The DBL Sharks hit the dizzy heights of second in the BBL table, albeit temporarily, by virtue of a comprehensive 86-70 win over Bristol Flyers. A 36-19 second quarter was key to the eventual 16 point win but a workmanlike display saw the Sharks to a 4-1 record, just behind leaders Newcastle at 5-0. A sterner test awaits in London Lions just one week hence and a clearer indication of BBL strength will play out once that game is completed.
Sharks: Alexander, McKnight, Williams, Tuck, Wroblicky.
Flyers: Goodwin, Davis, Boggs, Edozie, Vigor.
Bristol came out of the traps much quicker than their hosts. Vigor, Goodwin, Boggs & Davis saw them out to a 7-0 lead and it took Dirk Williams (2 points) and Zach Gachette to shrink the advantage to 14-15 by the quarter end.
Like last weekend, the Sharks had a ‘hot’ quarter, and this weekend it was the second. They poured in 36 points to just 19 in answer and gained the lead that would be unassailable later in the contest. Key to the lead was Zach Gachette, who dumped in four unanswered triples from out of the corner pocket as well as Mackey McKnight, who gleaned five points from the stanza.
Bristol remained undeterred and drew the score to 54-43 on Edozie’s bucket mid-way through the third. Chris Alexander displayed his quicksilver heels with the score at 64-49 but not before Brandon Boggs had flushed a couple of big ones for the visitors. Alexander hit a huge trey and Edozie made a solitary shot from the line as the third period closed at 67-52.
The Sharks kept their foot on the gas pedal to the end of the contest and deservedly ended up winners by 86-70. Former Shark Jordan Davis saw his triple answered in kind by McKnight’s NBA-style effort at 70-55 and a lightning-fast break by Chris Alexander put the Sharks ahead by 76-59 with fully six minutes remaining. Boggs, Vigor and Weary drew the Flyers to 80-68 but aggressive plays by Tony Wroblicky (4) and Mike Tuck killed the contest at 86-70 in favour of the home side.
It doesn’t seem to matter who the opposition is these days, the Sharks produce a different guy to come up with the goods. The Sharks paraded a seven man rotation and five of those came up with double-figure scores. Mackey McKnight dropped 12 points with 7 assists, closely followed by Dirk Williams with 13 points and 8 rebounds. Zach Gachette shot a perfect 4/4 from beyond the arc to claim 14 points before half time and the mercurial Chris Alexander contributed 18, mostly in a hot third quarter spell. After an early foul forced him to sit, it was down to Tony Wroblicky to claim the MVP gong. He poured in 19 points to go with 12 boards and 3 assists as the Shark Knight well and truly showed that he could rise.
Sharks skipper Mike Tuck spoke of a more-complete game than in previous weeks and the visit of high-flying London Lions in the pre-Halloween encounter.
London Lions at DBL Sharks Sheffield, Friday 27th October 2017, EIS Sheffield, 7.30pm Tip Off.