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Wolves coach Paul James praises professional performance at Phoenix
HEAD coach Paul James praised the professionalism of Worcester Wolves after recording their eighth successive British Basketball League victory.
Just 48 hours after beating London Lions 94-76 at the University of Worcester, Wolves demolished Cheshire Phoenix 121-90.
It lifted them to third in the table with 17 wins from 26 matches, their highest position of the season, ahead of a 10-day break before they travel to Sheffield Sharks.
James said: “I said to the players that this will be the last time we play for a couple of weeks so let’s make the most of it and finish on the right note. We were hot on the offence and defensively we were superb. It was a professional performance.”
Ex-Cheshire forward Kai Williams revelled in returning to his former home court, scoring 29 points, while Stan Ocitti added 27, as well as 10 rebounds.
Alex Owumi also registered a double-double with 19 points and 11 rebounds.
James, without centre Arturas Masiulis due to a bad cold, added: “Kai had a tremendous game. He really showed his repertoire.”
Just as in last Friday’s comfortable victory over London Lions, stifling defence and efficient offence was the key factor in the success.
Three-pointers from Chez Marks and Gabe Haskins gave Phoenix their only lead of the match before Ocitti and Williams did the same, helping Wolves to a 10-6 lead.
That had increased to 25-12 at the end of the first quarter following scores from Ocitti, Owumi and Kalil Irving.
Sherrad Prezzie-Blue entered the fray in the second quarter and was soon on the mark with two long-range baskets.
But even more impressive was a burst of scoring from Williams who tormented the hosts to bag 15 points in the second stanza alone.
Former Worcester forward Stuart Thomson posted nine points but his side trailed 58-37 at half-time.
Wolves continued to frustrate their opponents and Arnas Kazlauskas delighted in harassing the opposition into mistakes.
A steal and a subsequent three-pointer from the Lithuanian left his side firmly in control at 85-58 going into the final quarter.
The scoring baton was passed to Ocitti in the last period as he nailed a trio of baskets from outside the arc.
With five minutes to go, Wolves had gone past the century mark at 101-70 following a couple of Carlos Fernandez free throws.
Teenage forward Harry Turner then floated home a triple and team-mate Karl Noyer hit a quick brace of scores.
With Owumi the only Wolves starter still on court, Cheshire were finally able to give some respectability to the final scoreline.
Haskins and Marks top-scored for Phoenix with 26 and 25 points respectively.