November saw the team have an away double header on the 7th and 8th at Bristol and Plymouth respectively. A 58 – 67 victory against the Bristol Flyers saw the Rocks claim their third league win of the season. Will Hall top scored with a game high 20 points and Warren Gillis added 16 personal points. Kieron Achara came off the bench to contribute 10 points and 7 rebounds. A late Bristol surge in the fourth quarter made for a one possession game but the Rocks pulled off a 9 – 2 run to secure the win.
The team travelled to Plymouth the next day to play the Raiders, who were sitting bottom of the league without a win. However Plymouth Raiders found themselves 8 points up at the half. The Rocks battled back in the third quarter with Riley Grabau hitting a trio of 3 pointers, helping the Rocks reach a six point lead. However Plymouth hit a 3 pointer in the final minute and came away with a 76 – 75 victory. Warren Gillis top scored with 20 points in a game where Plymouth once again proved to be our “bogey team”.
13th November saw the Leicester Riders visit the Emirates Arena for the first game of the double home weekend. Both teams were tied three times during the fourth quarter but on each occasion it was the Riders that managed to pull ahead. The Rocks were outscored 30 – 17 in the final 10 minutes of the game and the final score finished 68 – 76. Kieron Achara put up 17 points and 10 rebounds off the bench. It was a game that many Rocks fans felt we could (and should?) have won.
The second game of our home double header was against the London Lions on 15th November. The Lions moved ahead 13 – 15 in the first quarter, before the Rocks regained the lead and did not trail for the rest of the game, with the team opening up a double digit lead in the third quarter. A comeback for the Lions looked to be on, with them closing the gap to just 4 points with 4 minutes remaining but a triple from Riley Grabau and a fast break dunk from Marcus Ware helped seal an 87 – 80 win. Five players hit double figures with both Kieron Achara and Warren Gillis hitting 18 points. Riley Grabau had 17 points and Will Hall recorded a double double of 13 points and 15 rebounds.
The Rocks then headed to Sheffield on 27th November. With Sharks having won their first meeting of this campaign last month, Atiba Lyons’ side could secure the head to head with a win. The Rocks rallied from 5 points down with 30 seconds to play to beat Sheffield Sharks 92 – 86 after overtime. An up-and-down contest looked to have swung Sheffield’s way late in the fourth quarter when Mike Cook’s triple opened up a 5 point gap. But Jonny Bunyan responded from long-range before Will Hall completed a drive to the basket to force overtime. Warren Gillis led the Rocks scorers with 27 points and Kieron Achara added 17. Not only did the Rocks put in a superb performance, but a special mention must go to the fans who travelled to the game, complete with horns (which we are now selling on game days). Their noisy support not only helped the team to victory, but they also managed to annoy several Sheffield fans in the process! Excellent result all round! Another shout out goes to Will Hall’s friends and family who were honorary Rock’s fans for the night – good job guys.
The final game of the month was at home to the unbeaten Newcastle Eagles on 29th November. The last time the teams met the Rocks ran the Eagles close. Despite facing a double-digit deficit in the second half, the Rocks came out fighting and managed to close the gap to within three points, only for the Eagles to take an 8 point advantage into the final quarter. An 8-0 start to the fourth saw the Rocks level the scores and they had the chance to go ahead at 65-65 but Warren Gillis couldn’t convert his and-1 opportunity. Rocks were level at 69-69 inside the final three minutes, but Eagles showed their experience of closing out games as they pulled off an 11-3 run to secure the victory. Marcus Ware top scored for the Rocks with 14 points.
The Rocks finished November with 3 wins and 3 losses – so who was your player of the month? Get voting!
Who Is Your Player of the Month for November 2015?
- Will Hall (30%, 17 Votes)
- Warren Gillis (21%, 12 Votes)
- Marcus Ware (18%, 10 Votes)
- Jonny Bunyan (12%, 7 Votes)
- Riley Grabau (9%, 5 Votes)
- Kieron Achara (4%, 2 Votes)
- Jordan Clarke (4%, 2 Votes)
- Armin Mazic (2%, 1 Votes)
- Adam Hammerschmidt (2%, 1 Votes)
- Bantu Burroughs (0%, 0 Votes)
Total Voters: 57