Report: Bristol Flyers 59-67 Worcester Wolves
Sunday, January 26th 2020
Bristol Flyers suffered a heartbreaking 59-67 defeat to Worcester Wolves in their first ever BBL Cup final.
The Wolves led the game from start to finish, but had to hold their nerve late on when Bristol came back - trailing by just three points with three and half minutes to play.
Gentrey Thomas led Flyers with 13 points, six rebounds and two assists.
Wolves started the game with mid-range scores from centre Amir Williams and wing Mark Hughes. An explosive drive from Gentrey Thomas gave Bristol their first points of the game. Gentrey Thomas gathered a blocked shot and hit a step back three in the corner.. Worcester went back to the post, Amir Williams this time hitting a turnaround baseline jumper to force an early Flyers timeout with the score 6-10.
Flyers came out aggressive with Raphell Thomas-Edwards their offensive catalyst. Worcester returned their starters to the floor after a brief rest and Amir Williams got straight back to it with a two-handed dunk. Flyers were re-energised as Fred Thomas elevated to reject a Cortez Edwards lay-up above the rim. Lewis Champion drew a shooting foul as the clock dwindled down on the opening period, getting to the line for two points to finish 12-16.
Flyers began the second quarter struggling to find offensive rhythm and Hughes exploited the dry spell to extend the Wolves lead with a quick five points. Flyers found the seams in the Wolves defence to get to the rim; Gentrey Thomas tipped in a miss and Fred Thomas drove in for a lay-up.
Coach Matt Newby took a time-out to gather his team but Wolves were unable to prevent Gentrey Thomas getting to the basket for another score on the next trip down the floor. Another three-pointer from Wolves Kofi Josephs and a pull-up from Edwards triggered Coach Kapoulas’ last time out. Amir Williams finished the first half exploiting a switch on a screen to get deep position for an easy score, making it 25-34 at the half-time interval.
Marcus Delpeche checked in and made his presence known with a two handed dunk from a baseline out of bounds play. A Wolves turnover released Bristol on the fast break and Fred Thomas followed the play for more second chance points.
Flyers defence continued to generate stops and good ball movement saw scores for Delpeche and Levi Bradley. Gentrey Thomas used his quickness to beat his defender and complete a three-point play to finish the third 43-47.
Amir Williams plagued the Flyers at both ends to start the fourth, finishing a lay-up and blocking a Bradley lay-up. Hughes hit a dagger three, but Chris Taylor answered with a step-back triple of his own.
Fred Thomas again beat his man and smartly pulled up for a score. A reverse lay-up from Edwards forced another Flyers time-out with just over two minutes remaining.
Bradley ran the floor hard as the time ticked into last minute and was rewarded by Fred Thomas throwing a long pass for an easy score.
With under 30 seconds to play, Coach Kapoulas took his final time-out, but his side were unable to execute, allowing Worcester to close out the game from the foul line.
Images courtesy of JMPUK.