SHEFFIELD Sharks, as expected, bowed out of the BBL Trophy after defeat in the second leg of their semi-final at Newcastle Eagles last night.
The BBL Championship leading Eagles will now contest their second cup final of the season – once again against Plymouth Raiders.
Sharks head to Plymouth tomorrow glad that they have seen the back of the Eagles for the season – unless they meet in the play-offs – after five losses against their rivals from the north-east.
After a difficult first leg which saw the Sharks lose 116-84 and missing player-coach Atiba Lyons through the BBL’s financial rules, Sheffield were again without him due to a one-match suspension incurred in the same match.
Veteran duo Adrian Anderson and Nate Reinking took over coaching duties and in the first quarter Sharks showed some good form to take an 18-13 lead on two Mike Tuck free throws.
Canadian Tuck was excellent throughout to end with a team high 28 points and 13 rebounds.
Sheffield ended the first period trailing 24-23 after an 11-5 run by Eagles. And the home side continued their burst after the break once Sharks had levelled at 29-29.
A combination of pin-point shooting from Joe Chapman and Andrew Thomson and lockdown defence gave Eagles a 56-41 lead.
Sharks fell 70-47 behind on two Chapman free throws but showed their battling qualities to get the margin back to 81-68 heading into the final quarter. The closest Sheffield got in the last 10 minutes was 82-72 as the Eagles once again showed they are the BBL’s dominant force.
* Sharks: Tuck 28, Babalola 19, Dobbins 17, Sing 12, Gachette 4, Langhurst 4.