WOLVES, RAIDERS ARE STAYING ALIVE


Worcester Wolves aren’t giving up on the BBL title yet. Sherrard Prezzie-Blue hit 20 points as they routed Cheshire Jets 94-65 on Sunday.

But it needed an 18-2 burst midway through the second quarter to break the game open and hand the visitors a 44-27 lead.

The Wolves kept the Jets at bay for the remainder of the contest, despite an impressive shooting performance from Adam Brown as he netted 22 points for the Jets in the defeat as the result leaves the Jets two points behind the MK Lions who currently occupy the final play-off spot.

Glasgow Rocks suffered a backlash from Plymouth Raiders as the BBL Trophy runners-up inflicted a 71-60 defeat on the Kelvin Hall outfit.

With Mychal Green making a shock return after injury, the Rocks led 31-30 at half-time and threatened to make it a miserable weekend for the visitors. But Plymouth reeled off a 9-0 run at the start of the third quarter to surge clear and keep their slim league title hopes alive.

But Green, who hit a team-high 15 points, reckons Glasgow will re-group when captain EJ Harrison returns this week.

He said: “We feel we can live with anybody. We played great defence. We just need to learn how to score. You won’t beat good team scoring 60. But that’s an area we can improve on with EJ here.”

Anthony Rowe grabbed a game-high 20 points and 20 rebounds for Plymouth. “It wasn’t pretty but we got the win,” said Gavin Love.

Guildford Heat kept their BBL play-off hopes alive with a 97-59 rout of Durham Wildcats.

The visitors had led early on and held a 22-20 advantage at the end of the opening period, but the Heat rattled off a 16-2 burst which took them out of reach.

Martelle McLemore had a game-high 26 points for the Surrey side.

 

Saturday: Worcester go for seven

Worcester Wolves won their seventh game in a row as they beat Sheffield 95-80 to maintain the pressure on the Newcastle Eagles at the top of the table. For the Sharks, it was their second defeat in consecutive nights. The Wolves did all of the damage in the second half as Tommy Freeman hit 22 of his 30 points in the second half.

After being separated by no more than four points in the first half, the teams were still tied at 44 midway through the third quarter. The Wolves made the decisive run from there as a 14-6 spell saw them take a 58-50 lead inside the last three minutes of the third. The Sharks would get no closer than six as the hosts pushed their advantage into double digits in the fourth quarter.

Leicester Riders won their third home game in a row and condemned Milton Keynes Lions to their sixth straight defeat on the road with an 88-71 victory.

After a strong first quarter, the Riders settled the game with a run around the fourth quarter break. Bradd Wierzbicki led their scoring with 27 points, while Ayron Hardy had a mammoth 20 points, 12 rebounds, 8 assists and 7 steals.

The Riders had a commanding lead by the end of the first as Wierzbicki scored 8 in a 10-2 surge that made the score 29-18. They pushed that lead out before being pegged back to 46-37 as the teams went in at the half time break.

They remained close up to 60-53 with three minutes left to play in the third quarter, before the Riders made what proved to be the decisive run. They finished the period 10-2 to take a commanding 70-55 lead into the fourth quarter. That momentum carried into the fourth as they scored the first 6 points, Wierzbicki starting the run as he moved onto 27 points for the night. The lead reached its peak at 80-55 on Hardy’s basket with a little over five minutes to play.

Mersey Tigers recorded back-to-back road wins as they beat Durham Wildcats 86-56, condemning their BBL’s bottom team to their eighth straight defeat.

The Tigers used a strong defensive showing for the second night in a row, but at the other end were led by 20 points and 12 rebounds from Myles Hesson and 17 points from Matt Otten.

The visiting Tigers led from the second minute throughout and raced into an early 4-15 lead as Sam Cricelli hit 5 points, and the team missed just one of their opening eight shots through the first five minutes – that would set the tone as they shot 72% in the first half and 63% for the game.

It was decided as the Tigers subjected their hosts to a five-minute scoreless spell in the second period; they notched 8 points during that time, with Otten and Cricelli starting that run, to lead 18-35. And the lead was soon through the twenty mark as Otten scored consecutive baskets – the second a steal and lay-up – to make the score 20-41 with three minutes to play in the half. That was followed by a third quarter in which the Tigers allowed their hosts just six points and despite a valiant fourth quarter effort the game was done.

Friday: Mersey buoyant

Mersey Tigers won for the first time in five games after beating Sheffield 85-74 at the English Institute of Sport.

Sam Cricelli led all scorers with 25 points, supported by 22 from Myles Hesson and 12 from Matt Otten.

After Cricelli opened the scoring for the Tigers, a tight first quarter ensued with the teams scrapping it out to a tie at 12-12 before the Sharks edged into a 19-16 lead. But the Tigers rallied in the second and forced the Sharks into a time-out at 23-22, before taking the lead with a 9-2 run midway through the period. The Sharks responded as the half approached, capitalising on Devan Bailey’s technical foul to post a 6-2 run and regain the lead at 33-32, pushing that out to 37-33 by the break in what was a 10-3 surge.

But that was turned on its head in the second half, largely thanks to the efforts of Myles Hesson for the visitors. Despite being on three fouls, he ignited a spell in which the Tigers outscored the Sharks to tie the game at 44, before really forging ahead as they scored the next five points, with Hesson on 18 points by that stage, in a 16-7 finish to the third quarter that saw the Tigers in a commanding position at 60-51, the third quarter seeing a 13 point swing.

The Tigers compounded their hosts’ misery as the decisive quarter began, scoring the first 4 points as Atiba Lyons picked up a technical for the frustrated Sharks. A 9-3 run saw the Tigers’ lead reach its peak at 56-74 with four minutes to play and from there they kept their hosts at arm’s length. The final score was as close as the Sharks would get after the Tigers won the second half by 52-37.

Jimmy Langhurst and Mike Tuck led the resistance with 19 each for the ailing Sharks.

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