WORCESTER – The Worcester 78’s were handed just their second loss of the season on Saturday after falling 131-124 to the Springfield Sting.

Here are five takeaways from the blossoming rivalry:

  1.  Both teams run the ball at a fast pace. Both teams are deadly from three. Both teams know how to win. The Worcester 78’s play the Springfield Sting six times in a season, and have lost two out of the three times they have met with them. The games tend to be high scoring and Coach Leo, head coach for the Worcester 78’s, said that “These games are long, I knew even being down early it was going to be a close game. We just had to correct.” They certainly corrected themselves in that impressive comeback in the 2nd quarter. We’ll see what happens the next time these two teams meet. Can the 78’s hold their lead and bring the series to 3-3?
  2. The Tale of Two Zeroes. Kamahl Walker, #0 for the 78’s, and Tylon Smith, #0 for the Sting, are both consistent from outside. In this game, Smith seemed to have the edge because he was able to create distance from his defender and drain the open shot. He would also drive to the basket when there was an open lane and get easy points from inside.  Because of his size, he is both an inside and outside threat. Walker is an excellent shooter, but needs to focus on shot selection. Although most of his shots were great shots, he may have passed up on excellent shots by passing to open teammates or looking over opportunities to drive to the basket for an easy inside shot. This being said, if he catches fire, he stays hot.
  3. One of the reasons why the Worcester 78’s were able to stay close to the Springfield Sting was their free-throw consistency and their ability to draw fouls. The 78’s have to be able to make clutch free-throws in the fourth quarter. They would have had the chance of a victory if Scotty Tavares-Taylor made all four of his free-throws with seconds left in the fourth quarter.
  4. Watch out for Sean McCarthey! The big man in the paint recorded multiple blocks and rebounds on the defensive end. He also had multiple offensive rebounds that led to easy points for the 78’s. His clutch post-up move with seconds left in the 4th quarter brought the team within striking distance to mount a potential comeback.
  5. Gallo, Longwell, and King can score. Gallo’s outside shooting and King’s high-energy ability to control the pace, score, and play good defense were major factors in the 78’s comeback in the second quarter. When Longwell gets the ball from outside, it’s probably going in. He does a great job of getting open on the three-point line and was a consistent force throughout the game.