Cheshire Phoenix 83 B Braun Sheffield Sharks 78: Sharks comeback in vain as Phoenix hold on for victory

Rob Marsden top scored for Sharks with 18. Photo: Andy Chubb.Rob Marsden top scored for Sharks with 18. Photo: Andy Chubb.
Rob Marsden top scored for Sharks with 18. Photo: Andy Chubb.
B. Braun Sheffield Sharks launched a spirited comeback at Cheshire Phoenix but went down 83-78.

Sharks fought back from a 23-point half time deficit but ultimately fell just short.

The ‘Nix endured a double overtime loss the previous evening in Bristol but shot the lights out in the first half and held on in the face of the Sharks’ second half recovery. Jalen Hayes’ three ball out of the corner edged the Phoenix up by 23-14 and it was his layup that saw them conclude the first period on the high side by 25-16. The Cheshire shooting machine went into overdrive in the second quarter. Jackson-Cartwright started the rout with a trey just 18 seconds in and was matched by Lufadeju, Flannigan and Gordon as the score flew out to 42-19.

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Rob Marsden and Mike Tuck attempted to keep the Sharks in touch but Hayes and Gordon found the hoop to see the ‘Nix well in command at 53-30 by half time. Nick Lewis reduced the deficit at the beginning of the third stanza and further big threes from him and Connor Cashaw saw Cheshire calling for time at 61-47. Cashaw’s mid-range two capped a 2-15 run in the Sharks favour, curtailed by Flannigan’s triple at 66-54.

Mackey McKnight’s trey and a moment of indiscipline from Demonte Flannigan saw the Sharks within seven at 77-70. A pair of McKnight free throws made it 78-74 and things got even better inside the final 30 seconds; Cashaw’s jumper making it 78-76. However, with both sides in penalty, the game ended in a series of trips to the line – Jalen Hayes draining a further five points as Cheshire ran out 83-78 winners. Sharks are 3-4 for the season. They welcome Worcester Wolves to Ponds Forge on Friday (7.30pm).

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