Friday 26th November 2021
Newcastle Eagles 77 B. Braun Sheffield Sharks 86
The B. Braun Sheffield Sharks moved to 3-1 for the league season and continued their love affair with the Vertu Motors Arena following a confident and measured take down of the Newcastle Eagles by 77-86. Led by 22 points from Jordan Ratinho, the Sharks put on a terrific display for the Sky Sports cameras to take their third win over the Tynesiders in all competitions this season.
Eagles: Johnson, Sayers, Peel, Shelton, Fletcher.
Sharks: Anderson, Nichols, Ratinho, Glasgow, Delpeche.
The Sharks made two changes to their regular starting five and it paid immediate dividends as Marcus Delpeche sent Newcastle into a timeout at 8-18 midway through the stanza. Jordan Ratinho hit his third triple to send the Sharks up by 14 at 11-25 and a Bennett Koch jam plus two Mike Tuck free throws completed a very satisfactory 15-29 opening ten minutes.
The Eagles, returning to action after 19 days without a game, finally found their rhythm in the second quarter. A big Corey Johnson three opened the period and after back to back Kyle Williams scores and a Rahmon Fletcher fast break, it was the Sharks talking it through with the score at 32-40. Duke Shelton, who completed a double-double by half time, and Brandon Peel made further buckets as Newcastle drew to within six at 38-44 by half time.
A fascinating encounter continued to play out after the break. Ratinho ended a 4-10 run in the Sharks favour at 42-54. The wily Darius Defoe became more influential as the game wore on, even defying the years to slam home at 52-60 and when Johnson hit a trey at 57-62, a tense final ten minutes looked on the cards. However, Ratinho had other ideas and his reply in kind gave the Sharks some breathing space at 57-65 on the buzzer.
Defoe made quick scores at the top of the fourth, which led to a momentum-stalling timeout from Sharks Coach Atiba Lyons. It had the desired effect as a huge Aaron Anderson triple saw the advantage back out to 13 at 67-80. The swings continued as Defoe contributed a further 8 points, including two ‘and one’ plays to pull it back to 77-81. A contentious flop call on Anderson gave Newcastle the opportunity to make it a one possession game but Wesley Person stepped out of bounds. Three successful trips to the line for Aaron Anderson iced out a richly-deserved 77-86 win in favour of the Sharks.
Aaron Anderson marshalled the Sharks once more with 13 points and 7 assists. Marcus Delpeche benefitted from extra court time, racking up 14 points and 7 rebounds. Rodney Glasgow relished his return to his former stamping ground and was excellent in tandem with Anderson to record 17 points with 4 rebounds and 5 assists. However, a controlled display from Jordan Ratinho took the MVP award. He set the tone with three scores from beyond the arc in the first quarter and went on to contribute all over the court with 22 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists and a steal.
B. Braun Sheffield Sharks v Leicester Riders, Sunday 28th November 2021, Ponds Forge, 4.00pm Tip Off.