Worle complete a cup double

PUBLISHED: 11:47 22 May 2006 | UPDATED: 09:19 24 May 2010

Devizes Wizards 76 Worle 83.

Devizes Wizards 76 Worle 83.

THREE days after defeating Pirates in a close semi-final, Worle travelled to the new WISE facility in Bristol for the trophy final.

THREE days after defeating Pirates in a close semi-final, Worle travelled to the new WISE facility in Bristol for the trophy final. After two excellent results earlier in the week, they were on a high, but two problems remained. Firstly Worle started with a 32-point deficit in the game against Division 3 Wizards and, secondly, too many of the squad were either ineligible or unavailable.Nevertheless, Worle did get away well with Russ Hayward sinking his first three-point attempt and Spencer Gilbert following with a jumpshot. Dennis Smilevich drove through the centre, but Wizards hit back with five points of their own. Richard Green hit a jumpshot and two more points came from Gilbert. Smilevich did the real damage with some unstoppable work inside the key. Joe Aldus came in and made a three-pointer and followed with two on the break and another by Green saw Worle 28-45 down at the first interval. The only real cloud by this time was that, in spite of some good defensive work, Luke Davis had picked up three fouls in the first quarter.So, as the second quarter got under way, Davis was rested and Alex Briffitt came in to successfully add to the defensive rebounding. And at the other end, Worle continued to make good progress. Smilevich began with another roll inside and Gilbert took a baseline. Then a burst by Hayward included another three-pointer. With the defence tight and aggressive, Wizards found little space inside and another three-pointer by Hayward and a rebound shot by Smilevich cut the gap to only four at 48-44. Fouls were mounting, however, and a Wizards time-out gave them time to reassess. Worle's defence relaxed its grip and Wizards opened up again, but at 53-47 at half time, Worle remained in striking distance, though Davis was now on four fouls.In the third quarter, two fouls in two minutes put Gilbert on four as well so Worle now had to tread with great care. The points flowed again, however, as a series of breaks and turnovers put Wizards on the back foot. Aldus layed up and soon after, Smilevich got free inside. More points came from Gilbert, Smilevich and Aldus gave Worle the lead for the first time at 58-56. Now Worle only needed to play a steady game and some solid defence, but it's never that easy. Worle's offence suddenly found it impossible to score and Wizards hit back. With Worle's offence firing blanks, they were soon six down again at 64-58 and coach Brian Skidmore needed the time-out. On the resumption, Hayward made another three-pointer and, though Wizards scored some more, Smilevich pulled Worle back to a one point deficit, 68-67, with one quarter to go.Davis put Worle back in front, after that, the situation was unchanged as neither side could score for the next six minutes. Worle's defence was outstanding but the offence could do nothing as with only six effective players, they were tiring and the effort of pulling back over 30 points began to tell. With three minutes to go, Wizards came through with enough points to push Worle back to 74-71 down and Smilevich also picked up a fourth foul. Aldus scored from the keyside and hit another three-pointer putting Worle back in front. Wizards levelled, but that was their final score. Gilbert drove through on a break and a three-pointer play by Smilevich as the final minute got under way gave Worle a useful cushion. There was nothing Wizards could do and Gilbert rounded things off to give Worle a victory at 83-44 on the night, and the West of England Trophy to go with it.Smilevich had his best game yet and scored 28 points. Hayward made 18, Aldus 15 and Gilbert 14.Worle 77 Redcliffe A 68THE next day, Worle returned to WISE for their second final in two days, this time in the West of England Plate. Their opponents were Division 1 Redcliffe A, so this gave Worle a chance to measure themselves against the sort of opposition they will be up against next season. This time, although Aldus had returned to university, the Worle bench was strengthened by the inclusion of players who had been ineligible for the trophy and following the efforts of the previous day, it was just as well. For Redcliffe, this was in the nature of a swansong as many of their A team players were retiring from the game and they had made an effort to gather all their players from the last couple of seasons. So this game was also one they wanted to win so they could go out on a high note. Worle took an early lead, however, with two inside scores by Smilevich and contributions from Hayward and Gilbert as well. With Worle already 8-0 up, Redcliffe called a time-out. But Worle's offensive impetus seemed to have gone already and there was only one more score by Gilbert to show for the quarter. The defence remained effective, however, but even so, Redcliffe began to pick up the points and at the first interval, Worle trailed 12-10 after a low scoring period.Redcliffe also made the first score of the second quarter and soon added another, but then Worle came up with the match-winning spell, taking the rest of the period 22-3. At the forefront was Roman Hyprinyak whose inside play Redcliffe found virtually unstoppable, except by putting him on the line. Marc Hartley's baseline, stealing the ball from a Redcliffe put-in levelled the scores and Hayward hit a three-pointer to give Worle a lead they never lost. Finally two more threes by Hayward saw Worle to a 14-point half time lead at 33-19. Redcliffe took advantage of the break to recover and the first part of the third quarter was level. Gilbert and Smilevich scored for Worle and Redcliffe also found the ring so that, with five minutes gone, Worle led 39-26. But the Worle offence had another dead period and Redcliffe steadily closed the gap. At 39-33, coach Skidmore called a time-out and this enabled Worle to turn the corner. Roman Ivanous and Hyprinyak both made three-pointers. Meanwhile the defence held Redcliffe to just two more points, so Worle led 45-38.Now the momentum was back with Worle and as the final period got under way, they stretched the lead once more. Three pointers by Hayward and Ivanous set the wheels in motion and as the defence had to deal with the artillery, Smilevich and Hyprinyak capitalised inside. A particular highlight was a break finished by Hyprinyak with a spectacular one handed slam-dunk.Worle were now 17 up at 60-43 and Redcliffe called a badly needed time-out. After that, Worle were content to score as they could while beginning to run the clock down. With two minutes left, Worle were still 10 up at 69-59 and Redcliffe called another time-out. Now the pressure was on Worle as Redcliffe chased and sent Worle to the line to obtain possession. But enough of the free throws went in with Green sinking three from four while Redcliffe had to look for three pointers. They made three but it was not enough as Worle played for time and were content to make Redcliffe use time finding room for their shots. So Worle won their second competition in two days to go with their second place in Division 2.Hayward top-scored with 19 points, Smilevich made 18 and Hyprinyak 16. Ivanous made eight, Hartley seven and Gilbert six, but this was truly a real team effort with all the squad making a valuable contribution.

Most Read