THE McDonald's Rockhampton Rockets have fired in the fourth quarter to score a valuable win over northern rivals Cairns in the QBL.
They scored 36 points in the final stanza to blow open what had been a close contest to run out 101-76 winners at Hegvold Stadium on Sunday.
Coach Neal Tweedy said it was a very good win, especially given Cairns had three members of its NBL team - Cameron Tragardh, Alex Loughton and Damon Heiur - in its line-up.
"They've always been one of the premier teams in the league," Tweedy said yesterday.
"They had a good win on Saturday night against Gladstone so we're just happy to give them another loss and move up in the northern conference."
Tweedy said the victory had come on the back of some stoic defence.
"We got the stops when we needed to in the fourth quarter," he said. "Defensively we just turned it up at certain stages and that gave us good flow out offensively.
"That's when we play our best basketball and that allows Mitch Philp and Jordan Gregory to get open looks at the three-point line.
"We've also got some guys really crashing the offensive boards in Ray Turner and Auryn MacMillan. Jackson McTier had an outstanding game as well with 13 points and seven rebounds."
Cairns led 19-15 at the first break before jumping out to a big lead in the second quarter, which the Rockets were able to peg back to lead 40-39 at half-time.
The third quarter was a dour struggle with the Rockets leading 65-64 before the floodgates opened in the fourth and the Rockets stormed home.
Gregory finished with a game high 28 points, with Philp scoring 27 and Turner 23.
The Rockets have a tough run home, coming up against ladder leaders Townsville this weekend before meeting Gladstone and Mackay.
Meanwhile, the Frenchville Sports Club Cyclones continued on their winning way with a 76-60 victory over Cairns.
Chandrea Jones was on target, top scoring with 25, while Shanavia Dowdell rattled up 20.
It was the ladder leading Cyclones' 12th win in a row.