Sunday 21st November 2021
BBL Championship
Cheshire Phoenix 86 B. Braun Sheffield Sharks 67

The B. Braun Sheffield Sharks ‘Cheshire Jinx’ continued as the Phoenix took their eighth consecutive victory over the South Yorkshire side and claimed their first win of the Championship season. The ‘Nix set the tone with a 27-11 opening quarter as a below-par Sharks shooting night saw them move to 2-1 for the league campaign. A double-header including a return to Ponds Forge now awaits the Sharks next weekend.

Starting Fives

Phoenix: Mockford, Okereafor, Wright, Ochereobia, Dickerson.

Sharks: Anderson, Williams, Nichols, Ratinho, Koch.

Key Moments

Cheshire’s Namon Wright landed the three that made the score 12-4 midway through the first period as the Sharks found themselves on the back foot. A trademark Rodney Glasgow floater kept the Sharks hanging on Cheshire’s coat tails but eight points from Larry Austin Jr saw the Phoenix dominate the opening ten minutes at 27-11.

The Sharks made efforts to claw back the deficit in the second quarter. Another Glasgow bucket saw Cheshire taking time with the score at 32-15 and further baskets from Aaron Anderson and Mike Tuck chipped away at the difference even more. A Jordan Ratinho putback capped a 3-12 run as the Sharks drew to within eight at 35-27 but back to back triples from Great Britain’s Ben Mockford and Kyle Carey extended the lead once more. A buzzer-beating basket from Aaron Anderson, who took the long route round the perimeter saw the half end at 41-31.

Unfortunately, the third quarter signalled a further unravelling for the Sharks. A series of missed three point shots punctuated the opening minutes as the Phoenix took advantage through four points apiece from Mike Ochereobia and Teddy Okereafor. Jonathan Williams corner triple was scant consolation as a 21-10 quarter in Cheshire’s favour saw the score close at 62-41.

The Sharks shaded the final stanza but by then the damage had been done. Five points each for Bennett Koch and Kipper Nichols took the total to 72-55. The Sharks had only shot three of eighteen attempts from downtown but this was improved by Jordan Ratinho and Joe Mvuezolo and despite their efforts, it was Cheshire who ran out winners by 86-67.

MVP

Only four Sharks made it into double figure scoring as Cheshire’s streak going back to 29th September 2019 continued. Rodney Glasgow and Jonathan Williams contributed ten points each and there were eleven point efforts for Aaron Anderson and Kipper Nichols. A marginal difference on the plus / minus saw Nichols take the honours for his endeavours with five rebounds, an assist, a steal and a block to back up his claim.

Next game

Newcastle Eagles v B. Braun Sheffield Sharks, Friday 26th November 2021, Vertu Motors Arena, 7.30pm Tip Off.

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Adam Bates

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