Friday 27th December 2019
Newcastle Eagles (Gettys 22 Matthew 13 Defoe 10) 76 B. Braun Sheffield Sharks (Koch 25 Lewis 24 Cashaw 19) 99
A sixth win in seven over Newcastle, the tenth biggest win ever over the Eagles and the fourth biggest ever in the North East. And that’s before you get to the clinical, professional and well-organised display from the Sharks that secured a 76-99 success and a second league win of the season. Back in the Tank on Sunday? Bring it on!
Eagles: Morsell, Defoe, Lasker, Gettys, Fletcher.
Sharks: Lewis, Cashaw, Marsden, McKnight, Koch.
The Sharks were in irresistible form right from the off. A pair of Nick Lewis triples gave the Sharks a 6-10 advantage and an equally determined display from Bennett Koch saw the advantage increased at 10-21 on his ‘and one’ play. Newcastle dangerman Rahmon Fletcher picked up his third foul with 2.40 still to play in the quarter as Mackey McKnight emphasised the Sharks domination at 15-29 by the end of the first ten minutes.
The second period was no less dramatic. Lewis garnered another pair of treys as the score moved to 22-39 before the Eagles game drastically unravelled. Fletcher picked up his fourth foul and Morsell exited the contest for a flop technical, having already gained an earlier unsportsmanlike. The Sharks ploughed their own furrow however and the impressive Connor Cashaw laid in at 26-46 before assisting to Tuck for two more just seconds later. A superlative half of basketball was capped by McKnight’s three on the run right on the buzzer with the score at 31-51.
Hopes of the Geordies coming back into the contest after half time were soon banished as the Sharks went on a 0-8 start to the quarter through Tuck, Cashaw and Lewis. Cashaw connected from downtown at 34-62 as Koch smashed home one handed at 42-70. In keeping with the team display, the stanza ended on Bouna Ndiaye’s bucket at 48-74.
In truth, the game was probably all over as a contest by the fourth quarter but that didn’t stop Cashaw and Lewis draining threes to make the score 65-86. Indeed, Bennett Koch got in on the act at 67-92 and even managed to convert the extra point as he was fouled in doing so. Fittingly, Koch’s hook concluded the Sharks scoring for the night and Gettys two at the end was scant consolation for the home side as the game finished at 76-99.
These Sharks were on a mission! So many excellent displays tonight – it is probably churlish to try and separate these four. Mackey McKnight brought the post-Christmas energy with an excellent double double of 13 points, 12 assists, 3 rebounds and 3 steals. Shooting 62% from three point territory was Nick Lewis with 24 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals. Flirting with a triple double was Connor Cashaw, who put up 19 points, 11 rebounds and 7 assists. Leading all scorers was Bennett Koch, who contributed 25 points, 5 rebounds, 3 steals and 3 blocks. If you can choose from any of those, you’re a better man than I!
Next home game
B. Braun Sharks v Leicester Riders, Sunday 29th December 2019, Ponds Forge International Sports Centre, 4pm Tip Off