December started with a visit from Surrey Scorchers – a team that went through some major changes in the off season and had recruited some familiar faces including ex-Rock player Tayo Ogedengbe who was captaining the side. However Surrey didn’t cause the Rocks too many problems and we came out 94-77 winners, pushing us up the table towards fourth place. Kieron Achara came off the bench to lead the way with 19 points, while Will Hall shot 7-of-7 from the field for his 14 points and also added seven rebounds and five assists. A highlight of the game can be found here.
The following week the Rocks made the trip to Manchester to take on the struggling Giants. The teams traded baskets throughout a high-scoring opening quarter as a JB three pointer put the Rocks ahead at the end of the first. We began to move clear in the second and led by as many as 10 points during the period but went into half time at 5 points up. The Giants levelled and managed to take the lead with a 65-61 advantage in the final two minutes of the third quarter. However the Rocks went on a 17-3 run to take the game 86-99. Jordan Clarke came off the bench to net four triples on his way to an equal team-high of 17 points alongside Warren Gillis, while Kieron Achara added 15 points and eight rebounds from the bench.
The Rocks then headed to the Copper Box on December 20th to take on the London Lions, having previously won against them convincingly at home last month. The team put in another great performance and lead the whole game, starting with a 15-4 run. Marcus Ware finished with 19 points including 10 in the opening period, while Warren Gillis added 12 points and there were 11 points apiece for JB and Jordan Clarke. After their dominant start,the Rocks led by as many as 22 points in the fourth quarter after back-to-back triples from JB, before the home side produced a late rally. However it wasn’t enough as the Rocks cemented their spot in the top four of the BBL Championship with an 71-84 win. The win also meant we claimed the head-to-head series against London and have now won six straight games against the pussy cats.
Our final game of the month was against Newcastle Eagles on 30th December. The last two times we played the Eagles we ran them close. Since then the team seemed to have found a bit of consistency and many fans felt this would be the game we could finally get one over on them. The stage was set.
A full house in the Sports Hall. Drums. Lights. Horns. All we needed now was a great team performance. Unfortunately we crumbled. Big style. The Rocks kept in touching distance of the Eagles for the first half, going into the break only 6 points behind. Sadly there must have been something in the drinking water at the break as the third quarter display allowed Eagles to score 31 points and the Eagles pushed on from there. It was a disappointing 72-104 win for the Eagles particularly with all the hype pre-game. Will Hall carried the team on his shoulders and ended the game with 24 points.
Despite the disappointing end to 2015 the team has put in some good performances. Vote for your December Player of the Month below!
Who Is Your Player of the Month for December 2015?
- Will Hall (58%, 19 Votes)
- Jordan Clarke (18%, 6 Votes)
- Marcus Ware (9%, 3 Votes)
- Adam Hammerschmidt (6%, 2 Votes)
- Kieron Achara (3%, 1 Votes)
- Riley Grabau (3%, 1 Votes)
- Jonny Bunyan (3%, 1 Votes)
- Armin Mazic (0%, 0 Votes)
- Bantu Burroughs (0%, 0 Votes)
- Warren Gillis (0%, 0 Votes)
Total Voters: 33