Sheffield Sharks attempts to secure a second place finish in the BBL Championship gained an added boost with an 86-76 win over fellow challengers Worcester Wolves in the smaller EIS Blue Hall last night.
The game was at times an ill-tempered affair with no less than eight technical fouls being called between the sides but it was Sharks creative point guard BJ Holmes who held his nerve to supply 25 points on his way to the MVP award.
There was little to choose between the sides in the opening two quarters. After a slow start, three point shots from Worcester’s Kai Williams and Sharks’ Colin Sing concluded an even first quarter with the score at 20-20.
The second quarter followed the same pattern. Neither side managed to break the shackles and it was a buzzer-beating three point score from Worcester’s Zaire Taylor that again levelled proceedings as the teams headed to the locker room at 41 all.
The Sharks noticeably targeted Wolves’ star players Taylor and Creekmore in the third period and finally introduced a bit of an advantage. Olu Babalola opened the half with a big three as the Sharks built a lead that stretched to 13 on another triple, this time from Nick Lewis. That lead increased to 18 as the period wore on and it was only three trips to the line for Taylor that reduced the deficit to 68-55 come the quarter end.
Several players ran into foul trouble in the fourth quarter, as Lufadeju and the influential Creekmore were forced to sit out. The final technical foul of the game saw Holmes make two from the line followed by a confident three pointer that sealed a fine 86-76 triumph.