Basketball: Sharks proud in defeat but had too much to do

Sharks guard Nick Lewis looks for a way through against the Eagles. Pic: Dean Atkins.
Sharks guard Nick Lewis looks for a way through against the Eagles. Pic: Dean Atkins.
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In the end the deficit from last Friday’s first leg was just too much for Sheffield Sharks to overcome.

Sheffield went down 84-81 at the EIS last night and 169-151 on aggregate after losing the first leg in the north-east 85-70 to send Atiba Lyons and his players on their summer holidays with memories of a strong second half to the season and the BBL Trophy tucked safely away in the club’s Chapeltown headquarters.

Trailing by 15 Sheffield needed a quick start but it was the Eagles who began the stronger when Darius Defoe and Joe Chapman combined to make it 5-0.

Sharks had to remain patient and when Charles Smith’s three made it 11-6 to the visitors it sparked a 9-2 run to give Sheffield their first lead at 15-13.

Mike Tuck extended it out to 19-13 before Eagles scored the final four points of the quarter.

Sharks hit the first four points of the second quarter but a 7-0 response from Newcastle gave them a 24-23 lead.

However a free throw from the inspirational Tuck began an 18-6 burst which brought Sheffield a 41-30 lead on the night and within four overall.

Demetrius Jemison looked to have made it 43-30 but was adjudged to have committed an offensive foul and Eagles’ 8-0 run to close the half undid much of Sharks good work. The call on Jemison was critical but Lyons refused to blame it for ruining his team’s chances.

He said: “We had great momemtum going, I’d have to see the film but it looked a bit like a flop. It would have been nice to keep the momentum but we had so much poor basketball in the first game we were always up against it.

“The hole we dug for ourselves in that first game was tough. We didn’t have that type of effort that we did tonight in the first game.”

Sharks only got within single-digits once after half time at 64-59 early in the fourth quarter as the Eagles cruised through to the semi-finals.

n Sharks: Tuck 25, Holmes 20, Jemison 17, Babalola 11, Lewis 6, G Brownell 2.