The B. Braun Sheffield Sharks fell short 58-81 to the Bristol Flyers in the quarter final of the BBL Cup today. It caps off what was a good run in the competition and one that can instill confidence before the championship gets underway next week.
Sharks’ big man Bennett Koch was fouled on the first possession of the game and made one of his two free-throws.
The Sharks are a strong defensive team and came out excellently. Despite the defense, the Flyers took the early lead with a three.
Mackey McKnight’s jumpshot went in and out again but Connor Cashaw was at the rim to clean up off the offensive rebound.
Gentry Thomas had a strong couple minutes where he constantly attacked the Sheffield interior defense and gave the Flyers a 7-5 lead.
Eventually, the Flyers were up by seven but Sharks captain Mike Tuck hit a layup over the defense to get the team back on track.
At the end of the first period, it was a 10-17 scoreline in favour of the visiting Bristol team.
Cashaw opened the second quarter scoring with a pull up two for the Sharks. Later he held immense hangtime to put Tuck’s missed three back in gently.
Sheffield forced a turnover and the following possession yielded another two Cashaw points.
Bouna Ndiaye worked his way to the rim with the handle and avoided the Flyers defence to score a fantastic and-one.
Towards the end of the second quarter we get a big slam dunk from Bristol’s Raphell Thomas-Edwards and the half ended 27-29.
The Bristol Flyers were stronger at the start of the second half and were quickly up by nine.
Shortly afterwards, Bennett Koch just beat the shot clock off a midair feed from McKnight.
Marcus Delpeche scored inside to give the Flyers a lead of 11, then a pull-up three from Fred Thomas extended the lead to 14.
After some to and froing between the sides the quarter ended 42-53 to the Flyers.
McKnight opened the fourth with a sneaky steal and run out for two points. It was important for the Sharks to score first, if there was any hope of clawing their way back into the game.
Gentry Thomas picked up a technical foul for taunting after finishing a tough shot over multiple Sharks defenders.
Thomas then hit a three and the officials called a foul leading to a four-point-play.
Gentry Thomas then hit another three-pointer stepping back from the Sheffield defender.
At the end of the game the Flyers ran out the clock, when it hit all zeros, they won 58-81.
After the game, Sharks’ Head Coach Abita Lyons said the outcome was really down to the Sharks own poor shooting percentages from two and three-point range and the free-throw line. “It was one of those games where we did everything right except put the ball in the rim.”
As Coach Lyons said the Sharks didn’t actually play badly. Captain Mike Tuck also put the game down to missed shots as the ball just wouldn’t seem to go in. “It definitely should have been closer.
“It’s just one of those things but it’s onto the next one for us.”
The Sharks play the Flyers again next week in Bristol as the BBL Championship gets underway.
Their next home game is on the 29th of December against the Leicester Riders.
Sharks: Mackey McKnight, Nick Lewis, Connor Cashaw, Rob Marsden, Bennett Koch,
Flyers: Raphell Thomas-Edwards, Marcus Delpeche, Lewis Champion, Fred Thomas, Gentry Thomas