and were up by 19 points at three-quarter time.
"Then (Mackay) made a run to start the fourth quarter and we ended up winning,” Tweedy said.
"We shot the ball pretty well from the three-point line. We went 52 per cent from the three-point line, which is up from the average that we've been shooting.
"We shoot the ball well and it opens up a bit. There were contributions from everyone, which is important and that's what I saw last night.
"It was one of the team's best performances.”
Shaun Bruce led the team's scoring with 33 points and 13 assists, followed by Jamaal Robateau with 22 points and Sean O'Mara with 20 points and 16 rebounds.
Tweedy said his core group "did a lot of heavy lifting” and made "good contributions” to the game.
"Ben Wright came in and delivered 14 points. It was his best game of the year,” Tweedy said.
"Peni Nasalo broke it open in the second quarter.
"There was a good contribution from a number of guys. We were getting guys contributing from off the bench which was our main starting call.”
The Rocky teams are now on the road, heading to Townsville to play tonight.
Tweedy said a win tonight was more about leading into the play-offs and trying out some tactics to use in next weekend's clash against Cairns.
"It's probably a great opportunity where the result still means something for Townsville,” he said.
"They'll want to get second place but if we win they'll drop to third, so it's an important game for them.
"(If we win) it'll boost our confidence. We always want to be in winning form going into the play-offs.”
- Mackay Meteors 96 - 113 Rockhampton Rockets
- Mackay Meteorettes 72 - 81 Rockhampton Cyclones