Brixton’s men suffered a fifth loss of the season with a 69 – 62 defeat away to Worcester Wolves II.
The Worcester students showed intent early, attempting to press and not being afraid to shoot the basketball. Topcats defence looked a little slow to get off the bus but early dominance in the paint from Stewart, Crawford and debutant Shadare attacking the basket kept Brixton close as the quarter finished 23 – 17.
The second quarter saw Brixton struggle to keep possession of the basketball, with Topcats turnovers and missed free throws allowing Worcester to further build on their lead. Excellent shooting from Worcester’s Heafield punished the Topcats zone but Brixton rallied towards the end of the quarter. Aggressive defence from James Lloyd and Andrew Uithaler’s led to fast break scores which kept Topcats within touching distance as the teams went in to halftime with Wolves up 41 – 31.
Topcats came out strong in the third quarter. After switching back to a man defence Brixton were more aggressive, pressurising the Worcester ball handlers and forcing turnovers. As Brixton forced a faster paced game they were able to turn steals into fastbreak scores. Brixton posted their highest scoring quarter of the season so far and 26 third quarter points put them right back in the game as they went into the final quarter down by just a point.
After a free scoring fourth quarter Brixton poosted their lowest scoring quarter of the season in the fourth which would prove fatal. Whilst the Topcats defence was impressive, containing Worcester to just 11 points in the final quarter, the offence stalled. It seemed as if there was a lid on the basket for Topcats who posted just one field goal in the fourth as they shot just 1 – 16 and added three free throws.
Whilst the season is still young, Brixton will know that their offensive execution will have to improve if they are to climb the table. They have lacked punch at the offensive end but the third quarter against Worcester that they are capable of putting points on the board. Coaches Baker and Salisbury will no doubt be working this week to find a way to ensure their teams offensive execution improves. They will also know that they have the personnel and team spirit to be a very competitive team in division two that can beat anyone on their day.
The Topcats will need to rally as a team ahead of next week’s tough home fixture on Sunday 6th December against Ipswich who currently sit second in the table.