WORCESTER Wolves finally moved off the foot of the British Basketball League after coming out on the high side of a record-breaking thriller against Surrey Scorchers last night.

On a night of twists and turns that included the ejection of Wolves coach Tony Garbelotto and four periods of overtime the hosts eventually emerged with an exhausting 152-150 victory that saw them leapfrog Scorchers in the league standings.

Assistant coach Felix Hallam said of the University of Worcester Arena win which was the highest-scoring game in BBL history: “That was one that we had to gut out.

"Both teams had multiple opportunities to win and both teams threw them away.

“There’s a lot for us to digest from that game but most importantly we finally walked away from it with the win.

"We weren’t locked in at times but we found enough to regroup. We wanted to get off the bottom of the league. We just had to get it done.”

The tight nature of the contest was set early.

A 12-11 Worcester edge after four minutes became 26-25 by the close of the first quarter.

Finding their path to the basket repeatedly obstructed by Surrey’s hulking seven-footer Morakinyo Williams, Wolves turned to long-distance shooting to keep the scoreboard moving to a 50-50 half-time tie.

By midway through the last period of regulation-time, Wolves had slipped 78-74 behind after a second technical foul for Garbelotto saw him trudge to the locker-rooms.

Just when it looked as if the air had been taken out of the game, Robert Crawford stepped forward to pump his side’s tyres back up.

Jabbing the ball out of the hands of Scorchers point-guard Quincy Taylor, he raced to the hoop.

On the next play he again dispossessed Taylor at half-court to set up a Lester Prosper success.

After Crawford sank a triple, supporters rose to their feet and Surrey frantically called for a time-out as they looked up at Worcester’s 81-78 lead.

With just six seconds remaining, Crawford rebounded a Taylor miss to set up a Deshawn Freeman flying dunk and keep a 93-91 lead before a last-gasp Surrey score sent the match into added time.

It was a similar nerve-jangling end to the first period of overtime.

At 108-108 Freeman tipped in a Miki Servera miss but had his effort ruled out by the referees for being made after the game-clock had expired.

Crawford continued his torment of Taylor to close the next five-minute stretch with another steal, a layup and a 124-124 deadlock.

The third spell of overtime seemed to have finally settled matters.

Freeman broke clear to produce an underhand pass to himself off the backboard that he then jammed through the net.

Prosper threw his arms in the air to celebrate a powerful dunk that put Wolves 140-134 to the good with only 25 seconds to go.

But Worcester once more displayed the shakiness that has dogged them throughout this season as they contrived to give up what ought to have been a decisive advantage.

A Severa turnover was deemed unsportsmanlike, resulting in a made free throw and a follow-up three-pointer for Scorchers.

A further success ensured everyone had to summon up their last reserves of energy.

Riding his team’s momentum, former Worcester man Caylin Raftopoulos drained consecutive shots from outside the arc for a 148-142 cushion.

However, with multiple players now forced out of the action due to foul trouble, reserve guard Jordan Whelan took his chance to shine, zipping up court for a double of scores.

Prosper brought up a mammoth 150-150 scoreline, Crawford edged Wolves in front and big-man Williams spurned last-second free throws to finally draw a halt to the gruelling slugfest.

Freeman and Crawford led all scorers with 33 points apiece while Whelan and Darell Combs both notched 21.

Servera totalled 16 points and served up 12 assists with Prosper also impressing with a 19-point, 15-rebound double-double performance.

Prosper said: “We had to keep fighting. We’re a better team than where we are in the league.

"We’re going to do our thing, we’re going to play hard and we’re going to look to finish up this season strong.”

Wolves swiftly return to action at London City Royals tonight (7.30pm).

Hallam admitted that players will need to quickly recover from their exertions, adding: “We need to rehydrate as quickly as possible, get some ice baths and prepare mentally after a draining night. We’ll give everything we can.”