Friday 21st January 2022
BBL Championship
B. Braun Sheffield Sharks 74 Bristol Flyers 75

It will be of scant consolation to the B. Braun Sheffield Sharks but they played their part in a thrilling encounter for the Sky Sports cameras before going down by just a single point to visitors Bristol Flyers. A final play with just 3.2 seconds left on the clock failed drop in the Sharks favour as they now move to 5-5 in the league ahead of Sunday’s visit to Surrey Scorchers.

Starting Fives

Sharks: Anderson, Nichols, Ratinho, Delpeche, Wallace.

Flyers: Jacob, Samuels, Rogers, Thomas-Edwards, Delpeche.

Key Moments

The game was billed as the ‘Delpeche Derby’ and it was the Sharks’ Marcus who won the tip off against twin brother Malcolm in an even start to the first quarter. Raphell Thomas-Edwards dunk tied matters at 8-8 in the middle of the stanza but it was the Sharks who powered away from then on. Six three point scores, four of which were claimed by Devante Wallace saw Bristol on the rack at 26-15 and only a late Zach Simmons hook reduced the deficit by two at the period end.

Aaron Anderson connected from the corner as the Sharks continued to find success from downtown to go up by 11 at 33-22. Marcus Delpeche got the first score in the match up over brother Malcolm at 37-24 but it was Bristol who finished the half strongly. Corey Samuels went coast to coast to kickstart the revival and when he was successful from the line inside the final minute, the deficit had reduced to 6 at 41-35. That became 4 when Simmons found the hoop with 2 seconds to go for a half time scoreline of 41-37.

The Flyers took the third quarter to set up a tense final ten minutes. Thomas-Edwards took the gap down to 1 at 45-44 as Wallace shook and baked his way to his first non-three point effort to keep the Sharks in front by 50-47. Thomas-Edwards connected from beyond the arc to tie matters up and Malcolm Delpeche finally saw Bristol ahead. Trejon Jacob’s overhead assist to Simmons ended the quarter with the score delicately poised at 55-58.

Eight Kipper Nichols points restored the Sharks lead at 65-64 early in the final quarter as the game became compelling viewing. A Josh Rogers three, one of only two scores he made all night, gave Bristol their biggest lead at 65-70 but a Rodney Glasgow spin move restored parity at 70-70. Rogers second triple proved crucial as the Flyers took a 70-75 lead inside the final minute. Nichols ‘and one’ play reduced the difference to two and when a Corey Samuels technical foul allowed Glasgow to make that one, the Sharks had a final opportunity to win the game with 3.2 seconds to play. Wallace’s three point attempt rimmed out and as follow ups from Ratinho and Tuck failed to hit the target, it was Bristol who took a very tight 74-75 win.

MVP

The Sharks hit a season-high 11 three point scores, five of which came from Devante Wallace, who put up his Sheffield best of 17 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists. Aaron Anderson pulled down a season-high 8 rebounds and the 3 pockets picked by Mike Tuck showed his canny late display in an attempt to get the win over the line. Kipper Nichols late show saw him up to 16 points but it was Jordan Ratinho, again stepping up to the 4 in the absence of Bennett Koch, who caught the eye. His 18 points included 3 treys, 4 of his 5 rebounds were off the offensive glass and his 4 assists and 3 steals were symptomatic of his desire to influence the game for his side.

Post Game Interview

Jordan Ratinho spoke of his willingness to help his team in any way possible as they look to bounce back in Surrey on Sunday.

Next game

Surrey Scorchers v B. Braun Sheffield Sharks, Sunday 23rd January 2022, Surrey Sports Park, 2.00pm Tip Off.

Image

Adam Bates

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