Friday 14th January 2022
BBL Championship
B. Braun Sheffield Sharks 56 Cheshire Phoenix 77

The B. Braun Sharks moved to 5-4 in the BBL Championship with defeat at the hands of Cheshire Phoenix. A largely defensive affair played out but a 13-25 final quarter in favour of the North West outfit saw them take their ninth consecutive win over the Sharks in all competitions. Levi Bradley led all scorers with 19 for the Phoenix with Rodney Glasgow Jr driving the Sharks offence for 17.

Starting Fives

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

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

Key Moments

Back to back three point scores from Bradley and Rodney Glasgow Jr punctuated the opening stages of the game and three Marcus Delpeche dunks kept the game extremely tight with the score at 9-10. Namon Wright out of the corner and Great Britain point guard Teddy Okereafor hit back to back triples to edge Cheshire in front at 13-18 but even the closing first quarter score of 15-20 still gave scope for either side to push on.

The second period was even closer. Cheshire’s Larry Austin Jr went coast to coast at 17-25 as the Sharks called a run-stemming time out. That had the desired effect as Delpeche returned the favour with his fourth dunk as Phoenix Coach Ben Thomas halted proceedings at 21-27. Wright pushed the difference back to ten at 21-31 but a wide-open Jordan Ratinho trey saw the first half end with the score at 26-33.

The Sharks staged an almighty fightback at the top of the third stanza. Rodney Glasgow, Kipper Nichols and Jordan Ratinho all hit the target from beyond the arc as the difference became a single point at 39-40. Okereafor, Bradley and an unfinished Austin and one play saw the Phoenix turn the tables with the score stood at 43-52 going into the final quarter.

A 2-16 run across the third and fourth quarters gave Cheshire the advantage that the Sharks were unable to claw back. Rodney Glasgow (5) and two more Ratinho treys were as close as they got before Austin (4), Wright (2) and Bradley (5) poured in eleven points unanswered to take the score out to 54-76. Kipper Nichols hit a long two inside the last minute but a final trip to the line saw Cheshire close out a 56-77 win.

MVP

In the absence of the injured Bennett Koch, Jordan Ratinho stepped up off the boards to try and compensate for his loss. A 12 point 12 rebound double-double would have claimed performance of the night for the Sharks in most circumstances. However, Rodney Glasgow Jr, charged with the majority of ball handling duties, hit 17 points on 7 of 10 shooting to go with 5 assists to claim the MVP award on the night.

Post Game Interview

Marcus Delpeche spoke of a tough evening but looked forward with optimism to the visit of Bristol Flyers next week.

Next game

B. Braun Sheffield Sharks v Bristol Flyers, Friday 21st January 2022, Ponds Forge, 7.30pm Tip Off.

Image

Adam Bates

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