The DBL Sharks Sheffield went down to a narrow 82-84 defeat in the final game of regular season against Newcastle Eagles. Drew Lasker’s off-balance three point shot out of the corner gave Newcastle the lead with thirty five seconds remaining and they managed out a hard fought win to the end. The defeat sees the Sharks confirmed in fourth place and they will take on Worcester Wolves over two legs next weekend in the Playoff Quarter Finals.
Sharks: Tuck, Wroblicky, Guercy, Riley, Rembert.
Eagles: Defoe, Martin, Flournoy, Jackman, Fletcher.
Any ideas that Newcastle would be taking this one easy following their confirmation as league runners-up were soon dispelled. Scott Martin connected on two early threes and a further triple from Eagles Player-Coach Fab Flournoy capped off a 0-13 run. A quick-release Davis trey hauled the Sharks back into the contest. Colin Sing drew the game to within six on a three of his own at 14-20 and another huge Davis effort kept the momentum going at 17-22. Hart came up with five points for the Eagles and it was another Sing trey that saw the first period end at 20-27.
Both sides took the opportunity to give the bench a solid run-out in the second quarter. Eddy Brownell converted a Wroblicky assist at 22-27 as the two teams continued to go at it with gusto. Riley (4) and a Mike Tuck score off a Jordan Davis assist pulled the Sharks to within one at 32-33 and the pair combined again to see matters levelled at 35. Davis dished out yet another for Riley to put the Sharks in front and continued his one hundred per cent effort from beyond the arc at 40-37. An immense Zach Gachette block on Flournoy was swiftly followed by a Malcolm Riley conversion as the half concluded at 42-37.
Rashawn Rembert was the standout of the early part of the third period. His seven points and a couple from Riley saw the Sharks take a 53-44 lead. The ever-influential league MVP Rahmon Fletcher proceeded to go to work for the Eagles as fortunes turned rapidly. He poured in seven quick points to level matters at 53 and then saw colleague Scott Martin claim five of his own to force a frustrated Atiba Lyons into a timeout at 53-58. Fletcher ran up eight more after the break and it took a George Brownell corner three and a Mike Tuck bucket to keep the Sharks in touching distance at 60-66 by the quarter end.
The under-used Christian Behrens ran in six points early in the fourth stanza and it took a Rembert trey to narrow the gap at 69-72 and force Newcastle to talk it over. Riley hit a big one out of the corner and two more from the line as Orlan Jackman fouled out of the contest for the Eagles with the score tied at 74. The Sharks were down by 78-79 with 1.34 to play but Rembert continued his odyssey from the line by putting the home side in front 80-79 with 58 seconds left. An outrageous three point score from Drew Lasker, falling away in the corner restored Newcastle’s lead at 80-82 as the Sharks had to resort to using up the foul count. Hart made one of two at 80-83 with 14.9 to play as Max Guercy could only manage a two point play out of the timeout. Lasker added one more from the line at 82-84 but Rembert’s three point attempt rimmed out on the final play as the Sharks slipped to an agonising defeat.
Tony Wroblicky was again in charge of a solid rebounding effort as the Sharks went 42-37 against the Eagles, claiming 8 points and 10 boards for his time. Jordan Davis stepped off the bench to kickstart the Sharks on offence. He connected on three quick-release three’s on his way to 13 points and a very healthy 10 assists. Just shading him to the honours though was Malcolm Riley. He contributed 15 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, a steal and a blocked shot to gain the overall award for the afternoon.
Atiba Lyons spoke of a keenly contested game and the week ahead as Worcester Wolves were confirmed as the Sharks Playoff Quarter Final opponents over two legs.
Next Up: Worcester Wolves at DBL Sharks Sheffield, Friday 28th April 2017, EIS Sheffield, 7.30pm Tip Off.