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Jets boost play-off hopes with vital win

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Jets boost play-off hopes with vital win

Cheshire Jets claimed a fantastic road win in Glasgow after launching an astonishing rescue mission to fight back from 19 points down in the second half to take a thrilling victory at Kelvin Hall.

Cheshire Jets claimed a fantastic road win in Glasgow after launching an astonishing rescue mission to fight back from 19 points down in the second half to take a thrilling victory at Kelvin Hall.

After 23 minutes of poor play, the visitors exploded into life and left the Rocks reeling as they decided to come to the party and rack up a brilliant success.

Both teams headed into this clash knowing that even victory wouldn’t be enough to move them up a place in the BBL Championship table but in the context of the play-off race, this was still a crucial encounter.

It was a smooth opening first quarter for the hometown Rocks who spread the ball around the floor, rotated effectively and shot the ball well. This helped them ensure they had seven different scorers after the opening ten minutes and consequently they were firmly in control at 24-18.

Having just turned the ball over once during the first period, Rocks were able to play freely and the lack of any defensive pressure from Jets was a telling factor. The hosts increased their lead after a 10-2 run to open the second quarter before Adam Brown made a triple to stop the rot.

While going down by as many as 14 points due to their malaise, Jets couldn’t make any significant inroads into the Rocks’ lead and still trailed 43-32 at the break.

Perhaps the biggest issue for the visitors wasn’t only the double-digit deficit, but also the worrying lack of physicality and aggression with a staggering one solitary foul being committed by Jets in the first half.

Immediately after they returned to the floor, things went from bad to worse as Rocks scored nine of the first ten points of the third quarter meaning when Andrew Wedemire sunk a three-pointer, Jets looked to be truly buried at 52-33.

But to their immense credit, they launched a quite astonishing effort in a devastating spell to stun the hosts. More purposeful and focused on defence, this set the tone for a blistering quarter at the offensive end as Jets enjoyed a wonderful renaissance.

They outscored the hosts 27-8 during the remainder of the period, holding the Rocks to just four scores in almost eight minutes. It was an explosive passage of play from Jets who ripped through the gears at breakneck speed with firstly Bill Cole dunking to cut the deficit to single figures and then successive triples by Brown and Colin O’Reilly levelling the scores at 60-60 heading into the final quarter.

Things then got even better when Brown scored the basket that put his team into the lead and moments later, the same player would convert again to put Jets 70-65 ahead and complete an astonishing 24 point turnaround from just after half-time.

Rocks were suddenly not only on the ropes but slipping towards the canvas having perhaps thought they had the win sewn up when previously coasting early in the third period. It ensured a fascinating and dramatic finale.

As Jets kept their noses in front, the home fans wondered if their team could ever regain the initiative and with a little over a minute remaining, a three-pointer by Gareth Murray against his former employers finally got Rocks back on level terms at 73-73.

However, Jets then landed a big punch when Cole made a shot with 28 seconds left as they regained the lead. Then, when Mychal Green and DeAundre Cranston subsequently missed three-point attempts for Rocks, they had to foul.

It proved to be decisive as Brown punished them by making four free-throws in the dying seconds to help seal the win for Jets with a late triple from Andrew Wedemire simply not enough for the shell-shocked losing team.

Wedemire top-scored for Rocks with 20 points but it was Brown who was the top scorer in the game with 26 while Cole and Matt Schneck both claimed super double-double for a jubilant Cheshire.

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