Two Wins from Two for the Men
Updated: Feb 8
Wolves survived a late comeback from Rebels as they picked up their first victory of the campaign as they returned with a 91-88 win, on Saturday.
At the venue where Wolves' predecessors Leopards spent a season, Thomas Baker's young side were 11 up going into the final two minutes before showing their naïvity to set up a grandstand finish.
Jordan Santiago again the led the scoring, missing a triple-double by two assists with 32 points and ten rebounds, going 10-from-11 at the foul line. AJ Roberts marked his return to the club he played for four years ago with 20 points and nine boards, while James Cummings added ten points and seven boards with Jerrell Layne finished with nine points.
A tight first period saw Santiago pour in eight points, and Seth Wylie's three pointer looked to have tied the score at the first break only to see Josh Moore sink a buzzer beating triple to give Rebels a 20-17 lead.
That lead was doubled as former Leopard Sam Newman opened the second quarter with a trey before Santiago replied with a three-point play.
Roberts scored his first points in a Wolves kit to keep the visitors in touch as Rebels started the quarter strongly, but a 10-0 run started with a Jerrell Layne three and capped with a similar shot from Kane Daley put the visitors 32-30 ahead with six minutes gone.
Layne hit another three as the sides remained within a few points of each other, and Ahmed Ketiri put his side up by a point before Moore beat the buzzer to give the hosts a 46-45 lead going into the locker room at half-time.
Baker's half-time team-talk had the desired effect with Layne hitting his third triple of the game and Santiago completed a 10-3 run to open the half and despite a growing foul count - Wolves were called for 29 fouls while the hosts picked up 19 - they led throughout the third period as James Cummings' put-back sent them into the final break 73-63 ahead.
Cummings hit a triple to increase that lead with the opening score of the fourth period but Rebels captain Tom Child - one of five former Leopards in the home line-up - hit two-from-three at the foul line to launch a 10-0 run to make it a three point game with six minutes remaining.
Scores from Santiago and Roberts put Wolves back up by seven and baskets by Ray Akpofure and Santiago made it a double-digit lead with three minutes left.
Moore and Child chipped away at the lead at the foul line before a pair of Santiago turnovers split by a Rory Winter basket saw the lead cut to 89-85 with 45 seconds on the clock. Newman halved that lead with 40 seconds left as he was again sent to the foul line before Ahmed Ketiri turned the subsequent inbound over at half-court.
Moore and Newman both missed efforts before Wolves grabbed the rebound and Santiago was sent to the line after a foul by Newman, and he scored the first before missing the second. Newman grabbed the offensive rebound and was fouled by Ketiri with four seconds on the clock. After a timeout, the former Leopard hit the first and deliberately missed the second in the hope that his side would get the rebound but Caleb Tabanar collected the board and was immediately fouled. The former Oaklands academy star split a pair at the foul line, and some great defence prevented Newman's three point shot going in to give Wolves the win.
Newman and Winter led the hosts with 20 points apiece against their former club, the former adding 11 rebounds.
On Sunday, Kane Daley poured in 30 points as Wolves men made it two wins in as many days with a 108-101 home victory against Leicester Warriors.
The 18-year-old Oaklands Academy student scored three three-pointers in the final quarter as he led his side's scoring for the first time this season and added six rebounds in 30 minutes of action.
He was given great support by Jordan Santiago who finished with 24 points, nine boards and five assists while AJ Robert pulled down an incredible 18 rebounds to go with his 11 points and eight assists, and Jerrell Layne also added 11 points.
Roberts was delighted with a successful first pair of games with the Wolves: "It was a great weekend for us at Oaklands basketball" he said. "To go two for two this weekend was huge for us! Now it’s time to shift our focus and get ready for next weekend!"
The teams hit a combined 30 three points in a game where offence ruled defence, and Warriors' Martyn Gayle opened the scoring from behind the arc.
The visitors led for most of the period, but Santiago kept Wolves in touching distance with 12 points, including two triples, in the opening six minutes. and with Seth Wylie also scoring from downtown and Daley hitting a pair at the line, Wolves stayed in touch as they went into the first break 35-26 down,
That deficit grew to 40-28 as the impressive Henry Langton hit five points but Obi Egbunike sparked a 6-0 run before leaving the game with concussion, and triples from Layne and Nick Powdrell saw the deficit cut to 55-51 at half-time.
Daley was on fire in the opening minutes of the second half as he hit six straight points to give his side a 59-57 lead, and treys from Roberts and Layne kept the scoreboard ticking over, while the Warriors sunk a pair of triples at the other end.
Lamin Willan hit a jumper to put his side ahead by a point as the clock ticked down but it was Wolves who went into the final break with a 77-75 lead as Wylie drained from the Land of Plenty.
Santiago opened the fourth period with a trey and Wolves never trailed in the final quarter without ever being able to pull away.
Five Caleb Tabanar points in a 7-0 run capped by Roberts saw Wolves open a ten point gap with five minutes gone. A pair of Ellis Haggith three-pointers saw the lead trimmed to 100-96 with two minutes remaining but any risk of the previous day's frantic finish were ended as Daley hit his third trey and James Cummings added three points as Wolves closed out the victory and moved up to tenth in the Division One table.
Haggith led Warriors with 21 points, all coming from downtown as he went seven-from-14, while Carl Pearson added 16 points and Langton had seven rebounds to go with his 14 points.