Surrey Scorchers where on the wrong side of a last minute defeat on Friday night as a valiant performance ended in defeat at Leeds Force.
Despite clinging onto their hosts through the game, Scorchers were unable to hold on for the win as they suffered their first loss on the road this season thanks to a brace of 3-pointers by Louis Sayers in the dying moments of the game.
Coach Creon had a depleted roster to work with for the trip to Yorkshire, with point guards Elvisi Dusha and Desmond Lee both departing the club during the week, leaving him with a tough tactical task to stop his side falling behind due to having fewer options from the bench.
Scorchers started brightly with captain Tayo Ogdengbe potting 11 points early on, including three straight 3-pointers, to hand his side a 7-12 lead. Nick Schlitzer added a pair of 3s of his own and it was the visitors who lead 15-20 at the first break.
Force charged out of the blocks in Q2, scoring 6 points to no reply, before the lead changed hands numerous times in the quarter. Will Neighbour and Andreas Schreiber were linking up well to find the basket, but an 8-0 run for Leeds ensured that they took a 33-32 lead into half time.
Leeds briefly extended their lead to 7 points early on in Q3, but a 14-4 run for Scorchers allowed them to stay on the hosts’ tails throughout, ending the period 54-41 to Leeds.
With 6.43 left of the clock, it looked like Scorchers would pull of another fine comeback. The momentum was with Surrey as DJ Felder, whose performance earned him a career high 14pts and 10rbs, scored 2 to level the scores at 58-all. Quick changes of the lead towards the end of the quarter followed, with Force consistently cancelling out any attempt by Surrey to re-take the lead.
But back-to-back triples from Leeds’ Sayers inflicted last damage on Scorchers, who were unable to hold the intensity for the full 40 minutes, and the Yorkshire side made it two back-to-back wins at home to get their season on track.
Ogedengbe’s 26pts earned him the title of top scorer on court, but DJ Felder would take the star man role thanks to his impressive double-double from the bench.
Scorchers return to Surrey Sports Park on Saturday evening as they make their debut in the BBL Cup with a huge derby clash against the London Lions.