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BC Wolves fall in Vilnius derby

The third Lithuanian Basketball League derby in the Lithuanian capital happened last weekend, with the visiting BC Rytas (17-4) escaping with the big win and took down the hosts BC Wolves (15-8) via a score of 99:83 (27:19, 23:25, 19:25, 30:14).

With this victory, the second-seeded Rytas increased the gap from their nearest competitors in the Betsafe-LKL standings.

The Wolves won the first match 84:74, while Rytas were victorious in the second clash – 89:72.

Rytas started the game with an early advantage (17:10) with Lukas Uleckas showing the way. After the first quarter, the visitors led 27:19, but the situation quickly changed.

Even though Rytas’ lead reached double-digits (29:19) after Gytis Masiulis’ shot, Tre’Shawn Thurman made his attempts to trim the deficit – 26:30. More Wolves players then joined the offensive as the home team got closer and closer until Jeffery Taylor tied the score at 38-38.

However, BC Rytas restored its fragile lead and managed to pull ahead 50:44 after two quarters.

After halftime, it took a little more than a minute for the Wolves to tie the score again (50:50), making the game a truly exciting affair. Eigirdas Žukauskas and Martynas Echodas traded baskets, J. Taylor and Javin DeLaurier did so as well, but neither team was able to break away by the end of the third quarter – 69:69.

The BC Wolves started the fourth quarter with a renewed sense of energy and finally wrestled the lead from the visitors (73:69), although Lukas Uleckas scored to make it 71:73. Marcus Foster took the reins for Rytas and snatched back the advantage (84:77), keeping the home team at arm’s length. Arnas Velička, M.Echodas, and M. Foster all teamed up in the final minutes as Rytas put the game away in this highly anticipated encounter.

BC Wolves: Jeffery Taylor 22, Christian Mekowulu and Rasheed Sulaimon – 12 each, Tre’Shawn Thurman 11, Eigirdas Žukauskas 10, Garrison Brooks 6, Kristupas Žemaitis 4, Regimantas Miniotas 3, Vaidas Kariniauskas 2, Arnas Beručka 1. Vitalijs Kozys did not score.

Rytas: Marcus Foster 31, Martynas Echodas 20 (10 rebounds), Arnas Velička 12.

(Photo: Saulius Čirba)