WORCESTER Wolves have ‘work to do’ according to new director of basketball Ty Shaw after a mixed bag start to their new British Basketball League season with an opening win followed by a narrow defeat.
Wolves were unable to follow up their first-night 93-81 win over former chief Paul James’s Plymouth Raiders with a defeat by the same score at Cheshire Phoenix on Sunday despite a 46-38 half-time lead.
Wolves began brightly with a 7-0 run and forced former Worcester player Ashton Khan into a double of fumbles on his opening possessions.
Khan recovered to nail a quick ten points before Robert Crawford continued his long-range shooting prowess from Friday’s victory to sink another three-pointer, aiding Wolves’ 30-25 first quarter advantage.
A minute into the second period the sides were level at 30-30. Repeated exchanges of scores kept the scoreboard tied at 38-38 with two minutes remaining in the first half when Adam Thoseby ignited an eight-point unanswered surge.
Spying a clear path to the basket, Thoseby powered forward with a two-handed swinging slam through the hoop.
Dean Wanliss then connected, as did Crawford, before Wanliss produced another big man move to finalise the burst.
Wolves’ momentum disappeared when returning to the court for the second half. By the close of the third quarter they had fallen 61-64 behind.
A few minutes later the deficit had widened to 64-72. Filip Kramer narrowed the gap by converting a score and a bonus free-throw despite carrying a Cheshire defender on his back. But Worcester’s failure to show similar vigour at the defensive end allowed Phoenix to score at will and roll to a comfortable win.
Thoseby led the scoring with 23 points. Kramer posted a double-double of 19 points and 12 rebounds while Crawford and Jordan Whelan contributed 12 points apiece.
After the game, Shaw was forthright in his appraisal of his charges.
“We didn’t get back on defence and we didn’t get defensive rebounds. We let Cheshire get one easy break after another. At certain points out there it looked like a dunk contest.” he added.
“But this is part of our learning process. There’s some things that we will definitely change in order to fix things up.”
Wolves will be on the road again on Friday at the London Lions before returning to the University of Worcester Arena the following Friday with a clash against Bristol Flyers.