Friday 15th October 2021
BBL Cup Group Stage
B. Braun Sheffield Sharks 85 Newcastle Eagles 64
The B. Braun Sheffield Sharks got back to winning ways and improved their lot in the BBL Cup North group with a 21 point win over Newcastle Eagles. A third twenty point haul for Jon-Jon Williams in six games kickstarted the Sharks against a Newcastle side shorn of three players and their Coach due to covid protocols. The Sharks go 3-3 in the group with the Eagles now rooted at the bottom on 1-4.
Sharks: Anderson A, Williams, Nichols, Ratinho, Koch.
Eagles: Person Jr, Johnson, Vinson, Johnson-Thompson, Fletcher.
A 9-0 tear at the start of the game set the tone for the Sharks and it took three points from Newcastle’s Wesley Person Jr to narrow the deficit at 13-10. Joe Jr Mvuezolo converted his first points on home territory for the Sharks with a triple at 18-12 and a shot from the line by Marcus Delpeche concluded a 19-15 opening quarter.
Seven second quarter points for Bennett Koch and eight from Jon-Jon Williams saw the Sharks gain a six point half time lead. Koch was successful on the ‘and one’ midway through the stanza as Williams drove and cut to the rim, as well as coming up with a useful block on Newcastle dangerman Rahmon Fletcher. Williams free throws closed a defensive but solid half for the Sharks at 37-31.
Koch’s aggressive game continued to pay dividends as the Sharks stretched their lead out to twelve on his steal and score at 47-35. A rollercoaster quarter saw the Eagles fight back with a 2-12 run of their own; Corey Johnson getting the hot hand with three scores from beyond the arc. Newcastle took their first lead of the game at 54-55 but the period concluded with Aaron Anderson draining a trey of his own and going coast to coast to finish an 8-0 tilt at 62-55.
An injury to Newcastle talisman Fletcher saw him leave the game with nearly nine minutes to play and the Sharks exploited his absence fully with a 23-9 final quarter. Anderson finished a terrific move around the perimeter with three at 72-60 as the Sharks emptied their bench to conclude the fixture. A vintage Mike Tuck triple from the top of the key plus a closing bucket from the skipper saw the Sharks complete a first home win over the Eagles by 21 or more since October 2019 with the score at 85-64.
Five Sharks players in double figure scoring heralded a good and much-needed win for the club. It was another assist-friendly night for Aaron Anderson, who dished out 6 to go with a useful 14 point scoring total to marshal his team once again. Bringing controlled aggression to the table was Bennett Koch. He fell just shy of a double-double at 15 points with 8 rebounds against a side he has achieved much against in the past. It was a third twenty point haul in six games for MVP Jon-Jon Williams that took the honours. His 20 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists was just reward for a productive night both on the defensive and offensive end for the University of Toledo grad.
Manchester Giants v B. Braun Sheffield Sharks, Tuesday 19th October 2021, National Basketball Performance Centre, 7.00pm Tip Off.