City of Birmingham Rockets defeated Charnwood Riders on Saturday afternoon despite a nervy final quarter where our hosts staged a comeback against Coach Douglas’ men.
The game started in an open fashion, with Charnwood going ahead in the first minute before Mike Price and Faaris Mughal put Rockets on top.
Charnwood then retook the lead through free throws, before a three from the impressive Mughal put us back in the lead.
Mughal then scored another three and one from a free throw, while Nathan Ramsdale-Owen also got on the scoresheet to give us a nine-point advantage halfway through the first quarter.
Ramsdale-Owen scored a three to maintain Rocket’s lead in the face of a comeback towards the end of the quarter from Charnwood as we went into second quarter with a ten point lead.
Ramsdale-Owen opened the scoring in second half to finish off an excellent counter attacking move, putting the scores at 24-12.
Mike Price, Stephanos Kontopyrgos and Elvis Zeiluks contributed to a deadly attacking force in this period as we went 16 points up on our hosts.
Mike Thiep then scored a buzzer-beater to ensure that we went in with an eighteen point lead.
Charnwood made a fast start to the third quarter, scoring four in quick succession as they looked to cut into Rockets sizeable advantage.
Within three minutes Riders had cut our lead to just ten points as the home crowd really started to get behind our hosts.
Mike Price contributed a vital block before finishing off a lightning counter attack moments later to maintain our double figure lead as we increased the points advantage to 14 thanks to Price and Thiep.
Ramsdale-Owen and Louis Rogerson-Evans then scored one free throw each to keep Rockets ahead of the resurgent Riders who by this point had cut our lead to just nine points.
Riders continued to look more confident, with a buzzer-beater for them putting them into the final quarter just six points down and with all the momentum.
Charnwood opened the final quarter determined to claw back the match, and quickly reduced our advantage to just two points.
Rockets were reduced to shooting from the three point line as Charnwood’s defence held strong against our attack.
Thiep scored four to give us a six point lead with six minutes to go, with Ramsdale-Owen also scoring a well taken two as Rockets got back on top and got back into the game
But Riders still pegged us back to just four points with a minute to go to ensure that we were not comfortable as the game remained on a knife-edge.
However Mike Price sealed the win with a free throw with eight seconds to go, ensuring our second win in a row before of our important clash with Nottingham tomorrow.