WORCESTER Wolves were made to sweat in the final quarter but held on to win a high-scoring affair against Teesside Lions at the University of Worcester Arena on Saturday night.

Holding command at 87-63 entering the last quarter, Wolves looked to have the win in the bag but had to fend off a late comeback from their playoff-bound opponents to see out a 103-90 success.

“Things got a bit dodgy towards the end but I’m happy with the result,” said coach Dean Blake. “We’ve been getting off to slow starts all season but today we came out with a really good attitude, got going straightaway and carried on the momentum.

“For the most part I’m really happy with our performance, we moved the ball well, lots of players got good court time and we got the win against a good team.”

Worcester stalwarts Wilfrid Santhe and Matei Balteanu set their stall out for an evening of their very own favourite moves.

In classic fashion, Santhe dealt the ball to Balteanu beneath the basket who skipped around his defenders with ease.

Santhe pulled up for a triple, Balteanu stole possession for Santhe to set up Humberto Ferreira, and Santhe scored again for an early 16-7 lead.

Pulsating on offence, Wolves swept 34-20 ahead entering the second period.

Finn Rennie joined the action to block a Teesside attack, take a layup and sink a double of three-pointers. Balteanu persevered in tormenting the opposition to aid a 57-40 advantage as the first halfwound down.

However, Lions still held an ace in their pack in the form of Tom Horvat, 2019 National Basketball League Division Two Player of the Year.

The American playmaker connected from outside the perimeter as the interval buzzer sounded to finalise a stunning 23-point personal haul.

While Horvat continued to dominate Teesside’s output, Worcester were contrastingly able to profit from a wealth of options. Ferreira joined Balteanu to control matters close to the hoop, Santhe persisted in pulling the strings and Aryan Davoodi thrust forward for a quick-fire ten points.

The hosts maximised their lead at 92-63 with eight minutes of the evening remaining before their visitors fought back.

Forcing a series of turnovers and riding on the back of a third three-pointer from young guard Noah Saa in under five minutes saw a resurgent Lions drag the gap back to just 93-85.

Davoodi responded by notching his own third triple of the night to finally stop the rot and when Santhe once more hit the target calm was restored and victory secured.

Wolves will round out this year’s fixtures with a doubleheader weekend. First up is a trip to Manchester Magic next Saturday 09 March (tip off 7pm) before returning to the University of Worcester Arena the following day (tip off 5pm) for the season finale againstDerbyshire Arrows.