Basketball: Cheshire Phoenix 75 Sheffield Sharks 68

Sheffield Sharks' Nick Lewis. Picture: Andrew Roe
Sheffield Sharks' Nick Lewis. Picture: Andrew Roe
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Sheffield Sharks will start off their play-offs against Leicester Riders after losing their final regular season match at Cheshire Phoenix on Sunday evening.

Sharks coach Atiba Lyons took the opportunity of giving all his squad plenty of playing time during the defeat in what was Phoenix last match at the Northgate Arena.

Riders, who finished second in the BBL standings, will visit the EIS on Wednesday night with the second leg in Leicester on Friday night.

The hosts led for the majority of the contest in Chester, until a George Brownwell jump shot in the last minute of the third quarter tied things up at 52.

Two Olu Babalola free throws gave Atiba Lyons’ side the lead inside the final period, but this only sparked a 12-0 Phoenix run, to swing the game back in their favour.

The influence of Sturt and Demond Watt in the front court was telling in the fourth quarter, a strength Cheshire will no doubt draw on in the Play-offs against London.

Watt finished with 14 points while Taylor King added 13 and 14 rebounds.

Nick Lewis led Sharks with 13 points as they finish seventh and set up a Play-off Quarter Final with Leicester Riders.

* Nottingham Wildcats set up the next instalment in their growing rivalry with Westfield Health Sheffield Hatters with a 79-62 WBBL Play-off Semi Final success against Leicester Riders yesterday.

The Hatters cruised through their semi-final on Saturday with an 82-63 victory over Barking Abbey Crusaders. League MVP Stephanie Gandy top-scored with 30 points.

League and WBBL Trophy champions Hatters will be going for their third piece of silverware of the season in the final on Sunday at Worcester Arena.