Report: Bristol Flyers 82-79 Worcester Wolves
Saturday, November 24th 2018
Bristol Flyers showed tremendous fortitude to hold on for a hard fought 82-79 win over Worcester Wolves.
Jalan McCloud had a dominant performance scoring 31 points including 11/11 from the foul line, whilst Daniel Edozie showcased his complete skillset, filling up the box score with 10 rebounds, nine points, two steals, two blocks and two assists.
With the infectious beat of courtside entertainment group Percussion Theatre still reverberating around the WISE Campus, it was Worcester who found their rhythm early. A baseline out of bounds allowed Freeman to get paint position and make an easy score.
An energised McCloud responded by forcing an eight second violation and getting to the line for two points. Darrell Combs heated up early with two three-pointers, but Fred Thomas was quick to answer, splashing a three of his own. Flyers hallmark defence fueling offence was encapsulated by a huge Justin Gray block followed by a hammer dunk by Thomas in transition. Thomas swished the heat check three next time out.
Freeman remained active around the basket, following his miss and laying it back up and in. Another Gray block released McCloud for a nicely executed lay-up in transition. Delpeche joined the block party with a fingertip deflection on a Jordan Whelan shot and ran to the rim to make the score at the other end. Tevin Falzon followed with a high angled lay-up as the clock ran down to close the quarter 22-14.
Thoseby came out fighting to start the second, grabbing a miss from a driving lay-up and finishing with a hook shot. Tevin Falzon found enough space to fire a three over the defence. Another huge block, this time from Daniel Edozie lodged the ball between backboard and rim. Flyers continued to give up second chance points however, with Thoseby again benefiting from collecting a miss for the easy putback.
Filip Kramer found success running the floor for a pair of easy looks at the rim. A three-pointer from Robert Crawford closed the gap to six and triggered a Coach Kapoulas time out. Flyers were able to lure Combs into committing a shooting foul on McCloud’s three-point attempt and he coolly converted the trio of foul shots.
Flyers continued to show grit on defence and despite giving up multiple offensive boards were able to make a stop to allow another high flying transition bucket for McCloud. Thomas remained facilitator with a swing pass to an open Falzon for a three-pointer.
Coach Ty Shaw took a timeout of his own and Wolves’ reinvigorated defence was able to find a steal and a soaring block from Freeman. Persistence on the offensive glass again led to an easy put back for Thoseby and triggered a final timeout from Coach K. McCloud’s resulting half court heave rimmed out to leave the score at 40-34 heading into half-time.
McCloud turned the tables to open the second half, following his own miss and elevating for the putback. Combs came back from extended rest through foul trouble without getting cold, hitting another three-pointer.
Flyers struggled to find their flow on offence and a Thoseby three brought it close. A turnover followed by a huge windmill slam from Freeman allowed Wolves to tie the game. Another Flyers turnover followed and Freeman slammed the ball down with two hands on the break to put Wolves ahead.
Thomas made two big plays to reassert control. First making a steal and self alley-oop dunk, then drawing an offensive foul to get the ball back. Flyers found Edozie inside for an easy lay-up. Freeman benefited with a lay-up to once again tie the game. Falzon quickly responded with a display of tenacity to hustle his missed shot into a make and Thomas raced down court for a lay-up.
Flyers found themselves in foul trouble and Freeman was able to sink one before Crawford grabbed the miss and made it a three point play the wrong way round. A Thoseby transition lay-up and Crawford three put Wolves ahead again. A further foul sent Wolves back to the line and Combs was forced to sub off to receive treatment. Crawford replaced him and took the free throws but was only able to convert one, closing out the third quarter with Flyers behind 54-59.
Sharp shooting from Thoseby saw Wolves extend the lead to eight points early in the fourth. Flyers struggled to get shots to fall but dug deep on defence to limit the damage. Crawford was able to break through for a finger roll lay-up but Edozie responded with an open baseline jumper. A steal from Panos Mayindombe unshackled Gray to run the floor for a massive transition dunk and force a Wolves timeout, 58-64.
Flyers defence remained strong and they immediately forced a 24-second violation. Edozie showed off his expansive wingspan to grab an errant shot and lay it back in. Another stop followed and Gray swished a pull-up jump shot to make it a two point game.
With the WISE Campus in full voice, McCloud was able to poke the ball away from Combs. Combs reached for his hip as he went to breakaway and McCloud calmly did his damage at the line to tie it up. McCloud remained the catalyst on the next play spinning around the defence to draw a shooting foul and maintaining his perfect performance at the foul line to put Flyers up two.
Bristol worked hard to pressure another miss and McCloud stayed zeroed in with a huge transition three to force another Wolves timeout, 69-64. The adjustments failed to contain McCloud who again cut through the defence for a score.
Freeman remained a problem for the Flyers, attacking the offensive glass and drawing an unsportsmanlike foul from Mayindombe to add another to his total. The additional offence resulted in a Thoseby three pointer to bring the game within one.
McCloud was able to split the defence on a pick and roll to get back to the line and sink two more. Flyers forced another miss but FrEeman’s omnipresence on the offensive glass allowed him to put Wolves ahead once more.
Combs stumbled on the drive and Edozie seized the crucial rebound with two hands. Freeman quickly fouled Edozie but Wolves still had one to give. Flyers inbounded to Champion who got a hard foul from Freeman to send him to the line. He made the first but missed the second.
A swift three attempt from Crawford missed wide and Edozie was once again in the right spot for the big board. A further Wolves foul sent him to the line with 20.5 remaining and he made the first to extend Flyers lead to three. Wolves responded with a quick score but Flyers were able to keep the ball ahead of the defence on the next play to allow Thomas to seal the win with a final breakaway bucket, 82-79.