Match Report – Glasgow Rocks vs Worcester Wolves
Glasgow Rocks took home a big win over Worcester Wolves at the Emirates Arena this Mothering Sunday. Jessica Matthewson reports.
My first note on this game was in regard to the Rocks’ diminished squad during the warmups. Wolves looked to have a full 12-man team available to them and they showcased such talent in the pre-game that if I decided to bet, my money would have been on the visiting team.
Furthermore, the Rocks haven’t had an enjoyable BBL Championship season up until now, losing most games with a stable seat at the bottom of the table. Coming off the back of their defeat in the BBL Trophy semi-final to the London Lions, the home side were eager for a much-needed win.
Johnny Bunyan took his first opportunity to shoot, straight from the tip off. An effortless three point shot landed and really set the tone for the rest of the game. Rocks were ferocious, shouting directions to each other on court, calling out their opponent’s plays, rebounding under the basket leading to point after point. It was great basketball to watch and I was suddenly glad I hadn’t placed my original bet.
Ronald Delph, the 7’0 center, was their dominant force under the basket. His height and talent makes him stand out and it was always to be a safe bet when the ball landed in his hands. Wolves didn’t have a player to match him on defence and struggled to keep up. I’d also imagine the smile he had on his face most of his game time didn’t help the morale on Wolves bench.
Rocks luminary, Gareth Murray, showed off his experience of the game and was a driving force for the younger squad members. The referee called a foul on him in the first quarter, a decision that was not taken lightly by the forward-guard. He responded instantly with a fade away shot and a foul. It was the quick responses and moments like this that really elevated the home team.
The second and third quarters brought about quite a slump in the action. The Wolves had a reaction to every basket that the Rocks were getting and both teams were fighting under the basket every time the ball came down. Game play began to get hostile as the gap between the teams got lower, but Rocks managed to keep a point lead throughout the entire 40 minutes.
The fourth quarter began with a 12-point lead to Rocks but there was still everything to play for as Wolves showed no signs of slowing down. Grippingly, Rocks began to make mistakes – poor ball handling and a lack of communication meant that the possession was mainly Wolves’. They didn’t give in however and began pushing a full court defence, pressuring the ball handler and bringing play down the court.
This all changed after two consecutive slam dunks for Delph which spurred on his team and had the bench on their feet. I’d imagine this would have been a real crowd-pleasing moment had there been a crowd to please. After the exhilarating scenes that took place, the home team managed to work cohesively once again, finding space every offensive play.
With only three minutes left and a definite lead to Rocks, they began to slow down play. The away side responded by getting fairly challenging and therefore gaining technical fouls. Bunyan and Christian Keeling scored final buckets securing an 88-81 win to the Rocks.
The two teams play against each other again this Friday night in Worcester, where Rocks will be looking for a similar outcome.