There was a disappointing and bruising 78-81 defeat for the DBL Sharks Sheffield in their opening game of the BBL season on home territory against Surrey Scorchers. There was nothing between the two sides all the way up to half time, where they went in tied at 42. A 6-0 tear in the middle of the third quarter gave Surrey an advantage that they never left behind and despite the late heroics of Chris Alexander, Mike Tuck and Dirk Williams, the Sharks fell by an agonising three points.
Sharks: Williams, Marsden, McKnight, Wroblicky, Alexander.
Scorchers: Owumi, Desport, Hicks, Robinson, Ogedengbe.
The game was slow to get going but scores by Marsden and Alexander saw the Sharks into a four point lead. Hicks and Ogedengbe, with a successful and one play, restored Surrey to a one point lead at 4-5. Williams three was matched by Robinson at 9-8 and it took a Wroblicky score at 15-10 for the Sharks to open up their biggest lead of the game. Steel, Owumi and Palmer restored parity at 17 but a Marsden bucket gave the Sharks a 19-17 advantage after 10 minutes play.
Big scores from Chris Alexander were tempered by buckets from Palmer, Noel and Owumi as the teams were tied at 28 in the mid-point of the second quarter. Alexander converted once more from distance before going three out of three from the line having been fouled by Hicks. Owumi, Noel and Robinson saw the scores almost level at 36-35. Gachette netted three times inside the final three minutes but another Owumi trey and two from the line by Robinson saw the half time score conclude soon after at 42 apiece and honours even.
There were signs of the Sharks trademark defence upon the commencement of the third as Marsden increased the lead at 48-44. Robinson and Hicks hit back and two points for Josh Steel gave Surrey a confident lead at 57-50. The unsung Palmer put up four points coupled with an almighty swat on Alexander before the livewire guard dropped the trey that saw the quarter end at 55-63.
Alexander continued the good work to reduce the deficit to 59-63but picked up a technical foul that let Surrey back in at 59-69. Owumi drained a trademark three out of the corner at 60-72 as Surrey maintained a ten point difference, stalling at 64-74. Six supercharged points from Mike Tuck lifted the crowd momentarily at 70-78 but a second technical for Alexander proved to be a nail in Sheffield’s coffin. Ogedengbe killed the contest at 73-81 and five late points from Dirk Williams saw the game conclude at 78-81, a score that flattered the hosts somewhat.
While the Sharks were far from horrendous, few contended for the MVP award like vet Chris Alexander. He hit some outrageous three point scores from serious distance on his way to 22 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal. Alexander’s only failing was the two technical fouls that saw him sit out the dying embers of the contest, especially when he looked the man most likely to drag the South Yorkshire side back into the fight.
Coach Atiba Lyons was clearly frustrated with the result so it was left to Sharks captain Mike Tuck to sum up the feelings of his side at the conclusion of the game.
DBL Sharks Sheffield at Glasgow Rocks, Sunday 1st October 2017, Emirates Arena, 5pm Tip Off.