DESPITE missing the services of suspended forward Tommy Freeman, and managing for most of the clash without centre Richie Gordon due to foul trouble, Worcester Wolves still had too much firepower for lowly Mersey Tigers, winning 82-61.
Gordon scored all of his team’s points as a 7-2 lead was established after three minutes had elapsed.
However, he had by now also picked up a couple of fouls, saw him bench for the rest of the first-half.
His replacement, Alex Zimnickas, proved equally effective close to the Mersey basket, firing eight points of his own as the first quarter ended with Wolves 25-11 ahead.
The second period saw the beginnings of a fight-back from the hosts. Full-court pressure from the Tigers initially rattled Wolves, with a Myles Hesson score on the half-time buzzer to make it 36-29.
Midway through the third quarter, Worcester still held sway at 41-32, but a score from distance from Liverpool-born veteran David Aliu, quickly followed by a dunk from the lively Hesson, brought the Tigers as close as they would get all evening at 41-37.
There was no gentle introduction to the game for Mersey’s new English signing, seven-foot Morakinyo Williams, as Gordon returned to the court, and the quarter ended in favour of the visitors at 54-43.
The first four points of the final quarter were taken by Wolves point guard Sherrad Prezzie-Blue, prompting a Tigers time out.
Consecutive baskets from Gordon meant that Tigers coach Tony Garbelotto burnt his last time out just two minutes later as his side trailed 43-64.
Wolves attack as the English pairing of Callum Jones and David Watts both got into their stride. Even reserve guard Eoghann Dover fired three points.