Delighted Worcester Wolves’ coach Paul James applauded the all-round contributions of his players as his side secured their first win since October when triumphing 91-77 at Leeds Force on Friday.
Hard-working forward Andrew Bachman returned from injury to inject a welcome burst of energy and contribute 15 points, while Maurice Walker made it a hat-trick of personal double-doubles since arriving last week by tallying 17 points and 10 rebounds.
Marek Klaassen was the top scorer with 18 points against his former club, while Trevor Setty, Danny Huffor and Jermel Kennedy rounded out the double-figure scorers with 10 points apiece.
Wolves held a comfortable advantage until a 9-0 Leeds burst to begin the fourth quarter pulled matters back to just 71-67. Unlike recent matches where late meltdowns have cost them dear, Worcester this time managed to snatch back the initiative and emerge victorious.
James praised his team’s resilience under pressure, saying: “Leeds are a scrappy side who can get under your skin, but we were determined to stay focused. We built a nice cushion but they came back at us late on. Rather than fold, we stuck to our game and hit them back hard.
“It’s great to get the win and it’s even better that we achieved it as a team, sharing the ball around and with everyone playing for each other.”
It was five minutes into the evening when Wolves began to pull away at 12-8, following a Setty three-pointer. Five quick points from Bachman aided a 27-19 first quarter advantage.
By half-time the lead had extended to 51-39 with Force unable to prevent Bachman streaking to a further ten points.
Kennedy snatched the ball from Leeds guard Eddie Matthew as the second half commenced, setting up a triple for Klassen. The Worcester pair grabbed the last two baskets of the third quarter to make it 71-58.
When Leeds then bounced back into contention, James was quick to call for a steadying time out. From the re-start, Klassen connected from the outside. Setty laid on Klassen’s second triple within a minute, and Kennedy again stole the ball to set up a score for Huffor.
Setty floated home consecutive triples to ruthlessly stamp out Leeds’ resistance.