by Vlad Ionasc
Cheshire Phoenix mounted a great fourth quarter comeback against the Glasgow Rocks and secured their third consecutive win.
The Nix trailed the Rocks for the majority of the night, but a great performance in the final quarter of the game meant they secured a crucial win in the BBL Cup. Cheshire dominated the glass and also shot better than their opponents from beyond the arc.
The Nix kept the Scottish crowd quiet for the opening minute of the game, as they embarked on an early 5-0 run. However, the hosts responded with a 11-0 run of their own shortly after. Ben Mockford knocked down a three-pointer to stop the bleeding at the 6:05 mark of the quarter. The Rocks shot better than the Nix in the opening quarter of the game and that allowed them to go into the second period of play up 25-20 on the visitors.
Cheshire opened the second quarter with a 5-1 run, but yet again the Rocks answered with their own 5-0 run. Phoenix made great plays at both ends of the court during the mid-way minutes of the quarter and regained the lead with four minutes left until half-time. The two sides went back and forth for the remainder of the quarter with Glasgow slightly edging the battle. The hosts went into half-time up 44-40.
The two sides traded baskets during the first four minutes of the second half, Alasdair Fraser continued his scoring surge as he made all of his attempts in the third quarter. The Rocks eventually created some separation as their lead swelled up to 10 points with four minutes remaining in the penultimate quarter. Glasgow made eight of 15 shots in the third and limited the Nix to just 16 points, the Scots went into the fourth quarter up 61-56.
Cheshire scored six unanswered points in the opening three minutes of the final quarter and regained a marginal one-point lead. The Nix played suffocating defence in the fourth as they forced their opponents into multiple turnovers and missed shots. Parker Jackson-Cartwright increased Cheshire’s cushion to six after he knocked down a couple of free-throws with just three minutes left. The Rocks found a way back into the game after an explosive 9-0 run during the final two minutes. The hosts thought they’d won the game but Mockford’s mid-range dagger with 10 seconds left meant that the Nix snatched the win, 74-72.
KEY TEAM STAT: 36 rebounds. As mentioned in the preview, the Nix had to win the rebounding battle and they did just that. Ben Thomas’ men gave up just three offensive rebounds and 28 in total. The Nix also pickpocketed their opponents 12 times which shows how they just out-hustled their opponents.