Sheffield Sharks held off Manchester Giants to halt a three-game slide with a 79-76 away success, which secures their spot in the BBL Trophy quarter-finals.
Sharks set the tone from the opening tip, pouring in three three-pointers in the first 76 seconds to jump out to a 9-0 start.
Giants regrouped and transformed the contest into a nip and tuck battle, which would go right to the wire, but Atiba Lyons’ men held on.
Sharks’ refreshed backcourt of BJ Holmes and Mike Cook, along with Nick Lewis, bred the composure necessary to see their team over the line in a tense final few minutes.
Holmes finished with a game-high 25 points while Lewis added 22 and Cook had 10.
Stef Gill (16), Ignus Bankevics (13) and David Watts (12) provided Giants’ coring options, often from three-point range, but they could not prevent a third consecutive defeat.
Sheffield Sharks 79 (20, 42, 59) (Gill 16, Bankevics 13, Watts 12).
Westfield Health Sheffield Hatters led from start to finish at Sevenoaks Suns, winning 103-64 in the team’s first WBBL Championship game after the break.
The visitors cranked up the pressure right from the go, going on an 8-0 run to start. Although Suns cut the gap to 20-16 by the end of the opening frame, Hatters went on another break. They used a 14-4 stretch at the end of the second period to jump into a double-digit lead at 43-29, led an excellent first half performance by Steph Gandy, who had already collected 18 points by the halftime break.
Estela Royo Torres and Helen Naylor took over the scoring for Hatters after the interval and the visitors used the 31-point third quarter to increase their advantage to 26 points, deciding the outcome well before the final whistle.
Gandy led all scorers with 26 points and nine rebounds, Royo Torres collected 25 points, nine boards and five assists, while Naylor chipped in with 18 points for Hatters.