GAME REPORT: Strong first half performance not enough to take Rocks past Cheshire

Glasgow Rocks 77 – 84 Cheshire Phoenix

Match report by Alan Caldwell

A brave performance from the Rocks in a close encounter defeat at the Emirates Arena against the Cheshire Phoenix, despite a strong first half performance from Glasgow.

The first quarter couldnโ€™t of started any better for the Rocks as it was Gareth Murray who hit the teams first shot of the game, draining a three pointer which he then followed up on just possessions later, hitting another three pointer to give the Rocks a 6-0 start to the contest.

The fast start made by Glasgow forced Cheshire into taking a timeout in hopes of slowing down the Rocks at the start of the first quarter as both teams continued to trade baskets after the timeout.

Despite Cheshireโ€™s best attempts to slow the pace down, it was the Rocks who opened up the quarter with a 15-11 lead as Gareth Murray nailed his third three pointer in the game already, giving him a quick nine points in the first quarter.

Still leading the game at the end of the first quarter, the Rocks continued to be aggressive in attacking the paint as Isa Brandon and Julius Van Sauers got fouled and earned points at the line before Gareth Murray continued his incredible shooting form in the game, nailing his fourth three pointer in the quarter to give him a game high 12 points and the Rocks a 20-15 lead after the first.

Moving on to the second quarter, again it was the Rocks who started the faster out of both teams, as Gareth Murray converted a layup then dished off an assist to Isa Brandon who also finished at the rim with a layup.

Things only seemed to get better for the Rocks at the start of the second quarter as Jonny Bunyan hit his first three of the night which was then followed up by another three from Isa Brandon off the baseline dish by Fraser Malcom.

The Rocks continued to play team basketball, opening the first two quarters up with 12 assists on 13 field goals, as this time it was Bunyan with a behind the back pass to Jacdonmi who hit another three pointer for Glasgow.

the last 4 minutes of the second quarter also belonged to the Rocks as they went on a 12-2 run giving them the biggest lead of the game so far going up 15 and continuing to assert their dominance on this contest.

Despite this, going into the interval, it was the Cheshire Phoenix who managed to go on a run of their own, as they closed out the quarter on a 10-3 run, however, the Rocks still lead the game 42-34 at halftime.

The third quarter brought about a frustrating start to the second half for the Rocks as Phoenix opened up the quarter on a 10-0 run which saw them regain the lead and go up by two points before Van Sauers made a driving layup to tie the game back up at 44-44.

Both teams continued to go back and forth on the scoreboard as three made free throws from Murray, which was then followed up by his fifth three of night saw Glasgow retake a slender lead.

The Rocks continued to battle with Cheshire, as Isa Brandon converted a three point play after being fouled on a made layup, which was then followed up by another Murray three to give him a total of six threes in the game.

Despite this, to end the third quarter it was Cheshire who found their three point shot as they went on a 14-7 run to retake the lead going up 65-62 going into the last quarter.

Still all to play for in the fourth quarter it was Boban Jacdonmi and Van Sauers with two layups to regain the lead for Glasgow, however this was short lived as both teams continued to take the lead back and forth in this close encounter.

Going down the stretch it was Fraser Malcom and Jacdonmi with timely layups to give the Rocks more scoring in the fourth quarter, however, other than this, the shots just wouldnโ€™t drop for Glasgow as Cheshire continued to score and open up a lead on the game, outscoring Glasgow 19-11 in the quarter and winning the contest 84-77.

Three Rocks players finished the game with double digit scoring as Gareth Murray finished with a game high 23 points and Boban Jacdonmi finished with another impressive double double, posting 17 points and 15 rebounds.

The Rocks now prepare for Friday nights game at the Emirates Arena where they will take on the Manchester Giants for a 7:30pm tip off.

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