Game of two halves sees the Sharks go down at the Phoenix

B. Braun Sheffield Sharks
B. Braun Sheffield Sharks
March 3, 20249:15 PM

Sunday 3rd March 2024

British Basketball League Regular Season

Cheshire Phoenix 93 B. Braun Sheffield Sharks 78

A tale of two halves saw the B. Braun Sheffield Sharks go down by 93-78 on the road at Cheshire Phoenix. A 52 point first half saw the Sharks at their ebullient best but 13 point third and fourth quarters saw the ‘Nix accelerate away to the win. Cheshire dominated the second chance points to the tune of 19-2 and despite 21 points from Malek Green and 18 from RJ Eytle-Rock, the Sharks remain in their sixth-placed berth with a 12-15 record.

Starting Fives

Phoenix: Rideau, Stephens, Rai, Holden, White.

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

Key Moments

The Sharks picked up where they left off from Thursday’s victory over Plymouth. RJ Eytle-Rock’s corner three capped a 0-7 opening in a useful start. Enter Cheshire’s Skyler White. Three shots from beyond the arc levelled matters at 11-11 and an unsportsmanlike call on Rodney Glasgow late in the quarter put the Sharks into the bonus. Aaryn Rai made it 25-20 from the line but a relatively close opening period ended with Kipper Nichols closing the scoring at 25-21.

A 31 point second quarter proved that the Sharks had come to play. Atiba Lyons took an early timeout as the Phoenix moved the score to 31-25 and it clearly had the desired effect as RJ Eytle-Rock found success with a corner three and an and-one play that levelled the encounter at 35-35. Baskets from Jordan Ratinho and Jalon Pipkins took the Sharks into the lead and by the time Malek Green found the hoop, a 5-21 run had been made with the score at 38-46. All-Star Jalon Pipkins spectacularly dunked home inside the final minute and a 45-52 half time lead was no less than the Sharks deserved.

White proved to be the Sharks nemesis once again at the top of the third quarter with further treys that restored Cheshire’s lead at 53-52. Shorn of the services of Bennett Koch through foul trouble and in the bonus midway through the period, the ‘Nix took advantage as Rai opened the gap out to 12 points. A 0-7 run to the end of the quarter, inspired by Prentiss Nixon, left the game in the balance at 70-65 but with the momentum slowly swinging the home side’s way.

The offence slowed in the final stanza as the game remained nip and tuck for nearly six minutes. When a run did come, it was Cheshire who capitalised. A 7-0 spurt put the hosts up by 84-73 – White finishing a recycle from the all-action Rai. The double-digit gap held firm into the final thirty seconds and the scoreline got skewed even further as a White triple and a Rideau steal and basket closed the Cheshire win out at 93-78.


The Sharks dominated the paint but were left to rue a 26 point second half that allowed Cheshire to pull away for the win. Three Sheffield players made double-figure scoring. Jalon Pipkins made a trademark one-handed dunk in amongst his 10 point, 1 rebound, 3 steal performance. Finding success from downtown was RJ Eytle-Rock. He went 4 of 8 from deep in a polished display that saw him end with 18 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists. Catching the eye with his energy once again was Malek Green however. His 21 points came on 9 of 14 shooting and also included 8 rebounds and an assist. Despite his efforts, the Sharks ended with a split weekend ahead of a Thursday night home encounter with Surrey.

Next game

B. Braun Sheffield Sharks v Surrey Scorchers, Thursday March 7th 2024, Canon Medical Arena, 7.45pm Tip Off.


Adam Bates