Report: Worcester Wolves 88-92 Bristol Flyers
Friday, April 19th 2019
Bristol Flyers moved back into play-off position as they claimed a dramatic road win over Worcester Wolves.
The game was balanced with a little more than 90 seconds remaining, when Mike Vigor drained a massive triple to get Flyers back on track.
Justin Gray and Fred Thomas scored 20 points apiece with Gray completing a double-double with 10 rebounds. Vigor had a great all-round game off the bench with 10 points, nine rebounds and eight assists.
Both teams traded baskets in the early going, first Edozie hauling down a rebound and laying it in and then Freeman mirroring the play at the other end of the court. Flyers opened up an early lead with Thomas driving the pace for a transition score and Falzon following up with a triple. Three-point shooting kept Flyers ahead with Thomas and Gray both connecting from outside. Gray had the early hot hand, splashing another three and then following up with a lay-up. Vigor smartly tipped a rebound to Marcus Delpeche for a two handed dunk through contact to end the quarter with Flyers ahead 25-15.
Flyers kept their run going into the second quarter with Vigor stealing the ball and Jalan McCloud locating Thomas on the perimeter in transition for another three-pointer. Spanish duo Miki Servera and Alex Navajas turned up the pace for Wolves with Servera making back-to-back fast break scores off outlet passes from Navajas. With the lead back in single figures, Coach Kapoulas took a time out.
Wolves maintained the pressure with Darrell Combs finding Lester Prosper in the paint with a precision pass. Prosper finished a lay-up through a foul from Vigor and made the free throw count. Flyers found themselves in foul trouble early in the quarter, with Servera heading to the line. Flyers defence managed to force back-to-back turnovers leading to scores for Gray and Thomas. Wolves Coach Garbelotto took a timeout of his own.
Both teams struggled to find rhythm and a trio of turnovers resulted in a shooting foul on Combs. With Flyers in the penalty, Wolves made successive trips to the line at the end of the quarter, but failed to make their foul shots count. The missed free throws allowed Flyers to rebuild their 10 point lead with scores from Edozie and McCloud. At half-time the score was 49-39.
Wolves came out refocused, re-energised and ready to start the third quarter. Prosper blocked a shot, releasing Freeman for a fast-break dunk. Crawford knocked down a three-pointer and Combs drove and finished a lay-up through contactl from Edozie. With the lead disappearing fast, Coach Kapoulas took a timeout. Falzon found his way to the free throw line to stem the bleeding, but a pair of moving screen calls followed, forcing Edozie to the bench with his fourth personal foul.
Servera threw a lob pass to Freeman for an alley-oop and a costly turnover allowed Combs to hit a triple to level the scores at 51. Wolves hot outside shooting continued with Freeman extending the lead as the third quarter drew to a close. Vigor sent his defender flying past him with a pump fake and stepped in for a mid-range two to close the period with Wolves narrowly ahead 66-64.
A give and go play saw Servera make an easy basket to start the final quarter, but a huge three-pointer from Panos Mayindombe settled the Flyers. Vigor located Mayindombe on the perimeter and he attacked a late closeout for another score. McCloud made the drive and dish to Delpeche for an emphatic dunk, before Gray blocked Navajas at the basket, allowing Thomas to put Bristol back in front. A costly turnover saw Freeman splash a transition three and put Wolves ahead five points with five minutes to play.
Flyers showed composure down the stretch to battle back into the game. Gray rattled off a quick five points with a lay-up and another three-pointer, before Delpeche got back to the line for more penalty points to force a Garbelotto timeout. Thomas was aggressive in the passing lanes, seizing back-to-back steals, allowing McCloud to set-up Vigor for a go-ahead three.
A controversial mistaken buzzer signal on the play led to the referees taking time to ensure the score was valid. With the points counted. A well-executed offence allowed Edozie for an open lay-up to seal the victory, 88-92.
Images courtesy of JMPUK.