Friday 7th February 2020
B. Braun Sheffield Sharks 76 Worcester Wolves 69
The B. Braun Sharks climbed to sixth in the BBL Championship table with a win over Worcester Wolves that was actually more comfortable than the scoreline suggested. The Sharks led by as many as 21 going into the final five minutes but survived a final push from the Wolves to move to a 4-4 record for the season.
Sharks: Lewis, Cashaw, McKnight, Tuck, Koch.
Wolves: A Williams, Bouwknecht, Hughes, J Williams, Edwards.
A big block on dangerman Amir Williams by Bennett Koch signalled the Sharks intent as a Nick Lewis three put them up by 7-4 in the early stages. Some terrific ball movement saw Mackey McKnight hit a key triple out of the corner at 15-12 and the same player concluded the quarter with another big shot from downtown with the score at 23-14.
Things continued the Sharks way as Mike Tuck’s rich vein of shooting form saw the score out to 32-18 within three minutes of the second period. The foul count against the Sharks built as Worcester poured in eight unanswered points but a fine first half ended with the home side 41-28 to the good.
Sharks skipper Tuck, fresh from the announcement of his testimonial game, opened the second half with a trey but a series of marginal calls saw Worcester edge back into the game; Jordan Williams slam reducing the deficit to six at 46-40. Out of the time out, the Sharks rallied – Bouna Ndiaye being particularly effective with two quality finishes to end the third quarter at 62-44.
Things went swimmingly for the Sharks as an arc-ing Nick Lewis triple and an ‘and one’ play from the same player produced a game-high difference of 21 at 74-53 midway through the fourth stanza. Kofi Josephs (8) and Julius Van Sauers (5) produced a late rally for the Midlanders as Worcester pulled as close as 75-69 but some savvy offensive rebounding and full shot clocks from Sharks’ Mackey McKnight saw the South Yorkshire side close out a useful 76-69 victory.
Another night, another all-round display from Connor Cashaw. A double double of 11 points, 10 rebounds with 4 assists and 2 steals to boot signalled a productive night for the ex-Rice University man. The ageless Mike Tuck showed all his experience on his way to a vital 14 points and 6 rebounds, especially as the Sharks were shorn of the services of Marko Backovic and Josh Chubb on the night. Also stepping up to the plate, and claiming the honours on the night, was Nick Lewis. An effective shooting display from the former GB U20 guard saw him compile 20 points with 4 rebounds and 4 assists to guide the Sharks to an important victory.
Rob Marsden declared himself pretty satisfied with the win, albeit with a minor hiccup down the stretch, as the Sharks put up a successful defensive display.
Next home game
B. Braun Sharks v Manchester Giants, Friday 6th March 2020, Ponds Forge International Sports Centre, 7.30pm tip off.