Cyclones and Rockets blast Gladstone rivals in weekend clash
BASKETBALL: In his six year as Rockhampton Cyclones' coach, Chris Muggeridge has taken his team to three final games at home, but Saturday night's win was by far one of the best game he's seen Cyclones play.
"It was pretty impressive. I'm very proud of the girls to get the win,” he said.
"(Saturday night) was one of the best wins I've been involved in as a coach.
"Obviously winning championships is where it's at, but last night was a special win and showed absolute character.
"Gladstone have a fantastic team and are fully imported and we came out and just played ball and stuck together and won.
"It was fantastic.”
Returning home from a triple header last weekend, where the team took out two out of three wins, the side took on Gladstone Port City Power Breakers at Adani Arena, securing a final 65-60 win.
"To come up against the full-strength Gladstone team whilst we're heavily undermanned, it was a really excellent game to be a part of,” Muggeridge said.
"I thought it showed our culture and our character last night.
"We relied heavily upon our local players who got the job done. It was a win against all odds and to get the win was absolutely massive.”
Outstanding defence, ball control and tempo control helped the team surge ahead.
"Everyone who hit the court were a little bit better,” Muggeridge said.
"It's a really tight-knit unit. Everyone gets long and is enjoying playing with each other, which is the most important thing and where success comes from.”
With the two signed American imports and Jacinta Vandenberg not joining the squad until round six, the team's ability to pull another win was something that signalled towards an even more impressive season ahead.
"Once we're at full strength, I've got no doubt that we'll be the best team in the competition,” Muggeridge said.
"Obviously we take each game as it comes and prepare for every team but for us, i feel that we've recruited very strongly this year and we've got the balance right and we're in a fantastic spot.
"We've got five and one and have had only two home games all season.
"Last night was Mary Goulding's first game. She got here at 10am and played at 6pm and was absolutely outstanding.”
Point guard Shyla Heal lead the point scoring, with 21.5 points, followed by Alice Kuneck with 21.
Rockhampton Rockets also delivered a home game triumph, with a 94-79 win over Gladstone Port City Power Surge.
Gladstone got up early on the Rockets by six, and contained that lead until the two teams tied at quarter time.
"We played pretty well in their third and changed our defensive in the second quarter,” coach Neal Tweedy said.
"We were up 14 at half time and the lead blew out to 30 at three or four minutes into the fourth quarter.
"It was quite a comfortable win.”
After losing two of their triple header games last weekend, it was a happy reprieve for the QBL coach, particularly with the fluctuation in player recruitments and a few injuries.
"It was important we came out and played well in front of our home fans and the guys certainly did that,” Tweedy said.
Sean O'Mara led the point scoring with 37, followed by Shaun Bruce on 21 with 12 assists, AJ Ogilvy with 18 and Jimmy Mitchell on 10.
"I think we're going to get better every week, it's just going to take time,” Tweedy said.
"Sean O'Mara has been here for a period and with AJ joining us back now full time, the connections are going to slowly come together and there were signs of that in the game against Gladstone.
"I feel like we will definitely be a top four team but we've got to go win games. We have a good stretch of five in a row at home so it will be our opportunity to probably get some of those wins and move up the ladder.”
Rockets and Cyclones will be on a BYE next weekend, and then will play Cairns Marlins and Dolphins in round six at home.
Men's QBL Ladder
1. Brisbane Capitals
2. Sunshine Coast Phoenix
3. Townsville Heat
4. Mackay Meteors
5. Gold Coast Rollers
6. Rockhampton Rockets
7. USC Rip City
8. Cairns Marlins
9. South West Metro Pirates
10. North Gold Coast Seahawks
11. Logan Thunder
12. Southern Districts Spartans
13. Ipswich Force
14. Gladstone Port City Power Surge
15. Toowoomba Mountaineers
Women's QBL Ladder
1. Southern Districts Lady Spartans
2. Mackay Meteorettes
3. Rockhampton Cyclones
4. North Gold Coast Seahawks
5. Logan Thunder
6. Townsville Flames
7. Sunshine Coast Phoenix
8. South West Metro Pirates
9. Ipswich Force
10. USC Rip City
11. Gold Coast Rollers
12. Gladstone Port City Power Breakers
13. Toowoomba Mountaineers
14. Cairns Dolphins
15. Brisbane Capitals