The third-place Wolves dragged the National Basketball League Division Two leaders to a 79-79 tie in the final minute of the game before having to settle for an agonizing 83-79 loss, in front of 1,038 captivated fans.

Birmingham took the lead 11-2 as their hosts took time to recover.

After Wilfrid Santhe connected from distance, Isaiah Walker heralded his arrival with similar success and then a three-point play after being fouled while cutting the rim, pushing Worcester 15-14 in front six minutes into the night. .

The teams were even at 23-23 before the Rockets’ Luke Okosieme displayed the jumping ability that made him an England Junior high jumper to score a quick eight points.

Wolves targeted from outside the perimeter to restrict Birmingham to a 43-39 half.
time advantage

A dizzying burst of action from Lucas McGregor brought the crowd to their feet afterward.

In just over half a minute, he repeatedly pushed forward for an electrifying scoring 3-pointer, each time earning an additional free throw as he plowed past flailing defenders, propelling his team 52-46 ahead.

Worcester held a slim 63-62 lead entering the fourth quarter. The rise in belief was typified by Evan Longman harassing Birmingham player-manager Martyn Gayle into turning the ball over as he went in from under his own basket.

Three-pointers from McGregor, Santhe and Ian Vivero-Rodriguez maximized the Wolves lead at 77-72 with four minutes remaining before the Rockets showed enough to fight for control and take the late spoils.

McGregor was the top scorer with 22 points, supported by 14 from Santhe and a dozen each from Walker and Vivero-Rodriguez.

“Birmingham, of course, have been unbeaten all season,” Wolves manager Dean Blake said.

“For us to have gotten the win today would have been great. Unfortunately it didn’t, but I’m proud that we competed and that we did really well.”


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