Basketball: Injury to Flockhart leaves Kings chasing rolling Rocks
The final score of 72-61 did not tell the full tale however, with the gap of 11 points seven closer than when they met last season.
It might have been even closer but for an injury to Kings centre Simon Flockhart, who was poleaxed after a collision with Rocks player-coach Sterling Davis after seven minutes of the first half, which robbed Kings of their tallest player. He was still their top rebounder with ten and second top scorer with 11 points.
Flockhart, who may go for an X-ray for a possible broken cheekbone, bravely came back in the second half to play an important part in a fightback, which saw Kings draw level at 38-38 on a three-pointer from Craig Reilly with just under six minutes of the third quarter remaining.
Reilly tallied ten points and six rebounds, but it was his brother Lee who topped the bill with an outstanding 23 points, a tally matched only by Gareth Murray, who closed strongly to notch 28 for the Rocks, with E J Harrison adding 18.
Kings coach Doug Reilly said: “It was great to see that, when tested against BBL opposition, we proved we are capable of playing at that level, but I was disappointed as we had it within ourselves to win, though I’m proud of the way the whole club put together a spectacularly successful day.”
Rocks’ Scottish guard Jonny Bunyan was kept on the bench for the entire game as coach Davis persisted with his starters: “I wasn’t surprised at how good they (the Kings) were,” said Davis. “I’m relieved we’re still in the competition.”