Report: Bristol Flyers 81-66 Worcester Wolves
Saturday, December 14th 2019
Bristol Flyers secured their first league win of the 2019/20 campaign, showing grit and determination to fend off the visiting Worcester Wolves.
Fred Thomas led Flyers with 17 points, 7 rebounds, whilst Levi Bradley had 15 points from the bench.
Flyers got off to a strong start with Gentrey Thomas feeding Daniel Edozie as he rolled to the basket for an easy score. Fred Thomas extended the early lead with a turnaround jump-shot and a fast-break three pointer. A long rebound released Raphell Thomas-Edwards on the fast break to cap off a 9-0 run.
Cortez Edwards was able to get Wolves on the board with a driving lay-up. Raheem May-Thompson completed a four-point play for the visitors, before a fast break dunk from Edwards saw the Flyers' lead evaporate.
The second chance points kept coming for the high-flying Flyers, with Raphell Thomas-Edwards next to score a putback. Wolves' new addition Amir Williams was able to get to the foul line after recovering his own miss. With both teams in foul trouble, Gentrey Thomas was next to go to the foul line.
Edwards remained the main weapon for Wolves, working the pick and roll with Williams, before finding an open May-Thompson for another three-pointer. Levi Bradley brought even more offensive rebounding from the bench, sinking another put-back lay-up.
Worcester came up with a loose ball and Kofi Josephs was fouled on a three-point attempt, sinking all of the free-throws to again bring the margin down to one point. Another tough midrange basket from Edwards kept it close, but Bradley was heating up, hitting a corner three to end the first quarter 24-23.
Josephs gave Wolves their first lead of the game with a pull-up jumper in the lane. Delpeche answered with a sweeping hook shot over the outstretched arms of Williams. Gentrey Thomas went coast to coast and found a tough angle for a transition score. Josephs stayed hot, scoring off a baseline out of bounds play and making a transition lay-up to level the game and trigger a timeout from Coach Kapoulas.
Another May-Thompson three-pointer gave Wolves a brief lead but Fred Thomas swiftly answered with a triple of his own. Josephs was able to breakdown the Flyers defence off the drive but Champion quickly answered with a three-pointer to give him his first points of the game and put his team back in front.
Fouls continued to slow the pace of the game with both teams getting to the line. Josephs continued to trouble the Flyers defence, drawing another foul and edging Wolves back ahead. A well executed out of time out play for Flyers saw Gentrey Thomas find Thomas-Edwards in the corner for a three-pointer to close the first half 45-43.
Thomas-Edwards remained hot from beyond the arc splashing another three off a dime from Gentrey Thomas. A quick pair of fouls from Cortez Edwards saw him take an extended rest, but Josephs kept the scoring coming for Wolves with a transition three.
Thomas-Edwards was able to strip the ball from Josephs releasing Fred Thomas for a transition dunk and sparking a series of defensive stops. Flyers seized the opportunity to rebuild their lead with Champion throwing a high arcing lob pass which Delpeche met with both hands to make it 56-55 at the end of the third quarter.
Gentrey Thomas opened the final quarter with another well-executed drive down the lane for a left-handed finish. Champion checked back in and immediately grabbed a steal, which was quickly followed-up with a three pointer. Champion kept attacking, finding himself in space at the short corner and splashing the shot.
Flyers kept up the pressure with Delpeche executing in the post and Champion found another open lane to the basket. Wolves Coach Matt Newby was forced to take a time out as Flyers opened up their biggest lead since the first quarter at 67-58.
A huge block from Delpeche gave Bristol another defensive stop. Bradley seized a wayward Wolves pass and then spotted up for a three-pointer to force another Worcester timeout at 75-61 with under four minutes remaining.
Flyers managed the clock well and kept finding defensive stops, holding Wolves to just two free throws from Maarten Bouwknecht. Gentrey Thomas dodged Wolves attempts to foul and completed a circus shot to finish the game 81-66.
Tickets are still available for the second leg of the BBL Cup semi-final against London City Royals on Saturday, December 21st.
Images courtesy of JMPUK.