La’Quarne Sayles marked his return from injury with a 26-point haul as Wolves won their first Division Two game of the season with an 89-83 victory against Cobham Scorchers, on Saturday evening.
The visitors arrived at Oaklands chasing a play-off spot, but a Wolves’ side containing eight academy players produced their best performance of the campaign to improve their chances of avoiding relegation.
Sayles added four assists in 35 minutes before leaving the game in the closing stages after being called for a second intentional foul. Spencer Matthews added 18 points while Bill Irvine came off the bench to score four three-pointers on his way to 15 points, adding six assists.
A tight first half saw Wolves fight back from an early double-digit deficit to going into the locker room trailing 46-43.
Matthews and Callum Johnston each hit triples to open a key third period for the hosts, before Abdul Akewushola gave them the first lead of the night, 54-53 with 6:15 on the clock, and the big man scored six straight points to keep Wolves ahead.
Treys from Irvine and Sayles helped Wolves open an 11-point lead, and they went into the final break leading 72-63.
Sayers hit a triple to open the fourth period and Ethan Downing’s lay-up kept the advantage in double figures at the five-minute mark. But the visitors hit back with eight unanswered points before Sayers’ lay-up saw Wolves go into the final three minutes with an 82-77 lead.
Wilding’s lay-up cut that lead to two with 2:17 on the clock before Irvine drained a triple but Sayles second unsportsmanlike foul sparked a wild end to the game with the Wolves’ bench also being called for a technical foul.
AJ Abayomi managed to miss four straight free-throws for the visitors but John Stewart hit a pair to take his tally to 34 and make it a two-point game heading in the final 30 seconds, before Irvine and Simon Pattison wrapped up the win at the foul line.
In contrast the men’s Division Three team went down 97-54 at University of East Anglia.
Under acting coach George Walker, the young Wolves team never recovered from a 29-13 first quarter, despite 19 points from Darren. Armistead and 13 from Daniel Kostadinov.