Cheshire Phoenix 102 79 Worcester Wolves
Sunday 23 October 2016

Worcester Wolves failed to build on the encouragement of Friday’s victory over Surrey Scorchers when slumping to a 102-79 defeat at Cheshire Phoenix on Sunday.

After starting brightly, as has often been the case so far this season, defensive frailties soon came to the fore to prevent any prospect of a follow-up win.

Marek Klassen and Andrew Bachman initially carried over their fine form from the Surrey victory, hitting a double of three-pointers apiece. Danny Huffor opened his scoring account against his former club, and a 30-22 lead had been established with two minutes remaining in the first quarter.But by now Klassen had picked up a couple of personal fouls, forcing him to a seat on the bench. An 8-2 Cheshire run left Wolves clinging to a 32-30 edge at the close of the quarter.

Within a minute of Klassen returning to the court in the second period he was whistled for a third infraction that saw him once more out of the action. A speculative triple on the half-time buzzer from Phoenix guard Marcel Mosley helped the hosts to a 55-49 advantage.

In Worcester’s opening two possessions of the second half, both Trevor Setty and Alex Navajas were called for travelling with the ball, aiding Cheshire to increase their lead. Frequently, Wolves found their path to the Phoenix basket blocked.

Conversely, the home side encountered much less resistance. As the third quarter wound down the visitors shot early on what could have been the last play of the period, with the miss allowing Cheshire’s Josh Wilcher a simply-executed success and firm control for his team at 80-63.

During the final ten minutes of the afternoon centre Deondre McWhorter displayed strength close to the hoop to notch nine points, enabling a personal total of 17 points to lead the Worcester scorers alongside Jermel Kennedy.

Assistant Coach Alex Radu highlighted how the match was lost, saying: “Our defence let us down. Against Surrey we had problems defensively, but our offense bailed us out. Today we misfired in both areas.”

One of the perennial contenders in the British Basketball League will be the next challenge for Wolves. Newcastle Eagles will visit the University of Worcester Arena this Friday 28 October, (tip off 7.30pm). The match will double up as a Smile For Joel fundraiser, you can get your tickets here.