A TRIP down the M5 to the Bristol Flyers awaits Matt Newby and his Worcester Wolves on Saturday as the Wolfpack seek to continue their winning start to the new British Basketball League (BBL) campaign.
Wolves sit top of their BBL Cup pool after following up last week’s opening-round win over London Lions by triumphing 83-77 at Surrey Scorchers on Saturday (September 28).
In a back and forth contest neither side was able to break clear of the other. While Wolves had the upper hand close to the basket, Surrey were on deadly form from distance, making a huge 17 of their 34 long-range shot attempts.
Former Worcester man Caylin Raftopoulos slotted in consecutive triples and when, with just two minutes of the match remaining, his team-mate Henry Wilkins got one to drop Scorchers led 70-68.
But Wolves’ American guard Mark Hughes stepped forward to twice reply in kind and stayed cool to make a quartet of free throws and seal a thrilling road victory for his team.
Surrey edged the opening quarter 16-14 before Daniel Johnson-Thompson levelled the match from a Hughes assist.
Cortez Edwards gleefully converted a crafty pass from Maarten Bouwknecht and a few moments later the latter notched his own score to give the visitors a 39-36 half-time advantage.
Latest signing Dutchman Julius Van Sauers grabbed his first points in a Wolves’ vest and Raheem May-Thompson rattled in a quick eight points for a 61-56 lead entering the final quarter.
A large bunch of travelling fans were royally entertained by successive end-to-end dashes to the hoop. Edwards was the first to make the play and then it was the turn of Jordan Williams to also race up the court before throwing down a powerful dunk.
While Scorchers continued their accuracy from outside the arc, Worcester’s dogged inside resilience succeeded in ensuring an exciting finale.
Four Worcester players scored in double-digits. Edwards led the way with 22 points, followed by 17 apiece for Hughes and May-Thompson. Williams bagged a 16-point/12-rebound double-double performance.
After hitting the road on Saturday, Wolves will return to the University of Worcester Arena next Friday (October 11) to welcome the London City Royals.