Brixton Topcats 87, Worcester Wolves II 80
Brixton Topcats Men’s team survived a fourth quarter scare to win a home match against Worcester Wolves II 87-80 on the Brixton Rec court on Sunday afternoon. The Topcats led all game until midway in the fourth quarter when the away team had a late game surge. Inspired team tactics and steady nerves saw the Topcats take away a deserved home win.
The home crowd was supportive, but could do with an extra boost. The Brixton Topcats Women’s team has been the main draw over recent seasons, playing in the top tier of British basketball. There was no shortage of noise at the Rec though with the home bench chanting out support.
This was a pacy ball game with both teams happy to play end-to-end basketball. Some big three-pointers early in the first quarter paid off for the Topcats.
The home team were dominant with the rebounds under the basket, putting away any stray shots at the second time of asking.
Both teams weren’t afraid to rough it up where necessary. This was a physical quarter with both defences matching up muscle wise under a crowded hoop. Topcats took a 21-16 lead into the start of the second quarter.
The Topcats sunk three quick successive breaks within a 30 second period at the start of the second. The Wolves were stranded at the wrong end of the court, giving away the ball cheaply, and then being left exposed at the opposite basket.
The patience broke for the away team with the very next attack. A fourth successive one man break was pulled back with a cynical foul.
Whatever tactics the Topcats were using, it seemed to work. Time after time the point guards set up the play with the call for “USA”. We’re not entirely sure what it signified, and neither did the Wolves.
The away team took a time out to reconsider. The Topcats pressed on and took a 42-32 lead in the half time buzzer.
There was still plenty of work to do for the home team in the second half of the ball game. The Topcats couldn’t get their shots up in time as the 23 seconds shot clock counted down. The Wolves meanwhile were resurgent after the break, pulling the score back to a one point ball game.
The quarter ended with both teams fouling. Five-seconds of play took a couple of minutes to complete. The Topcats took the short break at the end of the quarter with a slender 61-59 point lead.
Worcester Wolves drew level for the first time at the start of the fourth quarter. This then became a 67-69 lead for the away team. The Topcats team tactics of “USA” could no longer be heard.
A couple of missed free throws under the baskets for the Wolves were punished with a big three-pointer from the Topcats, putting the scores level once again. Topcats then edged back in front 74-72.
This was a time for some inspiring play to finish off the challenge from the visitors. Two huge three-pointers followed, giving a 83-75 lead for the Topcats with 49 seconds left on the clock.
It was now or never for the Wolves. A time out was called by the away team. The Topcats responded well to the calls of “NO FOULS!” from the home bench.
The buzzer sounded, and Topcats celebrated an 87-80 home court win.