THEY says lightning doesn’t strike twice, but you’d have a tough job of selling that little gem of wisdom to Sheffield Sharks player-coach Atiba Lyons after Guildford Heat did their second smash and grab raid at the EIS in two years last night.
It was a different cast of characters for Sharks from when Guildford put a massive dent in their title hopes last year and the visitors would consider themselves a better all-round team than the last time they were in Sheffield.
However, after taking the Sharks’ best punches through the first two quarters they were still standing to put together a 9-0 run to end the third quarter and then controlled the fourth quarter to such an extent that it was no surprise when Drew Lasker made a long two with four seconds to play for the crucial score.
Sharks’ Nate Reinking, once again the best player on the court, had the game’s last possession but his shot from the top of the key hit the hoop and bounced to safety rather than dropping through the net.
It was tough on the Sharks, who were still without Justin Dobbins (back) and Jimmy Langhurst due to his visa paperwork not coming through in times for him to play.
Lyons also confirmed that Director of Basketball Tim Lewis has left the club by mutual consent.
In a feisty encounter, which even saw chairman Yuri Matischen banished to the stands for comments made to a referee, Sharks were up 20-12 in the first quarter before Heat trimmed the gap to 25-20.
The lead grew to 33-24 early in the second period, but three threes by Julius Joseph brought it back to 43-41 at half time.
A 59-53 Sharks lead in the third was overturned by Heat’s 9-0 run, which gave them a 62-59 lead heading into the final quarter. And they never trailed in the period as Sharks drew level five times, before Lasker had the last word.
* SHARKS: Reinking 19, Babalola 17, Tuck 15, Lyons 11, Gachette 10, Sing 6.