WORCESTER Wolves head coach Paul James praised his team’s ‘rich vein of form’ after a third consecutive British Basketball League win with a 89-77 turnover over Surrey Scorchers at Surrey Sports Park.
After a disappointing 179-168 aggregate defeat to Plymouth Raiders in the semi-final of the BBL Trophy – their 90-83 win in the return leg on Friday night fell short of reaching the finals in Glasgow – Worcester were keen to bounce back in style.
Jermel Kennedy made a blistering start by scoring ten points in less than six minutes, which contributed to an early 20-7 advantage to the Wolves.
Alex Navajas then slotted in a trio of baskets either side of the first and second period break, widening the lead to 31-14 as James’ men looked to demonstrate their capability to be a force in April’s post-season play-offs.
Trevor Setty got on the scoreboard with a spin move to the hoop and followed it up with a breakaway dunk, before Danny Huffor floated home his third three-pointer of the first half to open a 47-37 advantage.
Kennedy was similarly on target from distance as the forward directed a clever bounce pass for Huffor to convert, building a healthy 61-47 gap in the later stages of the third quarter.
But the hosts attempted to make a valiant comeback in the final quarter, as playmaker Quincy Taylor blocked a Navajas effort and raced up court for two points and a bonus.
Two more scores for the Surrey man and a series of wayward Worcester shots drew the sides closer at 63-59.
But the ship was steadied when new signing Trey Zeigler twice created straightforward opportunities for Maurice Walker to convert.
Huffor led the Worcester scorers with 28 points, followed by Kennedy and Walker with 16 points apiece.
“I’m delighted with how the players are supporting each other. We applied ourselves brilliantly against Surrey, taking charge early and pretty much controlling everything after that,” said James.
“We’re defending as a unit and we have options to score on the inside or from the outside. We’re maturing as a team I look forward to us continuing our rich vein of form to climb up the table in preparation for the post-season.”
Wolves return to action in a fortnight’s time when they take on Leeds Force at the University of Worcester Arena on Friday, March 10 (tip-off 7.30pm).