Wolves stay top of the tree in fine style

Worcester News: Wolves stay top of the tree in fine style Wolves stay top of the tree in fine style

WORCESTER Wolves ensured they will spend the Christmas period at the top of the British Basketball League after virtually ending London Lions’ title hopes with a 93-64 win at the University of Worcester Arena.

The teams were locked together until the second quarter when Lions’ coach Vince Macaulay was ejected from the court. From there, a 25-6 surge from Wolves broke the game open and allowed them to saunter to an impressive victory.

Almost three minutes had elapsed before Worcester centre Will Creekmore took the first points of the evening.

After another couple of minutes a score from Alex Owumi increased the advantage to 7-3, after which Macauley edged on court to show his displeasure and receive his first technical foul.

A combination of numerous sloppy plays from both sides and tight officiating from the referees contributed to a low 16-14 scoreline by the close of the opening period.

But six points in a row from Kramer Knutson and a dunk from his fellow American Nick Freer put Lions into the lead, before scores from Owumi and young Wolves’ forward Kalil Irving put Wolves back in front at 23-22.

A double of fouls called against his team preceded Macaulay furiously throwing his hands into the air and subsequently being ordered out of the arena by the officials. Owumi made both free-throws awarded for Macaulay’s second technical offence and so ignited the Wolves’ surge.

Over the remaining six minutes of the first-half there was only one team in the contest. Andreas Schreiber repeated the form that had earned him a spot in the latest BBL Team of the Week, bullying his way to a quick 12 points.

Schreiber was also the man on the spot as the half-time buzzer sounded, standing unguarded beneath the basket to rebound a wayward shot from Kai Williams and finalise a decisive 45-28 advantage.

The second-half began with a three-pointer from point-guard Zaire Taylor and another double of scores from Schreiber, further extending Wolves’ dominance.

A series of responses from London’s veteran English pairing of Julius Joseph and Mike Martin finally steadied the visitor’s ship and pulled matters back to 63-47 as the close of the third period neared.

However, the boat was once more rocked by a late burst of action from Taylor.

Firstly he stole the ball from Joseph and torpedoed a pass for Stefan Djukic to lay in. He then cruelly teased his opposite number Rod Brown into committing a back-court violation. From the resultant possession he helped the ball out to Daniel Belgrave, who swished it through the net for a triple.

Five points from Williams continued the Worcester control from the outside, while on the inside London were unable to prevent Creekmore barrelling to the basket.

Lions’ inability to take care of the ball was summed up when their young guard Albert Margai rocketed a pass over the head of his intended target, only to see it deftly caught at the side-line by smiling Wolves’ coach Paul James.

Creekmore had his by now customary double-double of statistics, with 20 points and 15 rebounds, followed by Schreiber with 16 points and nine rebounds.

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