Worcester claim 2014 BBL Trophy

Worcester Wolves have won their first trophy in the British Basketball League since the move from the England Basketball League in 2006 with an 83-76 win over the Glasgow Rocks in the BBL Trophy Final in Glasgow, Scotland.

Jamal Williams scooped MVP honours with a game-high 26 points for the Wolves as they continue their best ever season in Britain’s top flight of basketball. Will Creekmore added 22 points and pulled down 15 rebounds in a terrific offensive showing.

The newly crowned BBL Trophy winners were slow to get off the mark though, despite registering the first points of the game through Creekmore, Glasgow, coined as the away team for this game but roared on by their local supporters had the upper hand in a first quarter where Chris Johnson scored frequently for the Rocks. Wolves’ offence seemed to rely heavily on Creekmore and Alex Owumi with the latter shooting the ball at will with little results.

Defensively, Creekmore was constantly unaware of what was going on around him, which allowed Daniel Northern, the hero of the semi-final, second leg against Cheshire to score inside at will. Glasgow’s impressive first ten minutes was capped off with a three-pointer from Great Britain international Gareth Murray as Glasgow had a 25-15 advantage.

Glasgow maintained the lead throughout the second quarter as a three-pointer from local lad Jonny Bunyan restored the Rocks’ double-digit lead. An 8-0 run from the Wolves narrowed it to 32-30 before Murray sunk a much-needed three to give Glasgow more of a cushion and Murray sunk another triple at the half-time buzzer to give the ‘home town visitors’ a 45-38 lead.

Worcester though made their move in the second half. Defensively, they were solid, but unfortunately, even though they were aggressive and putting key Rocks players, namely Northern in foul trouble, the Wolves couldn’t make their foul shots, going 6/11 from the stripe, but an 8-0 finish, including a buzzer-beating bucket inside from a quiet Zaire Taylor handed Worcester a slim 58-55 lead heading into the fourth period.

Sterling Davis opened the fourth with a triple to tie the game at 58-58 and another three from Murray put Glasgow back on top at 65-64, but it was the last time that the Rocks were to enjoy a lead in this game as Wolves, fronted by MVP Williams pushed the lead up to seven points and despite a mini fightback from Glasgow, they were unable to find the energy to be aggressive and drive to the hoop regularly, often resorting to three-point attempts, which missed their mark.

The Worcester faithful celebrated, as the Rocks contingent made their way for the exits. They knew it was over.

Murray led the Rocks with 21 points, shooting 56 percent from three-point land [5/9].

NOTABLES:

–       Jamal Williams secured the MVP award with a game-high 26 points … off the bench.

–       Will Creekmore scored the first points in the first three quarters. Sterling Davis prevented the Wolves forward from scoring first in all four periods with a three-pointer.

–       Worcester’s Zaire Taylor, known for his mass scoring outbursts went just 3/12 in this game, and scored his first field goal at the third quarter buzzer.

–       Taylor has also won all four domestic crowns in the BBL. He won the Cup, League and Playoff treble with Leicester last season, but missed out on the clean sweep with defeat in last year’s Trophy Final to Sheffield.

–       BBL TV commentator and London Lions coach Vince McCaulay dropped a strong hint that Rocks’ veteran guard EJ Harrison might retire from the BBL at the end of the season due to injury.

Photo: British Basketball League