The DBL Sharks Sheffield produced another champagne showing to ease into the BBL Cup semi-finals by a comfortable 29 point margin. Despite being shorn of influential point guard Mackey McKnight, the Sharks took down their conquerors from the opening game of the season, Surrey, in a simply lovely display that shows they have plenty more in the tank for the challenges to come.
Sharks: Alexander, Williams, Tuck, Wroblicky, Gachette.
Scorchers: Robinson, Ogedengbe, Owumi, Desport, Hicks.
The Sharks were quickest to show in the first period going up by 9-0 on a Tony Wroblicky and one play. Desport failed to convert his and one play and an outrageous over the head assist by Zach Gachette to Mike Tuck saw the Sharks in front by 13-4. Surrey bumbled on until Owumi’s and one at 17-10 but three’s from Dirk Williams and Zach Gachette saw the opening quarter conclude at 25-10.
Having introduced Eddy Brownell early in the opening stanza, the Sharks rolled out Marko Backovic at the top of the second. Hicks and Palmer connected early in the period but Alexander and Marsden replied before Coach Lyons technical saw the deficit reduced to 31-16. Raftopoulos, Robinson and Owumi made further in-roads at 38-29. It was the Sharks who finished the stronger however. Wroblicky, Williams, Tuck and Alexander throwing the hammer down to see the home side up by 51-32 at the half.
The Sharks command continued throughout the third quarter. Tuck opened the scoring and aside from an Ogedengbe three ball, the Sharks ran in points through Alexander, Gachette and Williams. The aforementioned Williams produced a sublime drive and finish on the finger roll at 70-46 and despite Steel closing the quarter at 70-50, the Sharks were certainly well in command.
Pleasingly, Marko Backovic converted with a good shot at the top of the fourth and it was blindingly obvious that the Sharks were well in command by this stage. Coach Lyons managed a burgeoning foul count with aplomb as Chris Alexander converted twice from distance with the score at 88-56, Hicks answering twice in reply as the score reached 90-62. There was time for the ever-influential Dirk Williams to drain another trey and Hicks managed another bucket before throwing in the towel with the score at 93-64 in the Sharks favour.
The absence of such an assist-friendly point guard as McKnight might have been key for many sides. Not so the Sharks. The role was keenly filled by Alexander, Gachette and Williams as the Sharks desire to entertain showed no let-up on the evening. Everyone except Cauthorn, who was afforded 70 seconds, made it on to the scoresheet as the entertainers continued to entertain. Mike Tuck (14/7), Tony Wroblicky (11/9) and Rob Marsden (8/12) did their frontcourt thing as Alexander (23 pts, 4 assts, 5 stls) and Williams (18 pts, 5 rbds, 3 blks) took the honours on the night for another scintillating offensive spell.
Sharks Assistant Coach Ariel Parrucci took the time to explain yet another win and a side playing basketball with a smile on its face!
DBL Sharks Sheffield at Leicester Riders, Friday 10th November 2017, Leicester Arena, 7.30pm tip off.
Image: Andy Chubb