SHEFFIELD Sharks season reached a new low last night with a 116-84 mauling at the hands of Newcastle Eagles in the BBL Trophy first leg at the EIS.
But that is just half of the story as the franchise had to de-register player-coach Atiba Lyons from the playing staff because of an on-going registration issue with the BBL.
And then had an unfortunate incident late in the match when Lyons, clearly at the end of his teather, refused to leave the arena after picking up his second technical foul of the evening while coaching.
It was an unsavoury moment, and it briefly threatened an abandonment of the game as the referees refused to continue play until Lyons was removed.
While Lyons maybe shouldn’t have caused the hold up, his frustration at not being allowed to play and then seeing his team on the end of some woeful officiating was clearly evident.
The BBL are almost certain to take action against him, which will add to his player shortage problems.
Sharks had begun the match well against a strong Eagles side.
Olu Babalola was the driving force behind Sharks keeping the scoreline to just a three-point deficit (26-29) after ten minutes.
The Eagles put on a powerful show in the second quarter. Defensively they turned up the intensity as a 17-2 run gave them a comfortable lead.
By half time the game was effectively over as a contest with the visitors 38-61 on top.
Sharks rallied at the start of the third period with a 7-0 burst to close the gap to 47-64. But it only provoked Newcastle’s Paul Gause into scoring the next eight points as Eagles led 56-82 heading into the final quarter.
The excellent Joe Chapman hit five three-pointers in the last 10 minutes as Newcastle gave the Sharks an almost impossible task in the second leg next Friday,
Sheffield are in league action at Leicester tonight.
Sharks: Babalola 22, Langhurst 21, Dobbins 16, Tuck 11, Gachette 10, Sing 4.