Rockets cruise to comfortable win against Force yesterday
NEAL Tweedy isn't convinced the McDonald's Rockhampton Rockets are QBL championship material just yet.
A week after upstaging Cairns Marlins, the reigning QBL men's champions managed their second win of the 2014 QBL season with an 88-75 win over Ipswich Force at Hegvold Stadium yesterday.
In what Rockets coach Tweedy described as the club's best half of basketball in recent years, the Rockets dominated the opening two periods to lead 55-26 at half-time.
QBL men's finalists seven of the past eight seasons under Tweedy's guidance, the Rockets mentor said the side let slip an opportunity to develop the club's future talent.
Rising stars Jackson McTier, Rhys Taylor, Brad Kann and Jared Blanchard must've been eagerly awaiting their chance to spend some time on court as the Rockets opened up the hefty lead.
But only McTier got his hands on the ball, playing the final 2.08 minutes of the first half.
"Look, I think championship teams win those third quarters even if you're up by that sort of margin and that was the disappointing thing," he said.
"It should've maybe not pushed the lead out, but we should've been out by 30 by three quarter time and getting some young kids into the game."
Import and QBL Round 1 Player of the Week Chehales Tapscott led the scoring in the first half with 25 on his way to a game high 38 points.
However, the home side let a 29-point half-time lead slip to give the Force a slight hope of recording their first win of the season, much to Tweedy's disappointment.
Rockhampton Rockets 88 (C Tapscott 38, R Turner 16, B Williamson 12) def Ipswich Force 75 (J Legan 25, M Ita 14, K Harvey 12) at Hegvold Stadium yesterday.
LADDER: Rockhampton, Townsville, Mackay, Cairns, Brisbane, Northside, South West Metro, Toowoomba, Gold Coast, Bundaberg, Suncoast, Ipswich, Gladstone.
"When you play that well in the first half I suppose the only place you can go is down," he said of the side's performance in the second half.
"That was probably some of the best basketball we've played in a couple of years, I would've thought.
"We really executed and we got a lot of easy looks. But the second half we just didn't come out with the same energy we had in the first half.
"That was probably it (and) not respecting our opposition maybe. We got out-rebounded by 10, outscored by 20 probably and the effort just wasn't there."
Fellow import Ray Turner was busy on the boards, pulling down 11 to go with 16 points while Brad Williamson shot at 50 per cent from beyond the arc to finish with 12 points.
Rockets star Peni Nasalo, who was a member of the 2013 QBL championship winning team, said half-time brought them undone.
"We switched off mentally, more than anything and gave them some easy buckets," Nasalo said.
"They got their flow on and we tried to switch it back on and it's hard to get back when you're not making shots and we just lost our flow, really."