Rockets' import Malcolm Bernard finished with a game high 35 points in the team's loss to the Gold Coast Rollers.
Rockets' import Malcolm Bernard finished with a game high 35 points in the team's loss to the Gold Coast Rollers. Allan Reinikka ROK280418arockets

Rockets suffer heavy loss on home floor

BASKETBALL: The Rockhampton Rockets have suffered one of the biggest defeats on their home floor, going down by 44 points to the Gold Coast Rollers on Friday night.

Poor defence compounded by early foul trouble saw the home team trailing by 10 at the main break but it was in the third quarter that the Rockets were put to the sword.

They were outscored 32 points to eight to eventually be beaten 130-86.

It was better news for the Rockhampton Cyclones who scored a 78-64 win over the Gold Coast Rollers.

The ever-reliable Aaryn Ellenberg led with the way with 18 points, eight rebounds and five assists.

Aaryn Ellenberg was on song again for the Cyclones.
Aaryn Ellenberg was on song again for the Cyclones. Chris Ison ROK180518ccyclones2

The Hegvold crowd also got their first look at the team's newest recruit, New Zealander Brooke Blair, who finished with 12 points.

Rockets' coach Neal Tweedy would offer no excuses for his team's heavy loss.

"It's probably our biggest loss in history at home so that's disappointing but we know we're a lot better than that,” he said.

"It was one of those nights that I think you've just got to forget about and move on.”

Tweedy said it was a case of the Rockets playing poorly and the visitors playing very well.

"We got off to a bad start again but this time we got ourselves in a lot of foul trouble early and our defence didn't improve,” he said.

"We did get it back. We were only down 10, and we had a couple of looks early in the third to get it lower than that, but then we couldn't make a shot and they went on a great run and made a lot of threes quickly.

Rockets' coach Neal Tweedy:
Rockets' coach Neal Tweedy: "It was one of those nights that I think you've just got to forget about and move on.” Chris Ison ROK290417crockets3

"Before we knew it that 10 got to 20 and we just couldn't stem the flow.

"We had a lot of players on two fouls very early in the game and you can't play tough defence because you're worried about the next call getting to three fouls.”

Despite the Gold Coast sitting below the Rockets on the QBL ladder, Tweedy said their record was deceiving.

"They're a high-quality team. I think talent-wise, they're a top four team, there's no doubt about that.

"They've added point guard Rhys Martin in the past week, a 10-year veteran out of the NBL, and he just controls them and they're a different team with him there.”

The Rockets had 22 turnovers on Friday, something Tweedy said they could ill afford against quality opposition.

The team will look to regroup in preparation for Gladstone on Saturday night.

"They will be up for the local derby but we know we've got to be better and it's got to start defensively,” Tweedy said.



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