A RAMPANT Worcester Wolves cemented third place in the British Basketball League after they swept aside Sheffield Sharks at a sold-out University of Worcester Arena.
After rampaging to a 26-11 first-quarter lead, Wolves kept their foot on the gas throughout the evening to bring up an overwhelming 89-70 success.
Maarten Bouwknecht directed traffic from the opening tip-off, providing pinpoint passes for Amir Williams and Julius Van Sauers to convert as well as sinking a three-pointer of his own.
A rattled Sharks had to call for a time out only a couple of minutes into the match, already 8-2 in arrears.
Reserve centre Wayne Kitenge took advantage of an early appearance on court to lay the ball home for a 22-5 lead.
Williams dominated Sheffield defenders for a dozen first-half points. He followed up an imperious dunk by spinning around his flat-footed opposite number Bennett Koch and later taking advantage of a bouncing assist from Van Sauers to extend their superiority to 34-17.
Kofi Josephs and Cortez Edwards both repeatedly found open routes to the hoop to help give Wolves a 48-33 half-time cushion.
A queue of Worcester men took their turn in the spotlight after the break. Mark Hughes and Raheem May-Thompson boosted their point-returns during a third period that ended with the hosts 69-48 to the good.
The torment only continued for Sharks, whether it was senior players in Williams and Josephs or University of Worcester students Nathan Ramsdale-Owen and Daniel Johnson-Thompson combining to round out the victory.
Williams led the scoring with 21 points, supported by 15 from Hughes. Josephs tallied 11 points, with Van Sauers posting 10, and Bouwknecht and Edwards chipped in nine points apiece.
“The guys came out with great energy and enjoyed putting on a show for a full house,” said Wolves’ coach Matt Newby.
“It was also nice for the boys from the university programme to get in on the action. It’s important that we recognise their commitment and reward them when we can.”