Sheffield Sharks edged out by Worcester Wolves

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Worcester Wolves 71 Sheffield Sharks 68

THE defeats are piling up for Sheffield Sharks after another loss on Saturday night at Worcester Wolves.

It was the second setback of the weekend with Plymouth Raiders beating the Sharks at the EIS on Friday.

On that occasion Sheffield were distinctly second best but at least in Worcester they showed fighting spirit and could have snatched an excellent road win with a bit more composure in the match’s final minutes.

It leaves Sharks with just two wins from their 10 league games and desperately short of confidence ahead of Friday’s BBL Cup home first leg against the in-form Leicester Riders.

Sharks had dominated the early exchanges, with Olu Babalola scoring four of the first six points as they held their hosts scoreless for the opening two minutes to lead 16-9 by the end of the first period.

A 10-3 run by Sheffield early in the second quarter saw them establish a 10 point lead at 32-22 but the Wolves produced a startling 20-2 surge over the final five minutes of the half to lead 42-34 and take the period 33-18.

Five points by Micah Williams were crucial as Sharks reversed the momentum with a 9-4 opening to the third quarter that made it a one possession game at 46-43. And they still trailed by three (56-53) heading into the final 10 minutes.

Daniel Belgrave settled the nerves for the Wolves with a three-pointer to open the fourth quarter and Stanley Ocitti followed that in-kind to make the score 62-55.

But the Sharks fought back with the next five points, four for point guard Gage Daye, to force Wolves into a time out. That did the job for Paul James’ team as back-to-back threes put them back in charge. The scoring dried up as neither side registered for more than two minutes heading into the final minute of the game. But that soon changed as Williams hit a three-pointer to make the score 69-68 and set up a tense finale. However the only points in the last three and a half minutes were a pair of Arnas Kaslauskas free-throws with 13 seconds to play to seal the win.

SHARKS: Williams 17, Daye 10, Sing 9, Gachette 8, Babalola 8, Bridge 8, Tuck 4, Jemison 4.