Basketball: Double blow as Sharks fall to Lions and Riders

Sheffield Sharks' John Barber was in good form this weekend. Picture: Andrew Roe.
Sheffield Sharks' John Barber was in good form this weekend. Picture: Andrew Roe.
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Sheffield Sharks had back-to-back losses this weekend as they failed to make ground in the race for the play-offs.

With shooting guard Mike Cook absent through an ankle injury the Sharks went down 98-85 at Leicester Riders on Saturday night before falling 83-80 against London Lions in overtime at the EIS on Sunday afternoon.

Sharks standout performer over the weekend was forward John Barber.

The American scored 22 points and pulled down nine rebounds in Leicester before recording 20 points and eight rebounds against London. However Barber could do nothing about the Lions seizing control in the extra period after the game was tied at 65-65 at the end of regulation.

Once Lovell Cook had put London 71-68 up with his second three-point shot of overtime the Sharks were never able to get on terms again. A three from Sheffield point guard BJ Holmes made it 72-71 but that was the closest Sharks would get as Cook responded with eight of his team’s next 11 points to seal the victory for the visitors.

On Saturday the Sharks scored the first eight points of the third quarter to take a lead at 44-51 but the Riders immediately hit back with a 16-2 burst of their own to move 60-53 in front.

The seven point margin (68-61) was maintained heading into the fourth quarter with Riders’ Tyler Bernardini single-handedly keeping Sheffield from making a run.

Leicester eventually made the match safe from the line as they hit 14 of 17 free-throws in the last four minutes.