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Surrey Scorchers 66-91 Worcester Wolves

Not so hot start for Surrey Scorchers

Last Updated: Jan 3, 2016 09:43pm
St. Clement, Worcester
By Colin Taylor
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Worcester Wolves got the New Year off to a winning start by dominating Surrey Scorchers on their own court on Saturday, leading Coach Paul James to label the performance as their best of the season so far. 

Three weeks ago Wolves raced to a 108-92 victory over the same opponents. On this occasion Wolves were able to keep up their scoring capability, but also now accompanied it with stingy defence, resulting in a highly-satisfying 91-66 score-line. A delighted James declared:

“We did well against Surrey last time out, but tonight we did even better. I couldn’t be happier with the way we applied ourselves from the start to the finish. There was barely a moment where we knocked off in our focus.

“You will win a lot of matches when you limit another team’s offense like we did tonight. We played with a high intensity at both ends. Essentially we played heads up, smart basketball.” 

The game broke clearly in Worcester’s favour when they limited their hosts to just a single basket in over seven minutes of the second quarter, leading to a 44-30 half-time lead. The margin was maintained in the third quarter and widened in the last period.

Captain Pavol Losonsky set an example for his team-mates by missing only three shot attempts on his way to a haul of 25 points, as well as pulling down 14 rebounds. Josh Cameron was next-highest scorer with 18 points, while his fellow guards Jay Couisnard and Ashton Khan contributed 16 and 15 points respectively.

By contrast, only a couple of Surrey players were able to reach double-figure scoring. KC Miller would end the match with 22 points, and it was the American who gave his side their solitary lead as the game tipped off. Couisnard responded with a three-pointer as a tit-for-tat first quarter commenced.

Three minutes into the second period Khan stole the ball from Tayo Ogedengbe to set up a score for Losonsky. A further burst of action from Khan saw him tally a quick seven points.

Cameron showed comparable vigour with a steal and a trio of baskets, while the final play of the first half typified Worcester’s dynamism; Orlan Jackman missed the second of a pair of free throws but watched the outnumbered Javier Mugica beat Surrey defenders to the rebound and set up a long-distance success for Couisnard.

A 68-50 advantage entering the final ten minutes was increased to 74-50 before Ogedengbe replied with a triple. However, Cameron was similarly on target from afar and even when his shot went awry was in the thick of matters to bounce the ball for Losonsky to convert.  

James was keen to applaud a team performance but, when pressed, expressed his pleasure at seeing his Slovakian forward come to the fore, saying:

“Everyone had a hand in the victory. Pavol has come back well from his injury and was really solid. He took up space and helped us take care of Surrey’s big men.” 

Next weekend sees Wolves face a double-header of matches on the road. On Saturday they travel to Bristol Flyers in the first round of the BBL Trophy, with a league encounter at Cheshire Phoenix the day after. James gave his thoughts on the challenge his side will face, saying:

“It will be tough to play on consecutive nights, but we’ll take it a game at a time rather than looking ahead. 

“Bristol is extremely important to us with it being the first step in the Trophy, a competition which of course we won two years ago. Only after that will we consider Cheshire. We’ve taken maximum points from our last three games and played our best basketball of the season today, so we’ll be ready.”  

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