St Maurice's High School was the place to be on Friday 13th September as the Title Defending U18 Lady Rocks started the 2019/2020 season at home to rivals Perth Phoenix!
The Lady Rocks won tip-off however possession was short lived as Perth stole the ball, creating an early first look at the basket but failed to score. Lady Rocks immediately jump start their fast break up the court to get the first points on the board, courtesy of Emma Dunsire. The Rocks force Perth Phoenix into a turnover which turned into two more points. Perth re-start play by breaking up the court and scoring.
Defensive pressure would be a key factor for both sides for the duration of the 1st quarter, with neither side able to force any sort of comfortable lead. The score would sit at 8-8 half way into Q1.
Towards the end of Q1 Rocks started to get to the free-throw line courtesy of strong basket drives from Rafferty, Brown and Dunsire. Perth would only trail the Lady Rocks going into the Q1 break.
END Q1 | Lady Rocks 16-14 Perth Phoenix
A quick lapse in judgement allowed the Perthshire side to score immediately at the start of the quarter, score tied at 16. The Rocks turn the ball over two times in succession, which allowed Perth to take the narrow lead; timeout called by Lady Rocks.
Lady Rocks struggles continued coming out of the timeout as Perth continued to strengthen their lead, sitting at a six point advantage.
Towards the end of the quarter Lady Rocks began finding scoring success with baskets from Brown, Taylor, Burns and Cairns, including an miraculous turn-around shot clock buzzer beater from Dunsire! Perth weren't to be out done as they continued to score too.
A late Q2 resurgence from Lady Rocks brought the deficit down to only 3-points and forcing Perth into a timeout. Perth pushed on following the timeout to extend their lead to seven points heading into the halftime break.
HT | Lady Rocks 29-36 Perth Phoenix
The Lady Rocks started the second half with some excellent ball movement on the offensive end, disrupting the defensive efforts of Perth. The Cumbernauld side would find scoring success from Brown, Burns and Dunsire to start the quarter, narrowing the deficit to only three points.
The defensive pressure continued to mount by the Lady Rocks, forcing Perth into several turnovers. Perth eventually find their feet and settle into the game mid Q2.
The Lady Rocks continued to try and work the ball into the low-post but with several turnovers, Perth would continue to break up the floor and score, increasing their lead to nine points.
Elizabeth Brown became the main scoring threat for the Lady Rocks late Q3, displaying several spin moves in the key and further cutting into the deficit.
However, continued frantic play on the offensive end and a lack of defensive rebounds by the Lady Rocks allowed Perth to maintain another seven point lead going into the Q3 break.
END Q3 | Lady Rocks 39-46 Perth Phoenix
A strong start to Q4 for Lady Rocks, scoring quickly. The Cumbernauld side followed this up by stealing the ball in the front court; Burns providing the entry pass to Dunsire who drop steps and draws contacts, hitting 1/2 at the free-throw line. The Rocks faithful beginning to turn up the noise!
Improved defensive pressure provided more fast break opportunities for the Rocks, cutting the deficit to two points. Abbie Taylor would steal the ball at the half, making an excellent pass to Burns driving down the lane and drawing contact; 2/2 hit at the line and the match is tied at 48!
With the Rocks fans continuing to increase the noise, the Lady Rocks matched this energy with further steals on the defensive end of the floor, all leading to points on the the offensive end. With a four point lead, Perth call timeout.
Coming out of the timeout, Lady Rocks continued to find looks at the basket but to no avail. Turnovers and failed attempts were began to become a big problem for the Perth side with time not on their side. The Rocks maintained a six point advantage.
Some lapses in judgement late Q4 allowed the Perthshire side to tie the game, forcing Lady Rocks into a timeout.
The Lady Rocks took a narrow two point lead with 1:30 to play in the game thanks to a strong drive from Ciara Burns. The Rocks immediately steal the ball at the halfway line but turn the ball over to Perth, who drive to the basket and draw contact. With 1:01 left to play, Perth had a great chance to tie the game at the free-throw line! Perth miss both free-throws.
Following the missed FT attempts from Perth, Lady Rocks break up the court and find Brown for two! Yet another steal in the front court from the Lady Rocks allows Dunsire to add on two more points for the Lady Rocks; Rocks fans on their feet bringing the noise!
In the end, with thanks to a late Q4 comeback, your U18 Lady Rocks took the win over Perth Phoenix!
FT | Lady Rocks 62-56 Perth Phoenix