Friday 5th October 2018
DBL Sharks Sheffield 73 London Lions 80
There was to be no fairytale return to Ponds Forge International Sports Centre as the Sharks fell to London Lions by 73-80. There was no shortage of effort and endeavour from the Sharks but a 2-11 tear by the Lions at the top of the third quarter gave them an advantage that the home side never quite managed to pull back. To compound matters, Sedale Hanson-Young suffered a serious shoulder injury in the same period, which potentially will sideline him for several weeks.
Sharks: Tuck, Marsden, Alexander, Williams, Castro-Caneddy
Lions: Spencer, Guede, Peel, Bristol, Tabb
Rene Castro-Caneddy’s reverse lay-up at 8-3 capped a lively start for the Sharks. Andre Lockhart’s trey late in the quarter, followed by Flo Larkai’s tip-in saw London back in front by 14-15. Two Chris Alexander free throws concluded the stanza with the Sharks down by a solitary point at 18-19.
Jordan Spencer’s triple late in the second period saw London inch into a 28-35 lead. Brandon Peel extended that to 30-38 but Chris Alexander’s failure to convert his ‘and one’ play meant that his run of 23 consecutive free throws came to an end with the score at 32-38.
Back to back triples from Spencer and Tabb put the Lions up by 17 with 2.38 played of the third quarter, exacerbated by Peel’s mid-range score just minutes later. A collision between Hanson-Young and Peel left the Sheffield man out of the contest, nursing a possible dislocated shoulder. Matthew Don hit the Sharks first two triples of the match but a further Spencer three saw London on the high side by the end of the period at 46-61.
The Sharks took the final stanza by 27-19. The Lions maintained a ten / eleven point differential throughout most of the last ten minutes. Ladarius Tabb exited the game having contributed 21 points with 6 rebounds and 4 assists as threes from Dirk Williams and Rene Castro-Caneddy reduced the arrears. Williams concluded the scoring on a night where the Sharks put up a noble effort but still fell sadly by 73-80.
It was a near double-double for the ‘engine’ of the Sharks, Rob Marsden with 12 points and 8 rebounds. Dialling in from inside was Rene Castro-Caneddy. He made 17 points with a rebound, a steal and 2 assists to boot as the Sharks attempted to stay in touch with the high-flying Lions. The eventual MVP was influential all over the court. Chris Alexander contributed 16 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and a steal going 10/11 from the free throw line on top of 23 consecutive successful trips to the charity stripe overall. Effort was not lacking from the Sharks on the night and there were indications that the club management are looking to build on the roster, especially given the unfortunate injury to Hanson-Young, for which everyone present wishes a speedy recovery.
Coach Atiba Lyons felt his side needed to play stronger team basketball but hinted that roster moves could be made next week in a bid to improve the club’s fortunes.
DBL Sharks Sheffield at Cheshire Phoenix, Sunday 7th October 2018, Cheshire Oaks Arena, 5.30pm Tip Off.
Graham Hodges Photography