A WEAKENED Worcester Wolves fell to a 77-68 defeat at Cheshire Phoenix on Wednesday in the British Basketball League.

With Josh McSwiggan, Kj Lawson and Henry Wilkins missing from last weekend’s numbers, Wolves fought to retrieve several sizeable deficits and even nudge 56-55 ahead towards the close of the third quarter.

But inconsistent offensive in the final quarter enabled Cheshire to re-take the lead and hold on for victory.

Phoenix seven-footer Jimbo Lull made the most of his height to propel his side to a 14-7 early advantage before his Wolves counterpart Mike Parks replied with a neat spin around him.

After Lull took a break the big man battle continued when his place was taken by ex-Worcester star Matthew Bryan-Amaning, helping Cheshire roll to a 25-15 advantage entering the second quarter.

Bryan-Amaning thrust through defenders to slam the ball home and then stole the ball at half-court for another dunk to maintain his side’s double-digit cushion.

Rarely-used guard Nathan Ramsdale-Owen joined the fray with a confident attack to the hoop which hit the rim but was put back by Parks. The Wolves centre converted a bullet-pass from Maarten Bouwknecht at the half-time buzzer, restricting Cheshire’s lead to 41-37.

Jordan Williams was the post-interval highlight, producing powerful drives and turnaround hooks in thumping his way to a dozen third-period points.

The final quarter opened on a Brandon Anderson jumper and a 58-57 edge for the visitors but it would be a further six minutes before another Worcester score from the field and Phoenix pounced upon a series of turnovers to do enough to take the win.

Williams and Parks both played the full forty minutes of the match. The former tallied 19 points and nine rebounds, with the latter providing a 15 point/13 rebound double-double performance.

Bouwknecht and Lammar Kimble supplied ten points apiece.

“Chester were prepared for us and handled our perimeter players well,” summarised Wolves coach Matt Newby.

“There were extra passes that we could have made and plays that could have been taken differently.”

Wolves take to the court again this Friday 19 February hosting Manchester Giants, a team they defeated 102-96 in a back-and-forth encounter last week.

The match tipsoff at 7pm and will be streamed live and for free on Worcester Wolves YouTube channel.