Friday 1st April 2022
B. Braun Sheffield Sharks 71 Plymouth City Patriots 61
The B. Braun Sheffield Sharks completed another league sweep and returned to third in the BBL Championship table with a tough win over Plymouth City Patriots. The Sharks led for the majority of the contest and had to dig deep to chalk up their twelfth win of the season in the face of a belligerent and in-form Patriots side. Rodney Glasgow Jr led the Sharks scoring with 17 points and the versatile Jordan Ratinho pulled down a remarkable 13 rebounds.
Sharks: Nichols, Ratinho, Glasgow Jr, Koch, Wallace.
Patriots: King, Williams, Simons, Hart, Hassan.
Four scrappy possessions opened the encounter but it was the Sharks who took a 9-7 lead on Bennett Koch’s and one play, having out-muscled the prolific Rashad Hassan. A 15-2 run was concluded when Kipper Nichols threw down Jordan Ratinho’s quarterback pass and when Ratinho converted an and one of his own, the Sharks were well in command with the score at 22-11. A coming together between Plymouth’s Elvisi Dusha and the Sharks Marcus Delpeche ended with the Sheffield man receiving a technical foul but with the Patriots in the bonus, Antwain Johnson concluded a useful ten minutes for the Sharks with the scoreline reading 24-12.
That technical boiled over on to the other side as the Patriots’ Antonio Williams collected one of his own early in the second quarter as Ratinho took the lead out to fifteen at 34-19 with a triple from the top of the key. Plymouth replied with a 2-10 run as the Sharks were left to negotiate the second half with Delpeche and Johnson on 3 fouls apiece but a six point lead at 36-29.
The ill-tempered side of a fascinating contest spilled over immediately at the start of the second half as Patriots coach Paul James collected the third tech of the game. Plymouth point guard Antonio Williams, averaging nearly 19 points per game prior to the Sharks encounter, received his third and fourth fouls inside a minute. The mid-point of the stanza saw Marcus Delpeche depart the game for a foul and another tech and as the focus finally returned to the game in hand, Troy Simons drew the Patriots to within two points at 46-44. A crucial intervention by Joe Mvuezolo with a corner trey saw the Sharks conclude the quarter ahead by 49-44.
Williams collected his fifth foul with 6.44 to play as Plymouth entered the penalty. Rodney Glasgow Jr calmly scored the three that saw the Sharks lead out to 61-51. Sharks skipper Mike Tuck collected two smart fouls using his veteran knowledge to bolster the home side’s defensive effort. Simons’ went on a one-man mission to keep the Devonians in touch with a trey from the top of the key at 64-59 but Antwain Johnson replied in kind following Ratinho’s attempt as again the Sharks showed their resilience. The game was closed out from the line by Kipper Nichols and Rodney Glasgow Jr, ending a bruising affair at 71-61.
Bennett Koch took his fair share of the knocks but toughed it out to finish with 8 points, 8 rebounds and 2 blocks. The Sharks defensive effort was again typified by Jordan Ratinho. He contributed 8 points but washed the boards for 13 rebounds to go with 4 assists and 4 steals. The MVP went to Rodney Glasgow Jr for a very calm, measured performance. The point guard made seven of his ten shots on his way to 17 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists and steals, steering his side to a hard-fought and very welcome win.
Post Game Interview
Sharks Coach Atiba Lyons mused on a physical affair that resulted ultimately in a win for his side.
London Lions v B. Braun Sheffield Sharks, Sunday April 3rd 2022, Copperbox Arena, 4pm Tip Off.