Heat Send Rocks Home Empty-Handed
22 October 2012
The Surrey Heat maintained two unbeaten records with Sunday’s win over the visiting Glasgow Rocks. First they remain perfect at home, having gone four out of four to start the season. Second, they kept the Rocks winless at the Surrey Sports Park. You have to go back to when the Heat played in the Spectrum to find the last time the Rocks won in Surrey.
Both sides started slowly, the Heat taking a 16-13 lead at the end of the first quarter, with the Rocks over-reliant on their three-point shooting, which accounted for nine of their points. In the second quarter, the Heat really turned it on, with some beautiful passing setting up numerous open looks at the rim, captain Julius Joseph and big Frank Holmes the main beneficiaries.
The Heat used a 9-2 run to open up a 12 point lead, 27-15 early in the quarter. After the Rocks threatened to finish the strongest, cutting the lead to 39-33, the Heat scored the last four points. First Chavis made a between-the-legs pass to namesake Frank as the big man slid to the basket for an open dunk, then Chavis scored in traffic for the last basket of the half to make it 43-33.
Frank and Chavis pushed the lead to fourteen, 47-33, in the opening minute of the third, before the Rocks slowly started to get back into the game. An 8-2 run cut the lead to eight at 51-43, but the Heat rebuilt the lead to13 at 57-44 when Martelle McLemore scored on the fast-break after a Chavis Holmes steal. However, that would be the Heat’s last field goal of the quarter as the Rocks tightened up on defence for the last four minutes. A 10-2 run pulled them to within five at 59-54 and then after the Heat scored four points at the line, the Rocks scored the last four points of the quarter to make it 63-58 going into the last 10 minutes.
Peter Simek started the fourth quarter strongly for the Heat with four points to make it 67-60, but the Rocks responded with an 11-2 run to take their first, and only, lead of the game, 71-69, with five minutes to go. The lead lasted precisely 16 seconds as Chavis Holmes hit a long jump shot to tie the scores and then hit a pair from the line to put the Heat back in front.
Frank Holmes, with his most aggressive display in the post this season, increased the lead had been schooling GB International Keiron Achara all game. This time he did it with a turnaround jump shot off the glass, before tipping in a miss to further increase the lead. Sam Cricelli showcased his all round skills, finding Julius Joseph under the basket, the Heat captain flipping the ball off the backboard with his back to the basket. Then Sam found Frank Holmes inside, the Heat big man capping a 12-4 Heat run with his 20thpoint of the game.
That made it 81-75 to the Heat with a minute to go and when the Rocks briefly threatened to get back into the game with a three to cut the lead to three, Chavis Holmes made it a two-possession game with a free-throw with 36 seconds to go. The Rocks needed a three, but the Heat’s swarming defence kept them from getting a good look. Twice they heaved up prayers before Chavis Holmes stole the ball and fed a wide-open Martelle for a reverse slam to seal the game, 84-78.
The Heat were led by Frank Holmes’ season-high 20 points to go with his nine rebounds. Going up against GB International Keiron Achara on both ends of the floor, Frank clearly had the better of the match-up. Martelle McLemore wasn’t far behind with 18 points to go with his eight rebounds. Chavis Holmes added 13 points, nine assists and six steals and Julius Joseph added 12 points. Sam Cricelli made up for his shooting woes with seven points, six rebounds and six assists.
The Rocks were led by Donald Robinson’s 27 points. Ex-Heat point-guard EJ Harrison didn’t enjoy his return to Surrey, with 12 points and five assists in a losing cause, while Gareth Murray added 13 points and seven rebounds.
The Heat now make the long trip down to Plymouth to take on the Raiders next weekend before returning home to host them in the BBL Cup on Saturday, 3rd November, 7 o’clock tip-off at the Surrey Sports Park.