Cheshire Phoenix 100 – 83 Worcester Wolves
by Vlad Ionasc
Cheshire Phoenix locked up the 7th seed with a commanding win over the Worcester Wolves.
Phoenix took a while to get started but their early dominance on the boards proved to be crucial as they thoroughly outclassed their opponents once their shots started falling. The hosts played great team basketball, 20 of the 37 made baskets were assisted on.
The Nix attacked the offensive glass early, the home side grabbed eight offensive rebounds in the opening 10 minutes of the game. However the home side were poor from the field and three-point range. They were also forced into three turnovers in the opening act of the game. Despite their huge lead on the boards, the Nix went into the second quarter up just 21-17.
The visitors reduced Phoenix’s lead to just two points with six minutes left in the first half, after the home side reached a poor 9-28 FG, however Ben Thomas’ side took control of the game with a nice 8-0 run in the next two minutes. A powerful dunk from Louis Sayers set the tone for the rest of the quarter as the hosts asserted their dominance on the game and went into half-time up 45-30.
Cheshire began the second half with a 7-3 run as they extended their lead to a game-high 19 points. The Wolves didn’t give up and it was clear that they wanted to end their awful season with a good performance, the visitors made some nice shots and defended well but they were no match for the play-off bound Phoenix. The hosts won the second quarter by just one point but they went into the fourth with a comfortable advantage, 72-56.
The Nix didn’t take their foot off the gas in the final act of the game, even after they had built a nice cushion for themselves. The team played hard and hustled for loose balls and offensive boards. The players had big smiles on their faces throughout the entire quarter as they knew that the play-offs were just minutes away. The team played with great enthusiasm and poise as they secured their fourth straight win, 100-83.
Key Team Stat: 16 offensive rebounds. The Nix totally dominated the glass on the night and thus created many second chance opportunities for themselves. The shots started falling mid-way through the second quarter and Phoenix never looked back.