Surrey Scorchers were on the wrong end of two close encounters this weekend as they fell to defeats to the Leicester Riders and the Cheshire Phoenix.
A depleted Scorchers roster hit the road for away games on Saturday and Sunday, with Coach Creon Raftopoulos opting to leave both Elvisi Dusha and Alhaji-Allie Fullah in Guildford for the fixtures.
Leicester Riders 91-74 Surrey Scorchers, Saturday 5th
Surrey made a strong start at Leicester on Saturday evening, leading by as many as 6 points in the opening quarter only for the hosts to close the stanza on a 10-run.
Scorchers flew out with 8 unanswered point early in the second, but Riders extended their lead to 46-38 at half time.
Riders opened Q3 with a 3-pointer to damage the confidence of the visitors, but despite having just one option on the bench throughout the tie they held on until the closing moment of the game when Rider’s roster depth prevailed and it was the hosts who took a 91-74 victory.
KC Ross-Miller continued this excellent form with a game-high 23 points, including 6 out of 6 from the charity line.
Cheshire Phoenix 81-74 Surrey Scorchers
Less than 24 hours later Scorchers were searching for a revenge win over Cheshire Phoenix, who defeated them by a single point 9 days previous at Surrey Sports Park.
Surrey once again opened the strongest, before Phoenix built a 10-0 run at the end of the first quarter to lead 24-17.
A Nick Schlitzer brace and Jordon Williams 2 brought Scorchers back level in Q2 before Schreiber gave them a period-high lead of 7 with a free throw. The momentary lapse was quickly overturned by Phoenix though, and the score line stood level at 40-all at half time.
A 14-2 burst in Q3, including 10 points from Tayo Ogedengbe, gave Scorchers a boost early in the 2nd half and hopes of taking something from the weekend, only for Cheshire to hit back with a 10-2 run of their own to hold a 62-60 lead heading into the final quarter.
Scorchers led by as many as 6 points in Q4, only for the tide to turn on a Surrey side who had really been put through their paces in a heavy weekend, allowing Phoenix to close out with an 81-74 win.
Captain Ogedengbe lead 5 Scorchers scorers hitting double figures with 18. Williams and Schreiber both posted double-doubles with 14pts/12rbs and 14pts/14rbs respectively, in a score line that did not reflect the valiant effort from the boys in black.
Scorchers host reigning champions the Newcastle Eagles at Surrey Sports Park on Saturday night, with a bumper crowd expected as they look to build a late season push towards the BBL Championship Play-offs.