Basketball: Sharks 59 Worcester Wolves 79 (first leg)

Sharks Demetrius Jemison goes to the basket against Worcester Wolves. Pic: Sarah Washbourn.
Sharks Demetrius Jemison goes to the basket against Worcester Wolves. Pic: Sarah Washbourn.
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Sharks have left themselves a mountain to climb to reach the Play-offs final after a horror last four first leg display against Worcester on Friday night.

Needing to at least give themselves something to play for when they travel to the Wolves on Sunday evening, Sheffield were handed a lesson in play-off basketball during their last home match of the season.

Sharks had no answer for the Wolves big three of Zaire Taylor, Will Creekmore and Alex Owumi who all had strong performances to score the bulk of the Worcester points.

Taylor, recently named as the BBL’s Most Valuable Player, hounded Sharks talisman BJ Holmes all match and scored 21 points.

Owumi was virtually unstoppable from three-point range as he finished with a game-high total of 28 points.

And Creekmore came out on top in his battle with Sharks skipper Mike Tuck.

It wasn’t an easy night for the Sharks from the off.

An Owumi three-pointer ended the first quarter to give his team a 26-16 lead and he did the same to close the second period with Worcester 43-34 up.

Back-to-back threes from Kalil Irving and Owumi opened the third quarter and Sharks were suddenly staring at a 55-37 deficit.

A 7-0 run by Sheffield reduced the deficit but Wolves still led 60-44 heading into the final quarter.

And a 13-4 burst made it 73-48 as Worcester threatened to put the tie beyond Sharks reach.

A glimmer of hope was provided with a 7-3 Sharks run to end the match but it will take a supreme effort by Atiba Lyons’ players to make up the deficit.

Lyons said: “It’s going to be tough (on Sunday).

“It’s doable but it is going to be tough.

“We’ve got to hit some shots and move the ball. Defensively we weren’t too bad but offensively we were out of sorts. We never got it together.

“We’ll be positive. We’ve beaten teams before by 20 so hopefully we’ll do it again.”

* Sharks scorers: Holmes 15, Simmons 9, Tuck 8, Gachette 7, Lewis 6, Horstmann 5, Jemison 4, Sing 3, Babalola 2.