13th Apr, 2021

Capital gains as Wolves fell Trophy winners

Rob George 1st Apr, 2021

WORCESTER Wolves produced a 84-72 statement victory at highly-touted London Lions, last week’s BBL Trophy winners.

After defeats in their last two outings, Wolves’ coach Matt Newby emphasised the need for his side to be ready to play from the opening tipoff. A blistering 28-18 first quarter answered his plea and built a solid foundation for the afternoon.

“It was an excellent response to a couple of very tough losses – credit has to go to the players for adjusting their mind-sets,” said Newby.

“Despite this being our third game in five days we showed our strongest defensive performance against one of the league’s strongest offenses.

“The last part of the Bristol defeat definitely stuck in everyone’s minds and focused us on not letting ourselves and fans down. Today’s win was one for the fans.”

A Mike Parks hook and long-range successes for Maarten Bouwknecht and Josh McSwiggan set the right opening tone for the visitors. After London slipped up on their next possession, McSwiggan connected again for an 11-0 start.

Jordan Williams set out his familiar stall of backing down opponents for his own scores or creating opportunities for others. Henry Wilkins was one of the recipients of those chances, sinking consecutive three-pointers.

Elijah Burns mopped up offensive rebounds to aid Worcester’s 46-42 half-time advantage.

The second half opened with Parks spinning around his defender and thrusting to the basket. After Williams drove the length of the court he faked a shot before selflessly handing the ball to Parks for an easy layup.

A 66-54 gap entering the final period was widened when Lamarr Kimble supplied a no-look pass for Burns to slam home.

Williams showcased his bulging bag of tricks by draining a rare triple as the shot-clock wound down and, in more well-worn territory, pogoed in the air to block an attack from London big man Chris Tawiah.

Continuing effervescence allowed Wolves to always be a step quicker to every loose ball and close out a notable success.

Williams led the scoring with 23 points, as well as pulling down eleven rebounds and dishing out a half-dozen assists. Parks notched 17 points, McSwiggan tallied 12 and Burns and Wilkins tallied ten apiece.

Wolves are on the road again for their next match, visiting Bristol Flyers tomorrow (Friday).

“If we show the discipline we had today and again go into the game with the correct mind-set, we’ll certainly be in much better shape than in our last match against them,” said Newby.

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