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Sheffield Sharks 83-64 Worcester Wolves

Last Updated: Nov 10, 2013 07:05pm
St. Clement, Worcester
By Colin Taylor
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Friday 08 November 2013

Worcester Wolves were finally knocked off their perch at the top of the British Basketball League after slumping to a 64-83 defeat at One Health Sharks Sheffield on Friday.

Wolves were behind the pace from the outset, but the real damage was done in the third quarter of the game when they were held scoreless by their hosts for a tortuous nine minutes. In the portions of the game when Worcester were able to move the scoreboard, there was precious little offensive contribution from anyone other than their ‘big three’ of Will Creekmore, Zaire Taylor and Alex Owumi. This trio of players combined for 53 points of their side’s 64 point total.

By midway through the first quarter a single Creekmore basket was the only response to Sharks’ eleven-point opening. Towards the end of the period the deficit had reduced to 15-20 following a double of long-range scores from Owumi, but Sheffield’s former Great Britain International Olu Babalola was allowed plenty of space to nail a shot on the buzzer.

There was a brief spark of hope for Wolves as the second quarter began. Calvin Morant-Hudson laid on a neat pass for Taylor to connect from outside the arc and Creekmore then brought matters back to 20-22. Although the gap had again widened to 33-40 by half-time, it still looked as if either team could take the victor’s spoils.

Creekmore scored in the first moments of the second half, but from there any lingering thoughts of a possible Wolves victory completely evaporated. Sharks’ influential point guard [censored] Holmes took charge of their offence, distributing clever passes for his team-mates to easily place home. In the meantime, Sheffield defenders swarmed around Creekmore on every possession, confident that no other Worcester player would be able to capitalise on the extra space they were then afforded.

The normally reliable Taylor failed to make four successive free-throws, Owumi misfired from the outside on numerous occasions, and a lack of support for Creekmore on the inside sealed Wolves’ doom as they spluttered to a measly six-point third quarter return.

Entering the final ten minutes of the night the deficit stood at 39-57. Despite taking a hard blow that punctured the cheekbone just below his left eye, recent signing Andreas Schreiber finally provided some much-needed help for Creekmore close to the basket, tallying eight late points.

However, with Holmes still controlling the plays, and with Babalola and his forward partner Mike Tuck able to power to the hoop at will, the re-ignited visitor’s offence made no difference to the eventual wide margin of defeat.

Creekmore dominated the Worcester statistics with 25 points and 14 rebounds. Taylor and Owumi were the only other notable Wolves’ scorers with 15 and 13 points respectively. Holmes led the way for Sheffield with 18 points. As a team, the Sharks connected with six of their eleven three-point attempts. In stark contrast, Wolves hurled up a huge 28 three-point attempts, connecting with only five of those.

It will get no easier for Wolves in their quest to stay as one of the challengers for BBL honours, as they make the long trek up to Glasgow Rocks on Sunday. 

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