The Winston-Salem Wolves continued their winning ways with a victory over conference rival Petersburg, despite being coming into the game missing several key contributing players.
The Wolves came into Saturday’s game ranked #1 in the ECBL power rankings and undefeated on the year; however their opponent, the Petersburg Cavaliers, holds the #2 seed in the Northern Conference playoff race and set up a game with heavy playoff implications.
Adding to the uncertainty was the fact that the Wolves would be missing several key players, including Dionté Adams, Joshea Singleton and LePreece Lynch, all three of whom are in contention for All-Star berths this season. The Wolves welcomed back dominant big man Chris Woods and newly added Brandis Raley-Ross, a guard who recently returned from a pro season in Libya.
The Wolves opened up an early lead, but the Cavaliers were able to battle their way back into the game several times throughout the first half. Early scoring by Chris Woods and Brandis Raley-Ross gave Winston-Salem a double digit lead, but Petersburg forwards Elijah Moore and Tavon Mealy were able to combine for enough scoring to pull their team back to within a single point at the half, trailing 55-54.
The second half saw the Wolves take the lead but while they were able to keep the Cavaliers at arm’s length, were never quite able to pull away until late in the fourth, building another double digit lead to close out the win, 103-92.
Chris Woods led all scorers with 31 points and 18 rebounds, while Brandis Raley-Ross added 26 in his debut with Winston-Salem. Petersburg forward Elijah Moore led his team with 23 points as the Cavaliers fell to 7-4 on the season.
The victory improves Winston-Salem’s record to 10-0 on the season and clinches the #1 seed for the Northern Conference playoffs, with two games left for the Wolves in the regular season. Winston-Salem will host Gastonia on May 18 at 6pm.