READING ROCKETS picked up an emphatic away win on their trip at title chasing Nottingham Hoods.
With point guard Mitch Clarke back home in Australia, returning guard Jermiah ‘Flip’ Jenkins was soon reacquainting himself with the Nottingham Hoods whom he tormented last season.
As usual Christian Alexander got the Rockets the first points of the game quickly followed by the improving Elijah Maynard before the influential Zack Powell went coast to coast.
Reading Rockets Pictures: Luke Simcock
However, the hosts went on an 8-2 run before Reis Pinnock scored with a finger roll to stop the rot. The teams were locked on four occasions in this opening quarter with Maynard and Powell stroking trebles to see the game tied on 19 apiece at the first break.
Captain Lewis Champion stroked a majestic treble as the score changed hands often in the second period with Maynard and Powell the main threats, seeing Rockets with a slender six point advantage at 34-28 midway through the quarter.
However, a 12-0 Hoods run saw them lead 40-34 with a couple of minutes before the half time interval but a Powell end line drive and score coupled to a Jenkins treble kept Rockets within touching distance at 39-42 down.
Powell got Rockets off to an equalling score with a treble but this was a major battle against a top side with neither team wanting to suffer a loss. Maynard and Reis Pinnock hit trebles but Hoods did likewise to enjoy a five point lead at 56-51 midway through the third quarter.
Rockets edged ahead and when Maynard scored again with a pull up shot led by 61-56 with a 10-0 run. Back came Hoods as the final quarter beckoned leaving Rockets with a 65-62 advantage.
Powell imposed himself as the fourth period began with a wide score followed by a three point play giving Rockets a bit of breathing space at eight points ahead.
Again Hood responded but Rockets big forwards Porter and Alexander scored well inside and Champion made a key block before stroking a treble to stay nine points ahead.
However, with a noisy involved home crowd behind them, Nottingham hit back but Maynard took the wind out of their sails with a three point play.
A big block from Alexander and a Maynard treble coupled to a Jenkins free throw gave Rockets a double digit lead at 86-76 with just under three minutes on the clock. An Alexander slam and Champion treble saw Rockets comfortable with a 15 point lead at 91-76 with just over a minute remaining.
Hoods wouldn’t give up and hit seven unanswered points but with Jenkins again secure from the free throw line Rockets enjoyed a big away win at title chasing Hoods with a 93-84 victory.
The Rockets return home this week as they welcome high flyers Essex Rebels to the valley after the D1 Women welcome Bristol Flyers in a repeat fixture to their recent cup success on November 19.