A STUTTERING display saw Worcester Wolves lose 82-73 to Sheffield Sharks in the British Basketball League.
Another large crowd at the University of Worcester Arena saw the hosts slip down to third place and Sheffield take the head-to-head record for the season 2-1.
After six minutes, things looked rosy for the hosts with a trio of three-pointers from Alex Owumi and Will Creekmore helping establish a 14-3 lead.
However, six points apiece for Sheffield’s Mike Tuck and Zach Gachette contributed to a 17-17 tie by the end of the opening period.
Reserve guard Caylin Raftopoulos thrilled fans by floating home a long-distance score to keep matters close at 25-22 three minutes into the second quarter.
A few minutes later, Raftopoulos repeated the feat but Creekmore was the only one of Worcester’s big guns still firing.
Coming out after half-time 42-34 adrift, the contest looked to be back on as an initial score from forward Stefan Djukic, accompanied by four points from Creekmore, dragged Worcester back into contention at 42-40.
Zaire Taylor, limited to a solitary point in the first-half, came to the fore with 10 quickly and Kai Williams also sprang to life to tally four, pegging Sharks back to 62-61 entering the final 10 minutes.
But the revival was short-lived as Tuck and Gachette were again on the mark and the hosts could not trouble the scoreboard again until Taylor ended his personal scoring with six minutes left.
With Creekmore tiring in his constant battle around both baskets with Shark’s big men, there was to be no chance of a bail-out for Wolves.
With two minutes remaining, the deficit climbed into double digits at 78-68 and coach Paul James was resigned to sending his bench players on court to end proceedings.
Creekmore led Wolves’ scorers with 16 and Olu Babalola top-scored for Sharks with 20.