by Vlad Ionasc
Cheshire Phoenix dropped their third consecutive game against the Glasgow Rocks.
Ben Thomas’ men played well at times, however, they failed to bring the required intensity for the entire duration of the game. The visitors played efficient, team basketball as they shot 54 percent from the floor and accumulated 18 assists on the night. Vincent Lavandier’s men also took better care of the rock as they only tallied 11 turnovers to Cheshire’s 16.
Dante Thorpe paved the way for the visitors with 18 points on 58 percent shooting from the floor. Ali Fraser notched a 13-point, 10-rebound double-double for the Scottish side.
Parker Jackson-Cartwright led all Phoenix scorers with 18 points on 62 percent shooting from the floor while Michael Ochereobia contributed with a 10-point, 10-rebound double-double.
The visitors were kept quiet in the opening two minutes, however, Thorpe’s three-point basket at the 8-minute mark gave Glasgow their first lead of the game. Despite the slow start from both teams, the Nix found themselves ahead by one at the mid-way point of the first stanza. Jalen Hayes’ emphatic dunk at the 2:06 mark pushed Phoenix’s lead to four. The Rocks closed the quarter with a 10-0 run and went into the second period up 16-10.
The guests continued their great stretch as they opened the second quarter with an 8-2 run. Despite Cheshire’s 4-0 reply, Glasgow’s lead swelled up to 16 points at the 4:44 mark. The visitors were scorching hot from three-point range in the second frame and it was Thorpe’s step-back trey which extended their lead to 19 at the 3:36 mark. The Nix closed the first half well, as they outscored their opponents 7-3 however, they still found themselves down 26-43 after the opening 20 minutes.
The Nix got off to a hot start at the beginning of the second half as they embarked on an early 10-3 run. Glasgow’s lead was trimmed down to single digits after Jackson-Cartwright connected on a long two-point shot at the 6:01 mark. The Rocks stopped Cheshire’s momentum as they went on a 7-0 run during the mid-way point of the third quarter. All of Cheshire’s good work was undone in just four minutes as the Rocks reinstated their game-high 21-point cushion at the 2:01 mark. The visitors slowed the game down in the closing minutes of the penultimate quarter and held their 21-point lead going into the fourth.
PJC drained a three-point shot to start off the final quarter, however, Jonny Bunyan replied with a three of his own just 17 seconds later. Djo Ebala’s lay-up at the 5:48 mark gave the visitors a then game-high 26-point advantage. The Nix played hard as they tried to rescue a result, however, the Rocks controlled the tempo for the remainder of the game and triumphed 87-71 at the final buzzer.
KEY TEAM STAT: 33 REB. The Nix won the rebounding battle as they grabbed 33 rebounds to Glasgow’s 28. The Scots dominated every other statistic and most importantly they out-scored the Nix by 16 at the final buzzer.