THE CURTAIN will come down on a disappointing British Basketball League season for Worcester Wolves this weekend as Tony Garbelotto’s charges seek to an end a four-match losing run.
A 121-70 thumping at title-challenging Leicester Riders on Saturday completed an Easter weekend to forget for the Wolfpack after a controversial 92-88 reverse at the University of Worcester Arena against the Bristol Flyers.
Wolves fought back from a 10-point half-time deficit to tie the contest at 87-87 with just a minute remaining before Bristol’s Mike Vigor drained a three-pointer taken after the shot-clock buzzer had sounded.
After lengthy discussions between referees and table officials, debating if the clock had sounded incorrectly, the basket was confirmed.
Wolves fell into a huge 63-32 half-time deficit in their trip to the high-flying Riders and only compounded their woes by giving up a self-destructing nine technical fouls, allowing Leicester to rampage to a thumping 121-70 win.
The opening plays of the match gave no sign of what was to follow. Robert Crawford drove confidently to the hoop and then sank a three-pointer for a 5-0 Wolves lead.
However, a double of holding fouls in the first couple of minutes for Miki Servera did indicate that the evening would be closely-refereed.
Darell Combs picked up an offensive foul after a tussle with his defender and Worcester frustrations with the match officials overshadowed their structure as Riders calmly strolled to a 33-18 first-quarter advantage.
Three points for Combs reduced the arrears as the second period began, but when usually-restrained big man Lester Prosper was awarded a technical foul for dissent the rot once more set in.
Missed shots, wayward passes and fragile defence allowed Leicester to gain complete control.
Just after the break Combs attracted a technical foul when disputing a decision and was sent off the court for follow-up sarcastic clapping. Deshawn Freeman joined the argument, as did the Worcester bench, resulting in four free throws for Riders and a no-way-back deficit of 71-34.
Season-leading scorer Freeman had notched just eight points when he was the next man dismissed to the locker-rooms after being unable to hold in his frustration.
Wolves’ last appearance at the University of Worcester Arena this season takes place on Friday (tip-off 7.30pm) when Glasgow Rocks visit the city before Wolves head to Cheshire Phoenix on Sunday (tip-off 5.30pm) for the season finale.