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Phoenix and Lions no match for super Wolves
8:30pm Sunday 10th March 2013 in Sport
WORCESTER Wolves stunned hosts Cheshire Phoenix with a superb 121-90 victory in the British Basketball League tonight.
They moved above Plymouth Raiders in the table after carrying an 85-58 lead into a high-scoring fourth quarter.
On-song Wolves successfully followed up a Friday night beating of London Lions when Paul James’ men triumphed 94-76 at the University of Worcester.
The tip-off of the home match was delayed due to the Lions arriving late after being caught up in heavy motorway traffic.
Wolves seemed determined to punish the visitors as a double-digit lead was established after only a few minutes and easily maintained throughout the evening.
London captain Michael Martin fumbled his side’s opening possession, allowing Wolves counterpart Carlos Fernandez to pounce and score.
Wolves centre Arturas Masiulis helped himself to the next five points and Fernandez then floated up a long pass for Stan Ocitti to slam though the basket.
After four minutes, Lions coach Vince Macauley called for a time-out with his team trailing 15-9. But then Alex Owumi nailed his first triple and, a few moments later, dunked the ball home following a steal from forward Kai Williams.
Another Owumi three-pointer helped his side race to a 25-10 advantage and the lead was further increased by scores from forwards Kalil Irving and Arnas Kazlauskas.
Orlan Jackman and Junior Williams finally registered the Lions’ first scores from the field in nearly six minutes to close the opening quarter 30-15 in arrears.
The margin between the teams held steady throughout most of the period until three minutes to go when it peaked at 52-30 after Masiulis made two points and a bonus shot.
The last hurrah for Lions came in the remainder of the first-half as they posted a 12-2 run.
More London pressure saw the sides go into the locker rooms at 54-40 to the hosts.
But, with three minutes left in the third quarter, the lead had pushed back out to 70-47 after five points in a row from Ocitti.
Sherrad Prezzie-Blue showed he is building back to fitness after his knee injury with a couple of clever plays.
Firstly, he stole the ball and hurled a full-court pass to Owumi for a one-handed dunk and then he thrilled spectators with a behind-the-back dribble and score from long distance, putting the match to 75-51 as time expired in the third.
With their visitors’ spirit broken, Wolves were left to stroll through the final 10 minutes.
Masiulis and Ocitti formed a near-impenetrable barrier around the Worcester basket, limiting the weary London attackers to a mere six scores.
Irving and Ocitti kept the hosts’ side of the scoreboard ticking over towards the final 94-76 outcome.
Wolves head coach James said: “I’m pleased with the win.
“We shot the ball well and we were good defensively.”
Although Owumi once more led the Worcester scorers with 25 points, Ocitti and Masiulis were not far behind with 23 and 22 respectively.
Ocitti also impressed by hauling down a massive 19 rebounds.
James added: “Alex has scored consistently all season long but when we get more players in double figures it makes us hard to beat.”