It's too little, too late for Port City
BASKETBALL: A dazzling game-high 33 points from Casey Walker was not enough to help Gladstone Port City Powerget its first win against Rockhampton Rockets on Friday night at Hegvold Stadium.
The 93-83 loss consigns the Power to an 0-5 start and equal bottom of the QBL ladder.
Walker started on the bench, but made an immediate impact once on, making 5-11 triples opening up a slight chance for Port City, until the final few minutes.
Rocky were set to make amends after it lost both pre-season games to its arch enemies.
And it set the tone early in the piece with Malcolm Bernard a dominant force as the hosts romped to a 30-15 lead.
He finished with 31 points, 12 rebounds and four triples and had great support from captain James Mitchell (16 points, seven assists). Ex-Power star Ray Willis impressed with 27 points and 12 boards.
Port City Power's Nathaniel Musters battled hard with eight points and nine rebounds as he, Taylor Young (19 points at 7-12 shooting) and energetic Cirkook Riak (15 points) helped edge their team into the game.
With just 2:19 minutes to go, Walker nailed a triple to get within five points and the natives got nervous.
Rockets settled and the Hegvold Stadium crowd drew a sigh of relief when Willis assisted Mitchell for two and the game was pretty much secured to take Rockets to 4-1 and third place on the QBL ladder.
Power game-day assistant coach Ray Cooper admired how the players stuck to their task when they game could have easily become one-sided.
"From what I saw, they did a really good job," he said.
"Some of the three's Casey Walker was hitting, I have never seen that sort of shooting before."
Port City Power played better for longer from the previous game against Toowoomba Mountaineers and Cooper said coach Brady Walmsley's professionalism will shine through.
"Brady just shows real leadership; he means business and he's nothing but professional," he said.
"Although that is not showing in the results, it's only a matter of time before they get that first win."
The Power has a great chance to break the duck egg when it takes on fellow win-less Southern Districts Spartans back at Kev Broom Stadium from 8pm this Saturday.