Surrey Scorchers are back in a BBL Play-Off spot after they collected an 87-80 win against Leeds Force at Surrey Sports Park, as Tayo Ogendengbe and Chaz Rollins starred for the winning side with a combined 47 points.
There had initially been a frantic opening quarter with both teams happy to employ a high-tempo offence and it resulted it a narrow 19-18 lead for the hosts as Rollins hit double-figures with an eye-catching opening.
Some nice outside shooting by Jack Isenbarger was helped Leeds keep pace and they jumped in front towards the end of the half. But, a time out by Surrey head coach Creon Raftopoulous stopped their momentum as the home side shifted up a gear.
They finished the second quarter with a real flourish off the back of a buzzer-beater from deep by Ogedengbe, a shot that gave them a 42-38 advantage heading to the locker rooms.
There was a sense of déjà vu when the action resumed as the Scorchers’ captain hit another pair of three-pointers and it looked like the local favourites would soar out of sight as they went 48-38 in front.
It looked worse when Force lost Clayfell Harris as he picked up his fifth foul to leave the game early, but the Yorkshire side rallied to close the gap and it was just a one-shot game heading into the last ten minutes at 62-59.
However, the pendulum then made one last decisive swing back in the direction of Surrey as they made a strong surge for victory, with a huge Mike Ochereobia dunk at 76-67 helping them to eventually ease back into the top eight in the table.
Scorchers now face a double header BBL Championship weekend, starting with Saturday’s crunch match at Bristol Flyers (7.30pm tip off) followed by a home tie with the Sheffield Sharks on Sunday afternoon (2pm tip off).
Sunday’s game is a Mother’s Day special, with family tickets available for just £20!
Report from bbl.org.uk.