Sharks suffer narrow loss in Leicester thriller

B. Braun Sheffield Sharks
B. Braun Sheffield Sharks
March 30, 202412:32 AM

Friday 29th March 2024

British Basketball League Regular Season

B. Braun Sheffield Sharks 85 Leicester Riders 88

Potentially the game of the season so far took place at the Canon Medical Arena but sadly the B. Braun Sheffield Sharks went down by three points against visitors Leicester Riders. The Riders’ talisman Teddy Allen exploded for 27 points in the first half but was restricted to just 2 in the second as the Sharks, led by Devearl Ramsey, put up a thrilling display in a nip and tuck encounter. Leicester captain Kimbal Mackenzie saw out the win from the line; the game having been a solitary point affair even down to the last 5 seconds. The Sharks fall to sixth place in the table as a result but now face back-to-back games against Manchester Giants in their bid to finish as high as possible in the standings.

Starting Fives

Sharks: Ramsey, Eytle-Rock, Green, Ratinho, Koch.

Riders: Mackenzie, Thomas, Allen, Lall, Shelton.

Key Moments

With an electric atmosphere in a packed arena, the game was played at breakneck pace from the off. Back-to-back threes from Devearl Ramsey and Jordan Ratinho gave the Sharks an 8-2 lead but the free-scoring Teddy Allen, returning from suspension, poured in 15 points in the quarter as the Riders claimed a 15-20 advantage. The Sharks hung around – Jalon Pipkins trey making it 20-22 – but trips to the line saw the visitors in front by 20-26 at the end of the first.

Allen’s corner triple gave Leicester a double-digit lead early in the second period but a Malek Green-inspired run hauled his side back in contention. The 11-2 streak contained 7 points from the forward, including one basket that left two Riders defenders completely flummoxed. Jalon Pipkins took over for the rest of the quarter. His steal allowed Prentiss Nixon to feed Malek Green for the dunk and his three point shot concluded a breathtaking opening twenty minutes with the score at 45-50.

A 21-16 third stanza in favour of the Sharks made things even more interesting. Devearl Ramsey’s energy was clear for all to see. His steal and basket was followed by a trademark jump shot to make it 49-52. The teams entered a relentless spell of basket trading. Allen’s bucket out of the media timeout proved to be his only score of the second half with the Sharks Jordan Ratinho noticeably playing man defence against the volume scorer. The Sharks reclaimed the lead at 66-64 through Ramsey but a Samuel Idowu basket saw the sides head into the fourth tied at 66-66.

The trading continued until the mid-point of the final period. A Miryne Thomas triple began a mini-run that turned the game from a single point affair to an eight point one at 75-83. The Riders entered the bonus with 2.33 to play in the game but the impact was negligible as the game went into the final minute with the score at 81-86. Leicester’s Duke Shelton fouled out of the game with 8.7 seconds to play and when Devearl Ramsey hit a further trey to make it 85-86, 5.6 seconds remained. With the Sharks needing to stop the clock, it was Kimbal Mackenzie who pushed the score out to 85-88 from the line and a missed attempt from RJ Eytle-Rock concluded an astonishing encounter in Leicester’s favour.


It was a game of extremely fine margins and sadly the Sharks just fell short on this occasion. Three players stood out as bringing energy and determination, mindful of the Sharks excellent record at the Canon Medical Arena. Jalon Pipkins garnered his 17 points from just 21 minutes of court-time, going 5 of 7 from inside in a livewire outing. Ditto Malek Green. He made 8 of his 10 shots and was 100% from the line to finish with another eyecatching 19 points, 7 rebounds, 1 assist and a steal. Dialling it up even further was MVP Devearl Ramsey. His efficiency rating of 32 was the highest of any Shark this season and his 23 points, 2 rebounds, 9 assists and 3 steals would have been worthy of being on the winning side on any other occasion.

Next game

Manchester Giants v B. Braun Sheffield Sharks, Monday April 1st 2024, National Basketball Performance Centre, 6.00pm Tip Off.


Adam Bates