Rockets run out of steam, Cyclones win in quarter-finals
BASKETBALL: The Rockhampton Rockets have said goodbye to their finals chances after going down 92-74 in last weekend's quarter-final match against Mackay Meteors.
Despite the disappointing end to a jet-setting season, hope is not lost for Rockhampton chances in the finals.
Cyclones took out the quarter-final against Brisbane's South West Metro Pirates by 93-81.
Coach Chris Muggeridge said the win was a huge achievement for the women's team and spelled out a promising end to the season.
"It means a season that's still on track and we're still alive in the competition,” he said.
"We came up against a great team and beat them at home, which is a massive achievement.
"I was very proud of the way they played and excited to be on the hunt still for the final.”
Best on court by far was Aaryn Ellenberg, who contributed 38 points, 11 rebounds and six assists.
"It was a massive effort,” Muggeridge said.
Shanavia Dowdell, who was struggling with a pre-existing hamstring injury, could only manage eight minutes on the court.
"Ellenberg stood up and took control of the game and it was good for everyone,” Muggeridge said.
The beaming coach said Saturday's match was one of the best performances of the year.
"We shot the ball well and controlled the ball and did little things right,” he said.
"It was all about effort on effort and having the will to get the job done.
"We executed little one per centers and it was a fantastic effort all round.”
With the added pressure of finals, Muggeridge said the win was all the more impressive.
"Being able to play at that level under pressure in a final is very exciting,” he said.
"When it comes to finals it's a whole lot tougher and teams play better so the intensity has to lift and that's exactly what we did.
"I expect them to do it again next week against Townsville.
"We'll focus on controlling the ball a bit better, work on defence and catching balls in offence.”