Friday 14th December 2018
DBL Sharks Sheffield 86 Newcastle Eagles 74
The Sharks notched up an eighth consecutive win in a manner that was far more convincing than the final scoreline suggested. Atiba Lyons’ men were irresistible for long spells and it took a late scoring effort from Newcastle to narrow the gap as the South Yorkshire side went to 9-3 and cemented their hold on second place in the league.
Sharks: Marsden, Smith, Alexander, Williams, Collins
Eagles: Flournoy, Lasker, Williams J, Moses, Fletcher
The Sharks were dominant from the tip. Dirk Williams finger roll at 6-1 saw the Sheffield lead begin to increase and they never really looked back. Back to back Mike Tuck scores with sublime assists first from Collins and then Williams saw Newcastle calling for time at 12-5. Chris Alexander’s trey made the difference twelve points at 28-16 but late scores from Defoe and Fletcher saw the first quarter close at 28-20.
The Eagles fought back to within six at the top of the second; Fletcher shaking and baking his way to the hoop at 37-31. Out of the timeout, Chris Alexander hit a sizeable three and a further distance score from Anthony Collins saw the Sharks juggernaut roll on. Rob Marsden concluded a scintillating half of basketball with the score at 51-38.
The Sharks increased that lead further in the third. Dirk Williams alleyoop in the middle of the stanza formed yet another highlight at 61-43 and it was a minor triumph for Newcastle that they forced Coach Lyons into a timeout at 67-53. However, Sedale Hanson-Young joined the party with a three at 72-53 and Chris Alexander concluded the period with an outrageous half-court triple with the score at 75-53.
In truth, the game was dead and buried in the fourth quarter, even more so as Collins splashed the net from the top of the key with the Sharks up by 82-58. Eight Kyle Williams points ended the contest as Newcastle narrowed the scoreline to 86-74 but realistically, the north east giants were soundly beaten in this one.
The MVP award could have gone several ways, such was the effectiveness of the Sharks display across the whole roster. Anthony Collins continued to add to his pass-first reputation with another monster 11 assists to kick start the Sharks into life. Dirk Williams was influential all over the court as ever, this time racking up 13 points, 11 rebounds and 4 assists. On any other night, Chris Alexander’s 23 points would have given him the honours, especially added to the outrageous half-court shot with fully 7 seconds left on the shot clock! However, the plaudits again went the way of Rob Marsden, who weighed in with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Marsden is both the heartbeat and engine of the Sharks in this kind of mood and it was great that he again got recognition for this.
Mike Tuck spoke of the confidence in camp as the Sharks head down to London on Sunday for a mouth-watering encounter with the leaders at the Copperbox.
Next home game