City of Birmingham Rockets Men’s First Team extended their unbeaten run to 10-0 with a hard fought 77-64 win over Bristol Academy Flyers at Nechells Wellbeing Centre on Saturday afternoon.
Rockets went into the game looking to take their winning run into double figures with victory over a Flyers side that sat fourth in the division.
A slow start saw our visitors take control of the early exchanges and open up the game’s first lead of note.
We began to find our feet midway through the first with Kayne King and Simon Hoar influential as Rockets looked make the most of our size advantage.
Rockets ended the first trailing by four, 18-14.
The second quarter saw Rockets show their quality, with Christian Prince and Luke Okosieme rebounding well on both ends of the court.
Rockets rebounded really well throughout the game with Simon Hoar, Christian Prince and Kayne King all recording double figures.
Coach Gayle’s side worked the ball well into the lane to draw fouls and score inside.
A more cohesive second period saw Rockets go into half time leading 38-36.
Despite leading the league in three pointers going into the game, Rockets struggled from beyond the arc all night; with strong post play proving crucial.
A tight game swung back and forth; Flyers come out after half time the better side as they looked to capitalise on Rockets’ continued struggles from range.
We went into the fourth trailing by two – the scores at 58-56 with it all to play for.
The fourth quarter exemplified why Coach Gayle’s side are the only remaining unbeaten side in the league as we limited Flyers to just six points while scoring 21 ourselves.
Tempers began to flare as Rockets took control in the fourth, with Rockets’ more experienced players dominant in the final minutes as they looked to make sure of the win.
We saw the game out and won by 13 points, 77-64.
In a game that saw Rockets struggle to be as clinical from range as we usually are, it was the hustle and ball movement that allowed us to be prolific inside.
Double doubles from Christian Prince and Simon Hoar were just two of the highlights from a strong team performance.
We host Bristol Basketball United on Saturday 10th December in a game that could see Rockets gain a win over each of the 11 teams in the division.