Sunday 1st December 2019
BBL Cup Quarter Final
B. Braun Sheffield Sharks 58 Bristol Flyers 81
The B. Braun Sharks involvement in the BBL Cup is over for the 2019-20 season following a quarter final defeat at the hands of Bristol Flyers. The expected defensive game ensued but a 6-20 run for Bristol in the third quarter gave them an advantage that they never looked like giving up. The Flyers now take on London City Royals in the semi-finals.
Sharks: Lewis, Cashaw, Marsden, McKnight, Koch.
Flyers: Thomas G, Thomas F, Champion, Thomas-Edwards, Delpeche.
Fred Thomas replied to Bennett Koch’s opening free throw with nearly three minutes played as Bristol took a 1-3 lead. Gentrey Thomas’ spin and lay up saw scores levelled at 5-5 and the Flyers edged away further on his corner three point score at 7-15. Mackey McKnight replied in kind but Levi Bradley’s bucket in the dying seconds saw Bristol take a 10-17 first quarter lead.
The Sharks chipped away at the Flyers lead through six Connor Cashaw points and a sublime Bouna Ndiaye and one play saw the Sharks back in touch at 20-21. Indeed, Bennett Koch put the Sharks in front at 24-23 but Fred Thomas and Marcus Delpeche saw Bristol out to a narrow 27-29 lead in a very defensive first half.
The game unravelled for the Sharks in the third quarter as the Flyers opened up a significant lead. Gentrey Thomas’ trey opened up a nine point lead at 29-38 and a couple of Delpeche scores soon extended that to 11 at 33-44. Seven Fred Thomas points put Bristol in command at 39-53 and only a late Mackey McKnight triple gave the Sharks a glimmer of hope as the quarter ended 42-53.
McKnight continued that energy at the top of the fourth quarter, bringing the Sharks to within seven points but that was about as good as it got for Atiba Lyons men. Gentrey Thomas continued a fine display with eleven further points in the quarter including a three plus one play as Bristol continued to execute their game plan effectively. Bradley and Taylor hit back to back to threes before Nick Lewis’ two concluded matters at 58-81.
It was an uncharacteristic off-day for the Sharks, especially given how well they had performed in the group stage. Connor Cashaw was effective, especially during the second quarter, on his way to 11 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals. Bringing the energy at the beginning of the fourth was eventual MVP Mackey McKnight. He went on to 16 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals but even his enthusiasm couldn’t carry the Sharks, who only shot 30% from the field in total all evening.
Captain Mike Tuck explained his personal frustration at the defeat but vowed to seek revenge next Friday as the Sharks league campaign begins on the road at……Bristol Flyers!
Next home game
B. Braun Sharks v Leicester Riders, Sunday 29th December 2019, Ponds Forge International Sports Centre, 4.00pm Tip Off