Basketball: Sheffield Sharks 93 Plymouth Raiders 88

Sharks' Nick Lewis drives to the basket against Plymouth Raiders. Picture: Andrew Roe

Sharks' Nick Lewis drives to the basket against Plymouth Raiders. Picture: Andrew Roe

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It took some time but Sheffield Sharks secured a valuable victory on Friday night against Plymouth Raiders to cement their place in the BBL play-off positions.

Sharks trailed for the majority of the match but managed to force overtime thanks to a 14-4 run to close regulation and then kept their cool in the extra period to come through the winners.

Sheffield Sharks' Mike Cook scores against Plymouth Raiders. Picture: Andrew Roe

Sheffield Sharks' Mike Cook scores against Plymouth Raiders. Picture: Andrew Roe

There were plenty of strong performances but the contribution of guard Nick Lewis made the difference in the fourth quarter.

Lewis hit back-to-back three pointers and a two in a 10-0 run which tied the game at 75-75 - Mike Cook, who is looking closer to his old self hit the other two points.

Plymouth scored the next four points but a free throw by John Barber followed by a deep three by the same player made it 79-79 with neither side able to finish the match off before overtime.

Sharks needed to work hard to get the win but a three-point play by Cook followed by two free throws from BJ Holmes and two more from Cook proved to be enough.

Lewis said: “I was saying to BJ (Holmes) during one of the timeouts in overtime ‘man, this is a really long game’. It felt like we were playing for hours.

“I felt like I needed to turn on the energy because we needed something to happen. We were down by 10 points so I told myself I had to go out there and pick it up; and I did. I contributed to the win.

“The game changed really fast in our favour. I hit two threes and John hit a really big shot.

“That’s how our team is, different guys step up in different games.”

Earlier in the match Cook had been virtually unstoppable in the first quarter with 14 points.

However it wasn’t enough to give Sharks the lead as Raiders took a 25-23 advantage into the second period.

The visitors lead was still two (40-38) at half time before they stretched it out to 64-55 at the end of the third quarter.

Raiders looked like they’d done enough at 75-65 halfway through the final period before Lewis came alive and gave Sharks the hope they needed.

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