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Glasgow Rocks 80-69 Worcester Wolves

Last Updated: Apr 18, 2016 08:38pm
St. Clement, Worcester
By Colin Taylor
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Worcester Wolves rounded out their regular season fixtures with a 69-80 reversal at Glasgow Rocks, the team they will now face again this week in the playoffs.

Both sides finished with a 19-14 win-loss record in the last British Basketball League standings, with Wolves taking fourth place, just above the Rocks by virtue of holding a 2-1 advantage in the teams’ three league meetings this season.

Despite Sunday’s result having no bearing on final league positions, Wolves’ Coach Paul James felt both sides put forward plenty of effort, saying: “While I’m disappointed we lost, I’m pleased that we still fought hard, as did Glasgow. It was a tight contest until the final few minutes.

“It was an opportunity for everyone on our roster to get court time and everyone stuck to their jobs and battled.”

In a balanced spread of scorers, Jordan Aaron led the way for Wolves with 16 points, with Jay Couisnard and Orlan Jackman tallying 13 and 11 points respectively. Pavol Losonsky contributed 10 points, while Perris Blackwell was a whisker away from another of his frequent double-double stat-lines with 9 points and 11 rebounds.

Worcester began ponderously, falling 3-13 behind after just four minutes as Rocks’ Great Britain forward Kieron Achara notched seven early points. By two minutes left in the opening quarter James had already introduced a quartet of players from the bench and one of those replacements, Jackman, nailed a couple of buckets to reduce the deficit to 21-23.

As the second period opened Couisnard slotted home successive three-pointers and Worcester were ahead for the first time at 29-25. Disraeli Lufadeju and Jordan Dawes got their names on the scoresheet to help maintain the lead until just before half-time.

Glasgow took the upper hand either side of the interval to go in front at 39-46 before another rally from the visitors resulted in an even contest at 58-58 entering the final quarter.

With four minutes of the afternoon remaining, more scoring input from Achara returned the advantage to Rocks at 60-67. Aaron grabbed a basket and a bonus free throw to once more close the gap to 64-69, but an 11-4 closing run was enough for Glasgow to take the victory.

The first leg of the quarter-final playoff takes place in Scotland this Friday, with the University of Worcester Arena hosting the return leg on Sunday 24 April (tip off 4pm).

James is optimistic about those matches, saying: “If we play to our potential we will win through. First up is Friday and after that we want to put on a great show for our fans back in Worcester on Sunday.”


 

Worcester Wolves 92-99 Cheshire Phoenix

 

 

 

Worcester Wolves slipped to a 92-99 defeat versus Cheshire Phoenix on Friday, meaning they end their latest British Basketball League campaign in fourth place.

 

Wolves round out their regular-season fixtures with a trip to fifth-placed Glasgow Rocks on Sunday, swiftly followed next week by a two-legged encounter against that same side in the first round of the playoffs.

 

Buoyed by another capacity crowd at the University of Worcester Arena, Wolves   raced into an early double-digit lead, before faltering against a team inspired by a highly-impressive 38 point and 15 rebound performance from their do-it-all forward Danny Huffor.

 

Perris Blackwell toiled for his own double-double stat-line of 28 points and 11 rebounds, while point guard Jordan Aaron managed 23 points.

 

Aaron and Blackwell exchanged passes for the initial score of the evening. A confident three-pointer was the first of five opening-quarter baskets from Aaron that built a healthy 23-13 lead with a minute remaining. 

 

Two quick replies and a buzzer-beating score for Quincy Taylor reduced the arrears to 23-19. By three minutes into the second period seven points from Huffor had given his team the lead at 28-29. Cheshire still held the advantage at 45-48 by half-time.

 

Aaron recovered his own miss and a prone Blackwell was able to pass the ball over his head for a Jay Couisnard triple to keep Worcester in the hunt at 58-61. But Huffor maintained his form. A spell of nine personal points in two minutes left the visitors 70-75 in front entering the final quarter.

 

Blackwell would continue to work tirelessly close to the hoop for a series of scores. However this was be Wolves’ only method of success. Repeated shot attempts from outside the arc went badly astray for the hosts, while Phoenix continued to keep their side of the scoreboard ticking.

 

By four minutes to go Cheshire’s lead had maximised at 77-88, with Wolves unable to find a way back into contention.

 

Coach Paul James was left disappointed, saying: “We began well. I made one or two substitutions and we seemed to lose our way. Our shots wouldn’t drop, while they made theirs.”

 

After this Sunday, Wolves will travel again to Glasgow next Friday. The deciding second leg of the playoff will take place at the University of Worcester Arena on Sunday 24 April (tip off 4pm). 

 

“We obviously wanted a better result today, so now need to work on a few things for Sunday and then get ready for next week,“ added James. 

 

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