Match report: DBL Sharks Sheffield 83 Plymouth Raiders 78

Dirk Williams was the Sharks' MVP in victory over Plymouth
Dirk Williams was the Sharks' MVP in victory over Plymouth
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DBL Sharks Sheffield held off a late Plymouth Raiders surge to secure a crucial 83-78 British Basketball League Championship win at EIS Sheffield on Friday night.

The Sharks, fresh from a comfortable win over Leeds Force last time our, made a blistering start to this one - a deep three-pointer from Dirk Williams inside the first 30 seconds stamping the home side’s authority early on.

The fast hands - and feet - of Mackey McKnight then helped to stretch the Sharks lead, with the Sharks looking increasingly threatening in transition. McKnight, Tony Wroblicky, Zach Gachette and Chris Alexander starred in a 16-0 Sharks run which put clear daylight between the sides, the score at 29-11 after the first.

A superb triple from Gachette got the Sharks off to a flyer at the start of the second half, however a 6-0 Plymouth run gave the visitors hope and a platform to reduce the deficit to 13 midway through the quarter.

Sharp shooting from beyond the arc by Williams kept the scoreboard ticking over for the Sharks, however - a 9-2 spell to end the half saw the home side go in at 50-31.

A steady start to the second half from both sides kept the Sharks clear before Plymouth began to turn up the heat, an 11-4 spell getting them back into the game - Neil Watson and Brandon Penn starring in the Raiders offense.

An on-the-buzzer triple to end the third quarter brought the deficit back to 66-56, leaving the Sharks with plenty to ponder going into the fourth.

A strong start to the final quarter from Plymouth set up an extremely tense final few minutes, but emphatic blocks at crucial times from the home side - particularly one from Williams with the score at 79-73 - kept Plymouth at bay, before a Chris Alexander steal set the Sharks away to put the game beyond their opponents - 83-78 the final score.

Sharks scorers: Williams 18, Alexander 17, Gachette 15, Wroblicky & McKnight 8, Tuck 7, Marsden 6, Wilson 4.