Friday 25th March 2022
BBL Championship
B. Braun Sheffield Sharks 73 Newcastle Eagles 53

The B. Braun Sheffield Sharks completed their first sweep over Newcastle since 1998-99, ending 5-0 for the regular season against the Tynesiders. Jordan Ratinho typified the Sharks defensive effort in restricting the Eagles to their lowest score since December 1994 as Antwain Johnson led the offensive charge to claim MVP honours in the 73-53 success.

Starting Fives

Sharks: Nichols, Ratinho, Glasgow Jr, Koch, Wallace.

Eagles: Johnson, Sayers, Defoe, Gordon, Fletcher.

Key Moments

After a well-observed tribute to Sheffield basketball legend Betty Codona, it was the Sharks who were to take charge of the first quarter. Bennett Koch sent the home side into a 4-0 lead but a back and forth opening six minutes saw Louis Sayers keep the Eagles in touch with a corner three at 11-10. Rahmon Fletcher tied things up for the visitors at 15-15 but a 10-2 run to the end of the period pushed the advantage the Sharks way. Antwain Johnson’s triple just before the buzzer saw Sheffield claim a 25-17 lead.

Newcastle took the second quarter as an entertaining half played out. Sharks skipper Mike Tuck made a trademark three from the top of the key to maintain the eight point gap at 32-24 but Newcastle returnee Justin Gordon poured in six points of his own to narrow it down to four at 34-30. Despite the Eagles resilience, buckets for Marcus Delpeche and Kipper Nichols concluded the half with the score at 38-32.

After a scrappy opening to the third quarter, it was the Sharks who finished significantly stronger to break any remaining Newcastle resistance. An uncharacteristic eight second half court violation by the Eagles was the point where the Sharks took charge. An 11-2 run to the period end was begun by a Delpeche dunk and concluded by a Johnson corner trey as an 18-9 quarter left the Sharks ahead by 56-41.

That run was extended to 15-2 early in the fourth on Delpeche’s jump hook and the same player dunked on a deflated Eagles to make the difference twenty points at 66-46. Kyle Williams drained another three out of the corner as Newcastle rallied briefly but a Rodney Glasgow Jr three followed by a long two wrapped up the sweep with the score at 73-53.

MVP

The Sharks out-rebounded Newcastle by 51-38 as Bennett Koch with 10 points and 7 rebounds and Marcus Delpeche with 10 points and 9 rebounds fell just short of double-doubles. So too did Jordan Ratinho, who typified the Sheffield defensive game with 11 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals. Leading the offensive charge however was eventual MVP Antwain Johnson. His 16 points were made on 62% shooting and he aided the rebounding effort with 6 as well as an assist and steal to wrap up another win and another good night for the free-scoring talisman.

Post Game Interview

Veteran skipper Mike Tuck was in jovial mood speaking about another useful win for the Sharks.

Next game

B. Braun Sheffield Sharks v Plymouth City Patriots, Friday April 1st 2022, Ponds Forge, 7.30pm Tip Off.

Image

Adam Bates

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