Worcester Wolves were unable to build on their promising start to the latest British Basketball League season when stumbling to a 64-78 defeat to Sheffield Sharks at the University of Worcester Arena on Friday.
A week ago Wolves roared back from a big deficit to triumph against Cheshire Phoenix after overtime. A double-figure hole also appeared in this match, but head coach Paul James was upset that his team were not able to mount a similar comeback, saying:
“Last week we were lucky to get back into things, but tonight we got what we deserved. We simply didn’t run anything – we’ve got all the plays but we didn’t execute them.
“We had players running all over the place, but not to the right positions. We needed to do a much better job of focusing and getting the ball to the right people at the right time.”
A confident Trevor Setty three-pointer opened affairs, with Alex Navajas and Danny Huffor both doing likewise to set up an early 15-12 lead. Deondre McWhorter took to the court after five minutes for his home debut, rattling in a quick eight points in a 26-25 first-quarter edge for the hosts.
Bustling forward Jermel Kennedy twice connected and twice made bonus free throws as Sharks struggled to hold him back, maximising Wolves’ lead at 37-29 six minutes before half-time.
From here Worcester’s offense stagnated. Shaheed Davis ignited Sheffield’s response when swatting away an Andrew Bachman effort, and proceeded to rat-a-tat home a quartet of pre-interval scores in a 17-4 surge.
Already trailing 41-46, matters worsened after the break. Time and again Wolves’ passes went astray while Sharks’ confidence increased. During the whole of the third quarter Worcester could only muster a paltry two baskets from the field, with their disadvantage widening to 53-64.
The final period saw more of the same. Unable to penetrate to the hoop and unable to connect from the outside, Wolves tumbled to inevitable defeat.
It will be a fortnight, Friday 14 October, before Wolves are next in action, when Glasgow Rocks visit the city. James admitted there is plenty of work ahead, saying: “We have a lot to do. Today was very disappointing. We have to take our punishment, learn from this and move on.”