WOLVES head coach Paul James was full of praise for Robert Gilchrist after he top scored in a solid 97-68 success at lowly Manchester Giants on Sunday
Worcester bounced back from Friday’s disappointing 91-84 defeat at Cheshire Phoenix with an impressive victory which saw James’ men amass a whopping 39 final-quarter points for a runaway victory.
Gilchrist top-scored with 20 points, closely followed by George Beamon on 19 and Dallin Bachynski with 18.
“That was probably Rob’s best game for us. As well as his scoring he did a lot of things for us that don’t show up on the stats,” said James.
“It’s a shame he’ll be leaving us soon to go to the Commonwealth Games, but we certainly wish him all the best representing England out in Australia.”
Alex Navajas slotted home two points and a bonus free throw to open the match. Michael Ojo and Trayvon Palmer both sank triples in an early 11-4 lead.
Five more points for Navajas and a defensive clampdown had Giants slinking to their bench trailing 22-8 at the close of the first quarter.
Failing to move the ball over the halfway-line in the permitted eight seconds was one of multiple Manchester mistakes after the break.
Although the hosts lifted their heads sufficiently to reduce Worcester’s lead to 35-25 by half-time, the visitors always looked capable of stepping up the pace if required.
Indeed, by three minutes into the second half the advantage had doubled to 52-32 on the back of metronomic scoring from Gilchrist.
Bachynski and Beamon were unstoppable in the final quarter.
Following his committing of an unpopular foul Bachynski was thereafter booed on his every touch of the ball.
Revelling in his newly-acquired villainous role he responded by sinking basket after basket without pause.
Not content with his own merciless pounding of Manchester’s defences, the Wolves centre also found time to lay on a series of deft passes for Beamon to convert as their team rolled to the win.
“This was a win we had to have. We set the tone early and really stepped on the gas in the second half. We made life uncomfortable for Manchester,” James said.
Fifth-placed Wolves return to the University of Worcester Arena on Friday (tip off 7.30pm) to host fourth-placed Sheffield Sharks.
Worcester overcame Sheffield in a two-legged matchup to reach January’s BBL Cup Final before honours were reversed the following month when Sharks progressed to the final of the BBL Trophy.
“It’s incredible we have already played Sharks four times this season. Every game has been an entertaining one and I’m sure Friday will be no different. We’ll prepare well for them and look for ways to get them out of their comfort zone,” James said.