Agonising defeat for Sharks in thrilling Playoff Game One

B. Braun Sheffield Sharks
B. Braun Sheffield Sharks
April 28, 20249:00 PM

Sunday 28th April 2024

British Basketball League Playoff Quarter Final – Game One

B. Braun Sheffield Sharks 81 Leicester Riders 84

The B. Braun Sheffield Sharks slipped to an agonising three point defeat in game one of their playoff quarter final against Leicester Riders. The East Midlands side came from seven points down at the end of the third period with a 14-24 final stanza to claim the 81-84 win and go one up in the best-of-three series. The Sharks’ Prentiss Nixon led all scorers with 25 in a superlative shooting display but Miryne Thomas (24) and Jaren Holmes (21) steered the Riders to victory. The Sharks now require victory in Leicester on Saturday to level the series and send it into game three on Sunday.

Starting Fives

Sharks: Ramsey, Eytle-Rock, Ratinho, Green, Delpeche.

Riders: Holmes, Russell, Allen, Thomas, Walker.

Key Moments

Injury to Sharks’ co-captain Bennett Koch saw Marcus Delpeche promoted to the starting five but it was Leicester who made the better start. Five points apiece for Jaren Holmes and Teddy Allen took the Riders out to a 4-14 lead and the Sharks into a timeout. Things improved thereafter. Prentiss Nixon hit a big three out of the break and went on to nail 8 more points as the Sharks made an 11-2 run to the end of the period. A triple from Rodney Glasgow Jr and a Nixon jumpshot concluded the scoring at 26-28.

The Sharks carried the tempo over into the second quarter. A 15-2 streak was highlighted by a Jalon Pipkins corner three that came following some quality ball movement before Glasgow led from the front with a stepaway two and a finish off the glass. Next to step up was Malek Green. He jammed home at 40-32 and then came up with a huge swat on Jaren Holmes. Five more points followed for the energetic forward before a Kipper Nichols fadeaway ended the half with the score at 47-38.

The Sharks kept Leicester at arms-length in an enthralling third period that typified the intensity of playoff basketball. A deep three from Nixon was followed another from Nichols and with Leicester’s Thomas replying in kind, the pace was relentless. Thomas finished Allen’s assist on the alleyoop and made the and-one play that drew the Riders to within two at 62-60. Again the Sharks fought back with urgency; Jordan Ratinho’s corner three and Devearl Ramsey’s spin move closing the stanza at 67-60.

A 0-14 run at the start of the fourth quarter swung things in Leicester’s favour. Veteran guard Conner Washington pulled up in transition for three as the Riders pulled level and then went in front through Allen and TJ Lall at 69-74. Nixon went catch and shoot for a triple at 73-75 but the visitors extended their lead by one despite Pipkins’ corner trey. Nixon tied up the game at 79-79 going into the final two minutes but with the Sharks in the penalty, Leicester saw out the win from the line. Teddy Allen restored their lead with a pair at 81-83 and 18 seconds remaining but a stalled Sharks offence saw the Riders talisman wrap up the 81-84 victory with 1.7 seconds to spare.


The game was a tremendous advert for playoff basketball and one in which the Sharks fully played their part. Five offensive and seven defensive boards highlighted Malek Green’s dominance of the glass and the Sharks were positive 9 while ever Kipper Nichols was on court as he finished with 9 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists and a block. Co-skipper Rodney Glasgow led from the front with his 11 points that came on 5 of 6 shooting and some typically athletic finishes from Jalon Pipkins carried him to a useful 14 points. A splendid shooting afternoon saw the MVP award go the way of Prentiss Nixon. His 25 point haul was the highest by any Sharks player this season and came with 9 successful makes, 4 of which were from downtown.

Next game

Leicester Riders v B. Braun Sheffield Sharks, Saturday 4th May 2024, Mattioli Arena, 6.45pm tip off.


Adam Bates