The Rockets douse heat from Townsville in last quarter
A POINTS scoring blitz early in the fourth-quarter by Dominic Cheek secured victory for the McDonalds Rockhampton Rockets over the Townsville Heat 94-81 on Friday night.
While pleased with the result, the game highlighted some areas the Rockets need to improve and their coach Neal Tweedy concedes the game was a challenge.
"We got challenged in that game, no doubt about it," Tweedy said.
"We started well, we came out strongly again. Then Townsville changed from their man-on-man defence to a zone defence and we struggled with that. It took us a while to adjust. Then the third quarter was very tight. Then in the last quarter Dominic Cheek got us going. We scored around 20 points in the first five minutes, while they scored 10 and that broke the game open for us. It was definitely a challenge and we're happy to come away with the win."
The statistic reveal just how much of a challenge it was, the Rockets winning the first quarter 28-24 and the second quarter by just one point, 22-21. After Townsville made their defensive switch they won the third quarter by the same margin, 16-15.
It took Cheek to put some fast points on the board early in the final quarter for the Rockets to pull away and claim the 13 point victory. The US import was the difference between the teams, finishing with a game high 30 points, with 10 rebounds and two assists. The Rockets' other US import Chehales Tapscott was their second to scorer, with 26 points and six rebounds.
"Both Cheek and Tapscott were very good for us," Tweedy said.
"Other players chipped in well and played their role for us, as they have done this season and will continue to do so."
According to Tweedy, Townsville lacked the last quarter player who steps up and dominates the game, as Cheek did for the Rockets.
"Townsville were very competitive, up until the last quarter," Tweedy said.
"They just don't have that one player who can step up and win the game for them. The QBL is a home court league. There's no doubt Townsville will be tough when we play them up there in Townsville next month, when they have the home floor advantage. This league is all about winning on the road, to be successful in the QBL you have to win more games on the road than you lose and when we visit Townsville it will again be a tough challenge."
The Rockets prepare for Bundaberg at home this Friday night.
"Glen Scott bruised his knee at training last week so he struggled through the game against Townsville," Tweedy said.
"He played through the pain and we got 19 valuable minutes from him. That is something we will monitor this week. Chehales is nursing a slight ankle injury, but he should be fine."
ROCKETS' TOP SCORERS
Dominic Cheek 30 pts, 10 reb's.
Chehales Tapscott 26 pts, 6 reb's.