Worcester Wolves put a run of disappointing performances behind them to show fighting spirit on their trip to Glasgow Rocks on Sunday.
High-scoring forward Andrew Bachman had to withdraw from an already-depleted squad after sustaining a rib injury during training, leaving just five senior players to make the long journey to Scotland. Despite four of those players needing to stay on court for the full 40 minutes, Wolves stayed close to their opponents until late in the match, eventually losing out 77-82.
Though disappointed to miss out on the win, head coach Paul James applauded his team’s exertions, saying: “We had a game-plan to play methodically, play carefully and stay close. We stuck to the plan, made Rocks work and, but for the last few minutes, we nearly succeeded.
“While we take no satisfaction from not getting the win, we have to be pleased with a determined battling display that was much better than some of our recent performances.”
Within ten seconds of the tip-off Trevor Setty was already onto the scoreboard. Rocks’ point guard Neil Watson missed consecutive three-pointers before Worcester playmaker Marek Klassen connected from distance, quickly followed by Setty.
It would be more than three minutes until Glasgow scored from the field. By then Setty had rattled home a couple of triples in an 11-4 lead. An 18-12 first quarter lead was added to when Setty capped off a stunning burst of sharp-shooting with his fifth three-point success from his five attempts.
At two minutes before half-time Wolves were in front at 39-30, only for Glasgow to themselves hit a flurry of long-range shots to narrow the gap to just 41-39 when the teams went to the locker rooms.
By three minutes after the interval Glasgow had achieved their first advantage at 49-48 on the back of eight quick points from Watson. As the hosts tightened their defence around Setty, one of their former players, Danny Huffor, stepped to the fore with a series of steals and assists to keep Wolves in touch.
A nip-and-tuck third quarter ended with Rocks just holding sway at 63-61. With four minutes remaining Worcester trailed 67-73 when Watson fouled Klassen on an outside shot. Klassen was still able to make the shot and convert the bonus free throw for a rare four-point play and just a 71-73 deficit.
However, this would be the visitors last hurrah once Glasgow took the upper hand for the run-in to full-time.
Huffor and Setty led the scoring with 26 and 23 points respectively. Huffor also bolstered his statistics with an impressive 12 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 steals
Wolves are next in action this Friday 18 November at the University of Worcester Arena versus Manchester Giants (7.30).
Giants picked up their first win of the season on Sunday against Surrey Scorchers, leaving James aware that his side will need to be ready for a revitalised opponent, saying: “Manchester should gain confidence from their first victory, but if we play like we did for most of today’s game we will be alright. Today we showed energy, spirit and discipline, and we played together.”
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