Fans in the SharkTank were disappointed today after their B. Braun Sheffield Sharks lost to the visiting London Lions 86-91.
The Sharks are now 2-3 in the BBL Championship this season and went 0-2 this weekend after losing to the Rocks in Glasgow on Friday.
In the first quarter, Sheffield’s Rob Marsden was found on the cut, in the first quarter, and finished a tough layup at the rim.
The Lions’ Buay Tuach attempted a windmill dunk on the break and it just about went in after bouncing up off the rim.
Sharks captain Mike Tuck banged home an open three-ball after some accurate Sheffield passes.
London’s Ovie Soko hanged in the air to nail a tough double-clutch layup on the break.
The quarter ended 21-11 with the Lions leading.
Nick Lewis scored an easy layup after took off on the break following a block from the Sharks’ defence.
Conor Cashaw went up and under for a reverse layup, showing phenomenal body control.
Guard Mackey McKnight drove into Ovie Soko and still scored his layup despite the contact.
McKnight later beat his man with a swift cross and got fouled as the defense tried to recover scoring an And-1.
There were a few more And-1s for the Sharks, one was from forward Rob Marsden, who was fouled on a fadeaway.
The score at halftime had the visiting Lions up two, leading 41-43.
Justin Robinson opened the scoring with a three for the Lions.
Mike Tuck sized up London’s Brandon Peel and hit a sweet mid-range jumper in his face.
Soko played a great pass inside to Peel after drawing the extra man and Peel scored a wide-open layup down low.
The rim was rocked by Ovie Soko as he slammed it with two hands and held on to the basket, shaking the stanchion.
The London Lions led 68-55 at the end of the third period.
The referees slammed Sheffied’s Mackey McKnight with a technical foul after he was furious Ovie Soko wasn’t called for a foul on him.
Mike Tuck did well to stay in front of Soko on the baseline, but the former Love Island star still made space for his jump shot.
Soko attacked Tuck again later in the quarter and went underneath for a reverse to extend the lead to twelve.
A steal from Marsden led to a Sharks three-ball and they cut the lead to seven with 1:50 left to go.
It became a free-throw practice session for the Lions as the Sharks kept fouling intentionally to stop the clock and hope for some misses.
They got the misses they needed and with eleven seconds remaining the lead was only five.
Guard Nate Montgomery got two for the Sharks and it was a three-point game.
The Sharks fouled again, hoping for two missed free-throws and a chance to send the game to overtime with a three-pointer.
London’s Justin Robinson broke the hearts of all the Sharks fans in the Tank and sunk both his free-throws, putting the game just out of reach with only six seconds on the clock.
When the buzzer sounded, Sheffield had lost 86-91.
Sheffield Head Coach Abita Lyons wasn’t pleased to round off the weekend in this way and put the defeat down to the team not performing as needed. “We have to execute better offensively, too many turnovers.”
Point Guard and Sharks fan favourite Mackey McKnight said the mood in the locker room afterwards was low. “Dark and grey. Cloudy days are ahead of us in practice.” He was optimistic of the team turning the dip in form around saying: “There’s usually sun that comes afterwards.”
After taking time to pose with fans, Ovie Soko was nothing but happy with his teammates and still understood improvements were to be made to prevent such a comeback from an opposing team again. “The secret? It’s teamwork. We’re trying to improve and learn for the rest of the season.”
The B. Braun Sheffield Sharks play again in the Ponds Forge International Sports Centre on the 31st of January, against the Surrey Scorchers.