Sunday 2nd February 2020
Cheshire Phoenix (Hayes 28 Jackson-Cartwright 19 Flannigan 16) 83 B. Braun Sheffield Sharks (Marsden 18 Lewis 17 McKnight 17) 78
The B. Braun Sharks fought back from a twenty three point half time deficit but ultimately couldn’t steal the win from home side Cheshire Phoenix. The ‘Nix endured a double overtime loss the previous evening in Bristol but shot the lights out in the first half and did enough to hang on in the face of the Sharks second half recovery.
Phoenix: Jackson-Cartwright, Lufadeju, Sayers, Ochereobia, Flannigan.
Sharks: Cashaw, Ndiaye, McKnight, Koch, Marsden.
Parker Jackson-Cartwright gave Cheshire the lead at 9-7 but Rob Marsden’s and one play kept the Sharks in front at 11-12. Jalen Hayes three ball out of the corner edged the Phoenix up by 23-14 and it was his layup that saw them conclude the first period on the high side by 25-16.
The Cheshire shooting machine went into overdrive in the second quarter. Jackson-Cartwright started the rout with a trey just 18 seconds in and was matched by Lufadeju, Flannigan and Gordon as the score flew out to 42-19. Marsden and Tuck attempted to keep the Sharks in touch but Hayes and Gordon found the hoop to see the ‘Nix well in command at 53-30 by half time.
Nick Lewis set about reducing the deficit at the beginning of the third stanza and further big threes from him and Connor Cashaw saw Cheshire calling for time at 61-47. Cashaw’s mid range two capped a 2-15 run in the Sharks favour, curtailed by Flannigan’s huge triple at 66-54. Marsden’s bucket brought the quarter to an end at 68-56.
Nick Lewis’ drive brought about an and one score at 74-66. Cheshire replied with Louis Sayers’ three out of the corner as the difference was restored at 11. Mackey McKnight’s trey and a moment of indiscipline from Demonte Flannigan saw the Sharks within seven at 77-70. A pair of McKnight free throws saw that reduce at 78-74 and things got even better inside the final thirty seconds; Cashaw’s jumper making it 78-76. However, with both sides in penalty, the game ended in a series of trips to the line – Jalen Hayes draining a further five points as Cheshire ran out winners by 83-78.
The 23 point half time deficit left the Sharks a mountain to climb and climb it they almost did. Connor Cashaw weighed in with his customary 16 points and 7 rebounds. Nick Lewis found his range in the third quarter and went on to 17 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists. Mackey McKnight attempted to influence the game in typically ebullient fashion with 17 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals. However, it was a workmanlike display from Rob Marsden that took the eye on the night. The Doncastrian went about his business right from the tip to finish with 18 points, 10 rebounds and 3 assists.
Next home game
B. Braun Sharks v Worcester Wolves, Friday 7th February 2020, Ponds Forge International Sports Centre, 7.30pm Tip Off