Surrey Scorchers completed another 4th quarter comeback on Saturday evening as they overcame a gutsy Plymouth Raiders outfit to take a 91-86 win at Surrey Sports Park.
Raiders led for much of the encounter only for Surrey to stage what is becoming a characteristic fight back in the final period, bagging 35 points to edge ahead of the winless Raiders and prevent a win on Daryl Corletto’s first night as Plymouth player-coach.
Pre-game Coach Creon was full of praise for his Scorchers side, who welcomed back Elvisi Dusha into the roster following his return, and fans were hopeful of finally seeing a full strength Surrey squad in action.
But this wasn’t to be as after a little over a minute of the game Henry Wilkins, Scorchers’ hero 7 days previous, took a heavy knock in the mid-court and fell awkwardly causing concern for Surrey physio Danielle Surrett. A 45 minute delay followed while full precautions were taken to ensure that the Surrey-born guard was safely taken to hospital where, to the delight of the 626-strong crowd, it was confirmed that he was uninjured.
When play continued, Raiders flew out the strongest with Corletto bagging 9 points to led his pack. Christian Behrens attempted to halt Plymouth in gaining a too bigger advantage at the break, bagging two from the line and a jump shot mid-way into the period, but the visitors still led by 4 at quarter time (18-22).
Neither side were able to gain a clear advantage in the second. Tayo Ogedengbe potted two from the line early on followed by a fine lay-up from Nick Schlitzer to level the scores for the first time in the period, while Will Neighbour looked for various 3 point shots to hand his side the lead but the ball was refusing to sink from distance. Scorchers took the quarter by 3 points, but the Raiders led 42-43 at half time.
A sleepy opening to the 3rd quarter gave Plymouth their biggest lead of the game with a 10 point advantage. Felder stopped the drought with a tidy back-to-basket hooked 2 pointer before a Behrens steal and Schlitzer lay-up gave Scorchers a hint of momentum. Dusha went coast-to-coast on the buzzer to drag back the deficit and it was a 3 point game ahead of the final period (54-57).
Richie Edwards potted an early 3 for Raiders and as they quickly extended their lead to 7 with 8.47 on the clock. It was at this point that Scorchers blew their opponents aside with a 10-2 run. Behrens, Dusha and Schreiber were all linking up well to put the points on the board before Tayo secured the lead with a steal and 2 point jump shot. Raiders continued to bag 3-pointers but Scorchers were clinical at the opposite end, with captain Tayo finishing the game with a trademark dunk to see his side take their 3rd win of the season (91-86).
DJ Felder put in arguably his best performance in black so far this season, with a 20pt/10rb double-double. Behrens and Schlitzer followed up with 17 points-a-piece to cap another exciting evening of entertainment at Surrey Sports Park.
Scorchers will now enjoy a well-deserved two week break before returning to home court action on Sunday 8th November for the visit of the Bristol Flyers in a 3pm tip-off.