20th Mar, 2019

Wolves lacking physical edge

Rob George 26th Oct, 2018

WORCESTER Wolves director of basketball Ty Shaw called for his side to be more physical in clearing up misses from the opposition after a weekend to forget in the British Basketball League.

Wolves suffered their fifth defeat in six matches with a 99-86 reverse at Surrey Scorchers on Sunday, just 48 hours after a 92-86 loss at the University of Worcester Arena against Manchester Giants.

Worcester’s inability to grab hold of their opponents’ misses gifted repeated second-chance points and set up a demoralising loss.

While they managed to greatly step up their rebounding, giving up a mere five offensive boards versus 19 in Friday’s loss to Manchester, Wolves were still unable to deter repeated fast break drives to the basket by their opponent.

“It’s about the desire to be physical enough to put your body on the line, to hit somebody and go and get the basketball,” a frustrated Shaw said.

A promising 24-18 first-quarter lead for the visitors had evaporated by half-time. Surrey built a double-digit cushion by early in the second half and from there were able to comfortably parry away any Worcester fightback.

Scorchers opened the afternoon with a 7-0 run before early spark from Darell Combs turned matters around. Seven personal points edged Wolves 13-12 in front and the advantage widened to 23-18 when Combs drew defenders to him before swinging a pass for Jordan Whelan to convert.

The second quarter featured the hot hand of former Worcester man Caylin Raftopoulos as he sank a trio of three-pointers to regain a 31-30 lead for his team.

With just four seconds remaining in the first-half Surrey’s lead had increased to 48-43. Wolves called a time-out to draw up a final play but instead fumbled the inbound of the ball, allowing an easy lay-in for Scorchers’ guard Quincy Taylor.

Terrel Martin-Garcia defied making only his second appearance in Wolves’ colours to punch home a series of third-quarter scores both from close to the hoop and from long-distance, but this was not enough to claw back Surrey’s lead.

The final period began with the hosts in control at 75-65. Worcester captain Adam Thoseby fought to set an example for his team-mates with several successful sweeps to the basket but Scorchers were able to reply in kind and sustain their hold on the contest.

Thoseby led the scoring with 21 points, followed by Combs on 16 and Martin-Garcia with 14. Whelan produced a double-double of statistics with 13 points and ten rebounds.

Wolves visit Glasgow Rocks on Sunday (5pm).

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