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Wolves remain on course for success after thriller
3:17pm Tuesday 28th January 2014 in Sport By Steve Carley - Midlands Sports Journalist of the Year 2013, @stevecarleyWN
WORCESTER Wolves’ British Basketball League match against Cheshire Phoenix last Friday was edge of the seat stuff.
Nerves became increasingly frayed during a pulsating 40 minutes which saw the teams locked at 80-80 before the hosts eventually prevailed 89-85 in over-time.
It was the loudest I have heard a crowd at the University Arena and that made for a thrilling atmosphere.
The match swung one way, then the other, with Wolves coming from behind and then losing their lead as the sides traded baskets.
Both teams also missed their fair share of opportunities, which only added to the tension of the occasion.
The relief was palpable at the end, with coach Paul James describing the contest as a “fantastic game”. “Either team could have won it. They got a big lead, but we made some key plays at the end,” he said.
Significantly, Wolves landed a telling blow against one of the league’s in-form sides and kept their place at the summit. James’ charges have now won eight games in a row and remain on course to land what would be their first ever title.
It was also the second time the teams have needed over-time to split them this season and Wolves have triumphed on both occasions.
Anybody who doubted whether Worcester had what it takes when the pressure is on now has their answer.
With Leicester Riders, Newcastle Eagles and Sheffield Sharks still to visit the arena before the end of the campaign, there will be plenty more times when Wolves will find themselves pushed to the limit.
They will need the battling qualities they showed against Cheshire which proved they are up for the fight.
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