Basketball: Sheffield Sharks 85 Durham Wildcats 72

Sheffield Sharks' Mike Cook scores. Picture: Andrew Roe
Sheffield Sharks' Mike Cook scores. Picture: Andrew Roe
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Sheffield Sharks made it three wins in a row on Friday night with a comfortable 85-72 over Durham Wildcats at the EIS.

Atiba Lyons side never trailed and it was only a deluge of points by the visitors in the fourth quarter with the result already beyond doubt which gave the final scoreline a semblance of respectability.

Sharks quickly had the Wildcats on the back foot with Zach Gachette capping a 14-4 opening to the game.

A further 9-0 burst helped Sheffield lead 26-10 at the end of the first quarter.

Sheffield were held in check by the visitors during the second period until an 8-2 run gave Sharks a 47-26 lead at half time.

With guard trio BJ Holmes, Mike Cook and Nick Lewis proving difficult to handle for the Durham defence the Sharks were able to build their advantage to 68-37 at the end of the third quarter thanks to a 13-0 run.

Durham scored almost as many points in the fourth period as they had done in three previous but they were held at bay by regular points from Lewis and a crucial two by Mike Tuck to finally end their resistance.

Cook led the way with 19 points and is beginning to get close to the kind of form he showed during his first spell in Sheffield.

He said: “As a team we wanted to play great defence and I think we’re getting more confident on offence.

“Defensively we want to be great and take them out of their offence and I think we did that.”

Sharks, who remained in seventh in the British Basketball League table, welcome Surrey United to the EIS on Sunday (4pm) with Cook determined not to take the BBL’s bottom placed club lightly.

He said: “Technically we’re a bottom team too so we can’t think of anyone who we’re supposed to beat.

“I don’t know much about them. I expect to respect them whether they’re a lower level team or a top team. I respect them.

“If we do that then we’ll play that type of defence (same as against Durham).”