Sunday 22nd September 2019
BBL Cup North Group
B. Braun Sheffield Sharks 95 Manchester Giants 61
The B. Braun Sharks returned to their spiritual home of Ponds Forge International Sports Centre in emphatic fashion with a sensational 95-61 success over Lancastrian rivals, Manchester Giants. The Sharks dominated the Roses clash from the off in a vastly improved shooting display to get off the mark in the BBL Cup North Group table.
Sharks: Lewis, Backovic, Marsden, McKnight, Koch.
Giants: C Jones, J Jones, Dickerson, Malalu, Powell.
The Sharks announced their intentions in the opening minute on Mackey McKnight’s ‘and one’ play. McKnight repeated the effort midway through the quarter at 12-7 and then provided delicious assists for Rob Marsden and Mike Tuck to see the Sharks in front by 20-11. The Jones brothers combined to keep Manchester in the encounter but a Sedale Hanson-Young mid-range shot concluded the period at 26-18.
The momentum continued in the second. Nick Lewis opened the quarter with a three point score and hit another out of the corner pocket as the Sharks swam ahead at 38-25. Another exciting display by Lewis was being matched by Marsden; his spin move under the hoop giving the Sharks a nineteen point lead at 46-27. James Jones and Cristal Malalu found the ring to close the half but it was the Sharks who were dominant at 50-34.
The spread of scoring had been a problem in Leicester on Friday night but no such difficulties were encountered back on home territory. Marko Backovic’ triple at 55-36 emphasised this and a catch and shoot trey from McKnight was followed by another from Nate Montgomery as the third quarter closed at 72-49.
Montgomery repeated the feat at the top of the fourth as the Giants had no answer to the onslaught. Lewis bookended a fine display with another three at 86-56 and six fourth quarter points from Mike Tuck eased the Sharks to a convincing win at 95-61.
Eight Sharks made the scoresheet and all saw vital court time in a sizzling win over the Giants. Running the floor to great effect was Mackey McKnight, who completed a fine double double of 13 points and 10 assists as the Sharks catalyst. There was another very mature display from Nick Lewis, who inspired his teammates on his way to 21 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists. The MVP went the way of Doncaster-born forward Rob Marsden however. Uncharacteristically subdued on Friday, the Marsden the Sharks know and love was in full effect tonight, compiling an efficient 20 points and 11 rebounds to secure Roses success.
Atiba Lyons was pleased with the way his side responded after the disappointment of Friday evening and asked the SharkNation to turn up and make some noise to bring back the glory days to Ponds Forge!
Next home game
B. Braun Sharks v Cheshire Phoenix, Sunday 29th September 2019, Ponds Forge International Sports Centre, 5pm Tip Off.