Friday 6th December 2019
Bristol Flyers 71 (F Thomas 21 G Thomas 16 Delpeche 14) B. Braun Sheffield Sharks 85 (Lewis 20 McKnight 19 Cashaw 13)
The B. Braun Sharks began their BBL Championship campaign in the best possible fashion and gained a measure of revenge by defeating Bristol Flyers 71-85 at the SGS College Arena. A vastly improved shooting night played out for the Sharks, who were still smarting from that BBL Cup Quarter Final defeat at the hands of the Flyers last weekend. The Sharks must now wait 16 days until their next game – a road match at London Lions on December 22nd.
Flyers: Thomas G, Thomas F, Champion, Thomas-Edwards, Delpeche.
Sharks: Lewis, Cashaw, Tuck, McKnight, Koch.
A truly ferocious Marcus Delpeche one hand dunk gave Bristol the best of the early stages at 9-4. The Sharks went on an 0-11 run, kick started by a Mike Tuck triple and a super display of ball movement ended in Nick Lewis draining the trey to make it 11-21. To bookend a fine spell of shooting, a huge three on the buzzer from Mackey McKnight saw the Sharks in command at 16-28.
Bristol were more effective in the second quarter, as they usually are in their home arena. Five Gentrey Thomas points narrowed the gap to 27-36 and back to back Delpeche scores made it 33-38. And a huge Fred Thomas three ended the half with the Sharks still reasonably satisfied with a 36-40 lead.
Any thoughts of a Flyers fightback were soon banished after the interval. The Sharks began with a 0-10 run. Fred Thomas attempted to keep Bristol in touch with a trey at 42-54 but a Bennett Koch ‘and one’ play, followed by Bouna Ndiaye’s corner three saw the Sharks in command at 48-67.
Nick Lewis had an eternity to shoot the corner trey that made it 55-72 and he proceeded to land two more as the score went out to 65-80. Bristol took two timeouts inside the final two minutes but it was to no avail as Mike Tuck confirmed the win with three from the top of the key and the score at 71-85.
The Sharks shot a highly creditable 55% from the field and 45% from distance on a vastly improved night of finishing. There were contributions throughout the roster and while revenge for last week’s Cup defeat was pleasing, getting the first league win was even more so. Connor Cashaw showed his all-round game once more with a noteworthy 13 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists. Mackey McKnight brought the energy with 19 points, 4 rebounds, 7 assists and 2 steals and was difficult to separate from Nick Lewis, who plundered 20 points, 8 rebounds, 1 assist and 2 steals. However, overall it was a pleasing team display and an ideal way to begin the league campaign.
Next home game
B. Braun Sharks v Leicester Riders, Sunday 29th December 2019, Ponds Forge International Sports Centre, 4pm Tip Off