FIVE different sides were in action from the West Lothian Wolves camp last weekend with the sides recording three wins and two losses.
First on to the court were the under-16 men (cadets) to face the Dundee Sharks.
The Wolves had easily beaten the Sharks in their first meeting this season, however, the Dundee side made more of a game of it this time – in the first half at least.
The visitors came out really aggressive and went ahead by eight points early on against a Wolves side who looked flat and unmotivated, losing the ball time after time, and failing to run any form of consistent offence.
Thankfully for home fans it proved to be a temporary problem as Wolves awoke from their slumber to hit back and go in at the end of the first quarter only six points behind, 12-18.
Whatever team coaches Marc Dickson and Willie Marshall said at the break had the desired effect as Wolves came out a team reborn.
Matthew Kean was really aggressive on defence, pulling down rebound after rebound and frustrating the men he was marking.
Duncan McPherson started to find his range and Ross Kohler settled down at the point guard spot to really start to lead the boys.
The Wolves only allowed in 10 points in the second period while scoring 19 points themselves. This allowed the Wolves to go into half time with a three point lead and the score reading 31-28.
The second half was a different affair altogether. Duncan McPherson became very aggressive on the offensive end of the floor, scoring time after time with a multitude of jump shots and drives to the basket.
The Wolves poured in 25 points in the quarter, while only allowing nine against.
The fourth quarter saw Dickson run his bench and make sure everyone got a game and the Wolves ran out victors 65-52.
The top performers were Duncan MacPherson with 26 points, Ross Kohler with 18 points, and Matthew Kean with nine points, nine steals and 21 rebounds.
Next up were the junior men, hoping to emulate the cadets’ success against the Dundee Sharks. The Wolves were trying out their full court press after not using it since the first couple of games of the season. The tactic worked in the early stages with the Wolves stealing the ball frequently, or forcing the Sharks to turn the ball over.
However, the Wolves were not focused in the early stages to really take advantage of the extra possession, but still went into the first break up 11-4.
The Wolves woke up in the second period and put in 21 points while only allowing nine points to be scored by the Sharks. Their defence was very good, often allowing them the fast break and they remained in the lead for the whole game by a comfortable margin, giving coach Andy Smyth the chance to play some of his development players, who are in their first season of basketball.
Jamie Shade came off the bench and put in a very productive effort, scoring six points and playing some really great defence.
Murray Porteous also got some good minutes and scored on a lovely long-range jump shot, and Duncan Ewan got some good minutes, though he didn’t succeed in finding the hoop.
Ross Kohler came off the bench to play his second game of the day to lead the Wolves with another sound performance.
The Wolves remained dominant throughout the game and never looked in danger of losing the tie.
The top performers were Liam Marshall with 16 points and 10 rebounds, Ross Paterson with eight points and 10 rebounds, Kohler with 13 points and three steals and Frazer Morrison with 18 points and 12 rebounds.
On Sunday it was the turn of Wolves Senior men as they faced the Edinburgh Lions.
The Wolves were playing without two major players in their team with Owen Cook and Richard Harrison not available. Despite this, Wolves started well with Marc Dickson hot in the first period, racking up digits on a variety of three-point shots and drives to the basket.
The Wolves defence was coping admirably and did not allow the Lions to get any easy sights of the basket. Wolves rebounded well, meaning the Lions did not get any second-chance points.
Wolves went into the first break ahead 24-18, but in the rest of the game they failed to find the same form and played on the back foot to a balanced aggressive attack from the Lions.
They only scored eight points in the second period, while the Lions notched 18 points, mainly scored on free throws due to the Wolves fouling on defence.
Wolves were still ahead at half time by two points but they gave up their lead early into the third quarter and never recovered.
They were, however, down by only three points with less than a minute to go but they came unstuck and the Lions benefited greatly from a number of free throws and a lack of discipline from the Wolves.
In the end the Wolves went down 65-55 to the Lions.
The Girls’ Under-16s Lothian team played their third and fourth games of the season on Sunday against Kool Kats C and A teams.
The first game was won comfortably 51-16 despite only having six players as the Wolves led from the outset.
The second game of the day saw the Wolves defeated 54-36 by a far more experienced Kats team.
The girls where down to only five players for their final match, and fought hard to stay in the game, but tired legs and some excellent Kats shooting were too hard to overcome.
The Girls Under-16s will be in action again in the new year, so will be looking to build on a solid start to the season.