Jack McNally reports on a disappointing night for the Surrey Scorchers.
The Surrey Scorchers were beaten 77-89 by the visiting Worchester Wolves on Saturday night as the Wolves cemented themselves as the front runners to grab the final play-off spot.
The start of the game was very slow as both teams struggled to find any shooting form. The Scorchers were relying heavily on their All-Star point guard Quincy Taylor to ignite the offense early, with some fantastic solo drives down the middle and acrobatic layups.
However, the Wolves defence quickly worked on shutting down Taylor’s offense and forced the Scorchers to try and spread the ball. With the Scorchers having such a terrible quarter with their shooting and not being able to deal with Worchester’s fast breaks, the Wolves entered the second quarter with a commanding 14-29 lead.
In the second it was much of the same from Surrey as the Wolves’ suffocating defensive pressure was stopping every Scorchers player from getting an easy shot on target. So midway through the quarter, the Scorchers called a timeout and changed they offensive focus, attacking inside on every play.
This gained instant rewards as the Worcester big men couldn’t deal with Surrey’s fast-paced guards leading to multiple fouls and trips to the free-throw line for Surrey.
By half-time the Scorchers managed to close the gap to 10 points with the score at 37-47. In the third, Surrey continued with their plan to drive into the paint, being award three straight fouls and making all six of the free throws.
With the fear of having players fouled out of the game, Worcester’s defence became non-existent, allowing Scorchers’ captain Tayo Ogedengbe to start racking up the shots and finishing the third with 20 points and giving Surrey hope as they narrowed the score to 59-63.
However, in the final quarter it all fell apart for Surrey as the early dominance of the Wolves defence had exhausted the Scorchers to the point that every shot they took looked like desperation just to get the ball up.
Worcester would go on a 13-point run to finish the game with 89 points, leaving the Scorchers devastated. The players didn’t interact with the fans before heading to the locker-room, with their heads down and trudging out of sight as the Wolves celebrated their hard-fought win.
The Scorchers will be praying for a change in form for the month of March as they head out on a two- game road trip to third-place Glasgow and last-placed Manchester.