BBL Trophy, Group Stage
One Health Sharks Sheffield 92 (24,52,64) (Tuck 24, Dagostino 21, Williams 15)
Newcastle Eagles 91 (19,41,71) (Moore 18, Chapman 17, Defoe 16)
The Newcastle Eagles – defending BBL Trophy champions – had already clinched their berth to the semi-finals of the competition before losing a thrilling game 92-91 to the One Health Sharks Sheffield on Friday night.
The Sharks had led by double figures in the first half, the Eagles did so in the fourth quarter, before a clutch free-throw from Steve Dagostino won the game for the hosts. Mike Tuck led the Sharks with 24, while Dagostino had 21.
In the first half, the Sharks tooka first quarter lead at 24-17 courtesy of a 7-0 run, sparked by Ryan Patton’s triple. It became a 10-point lead early in the second as a Tuck triple and Lyons score opened the period at 29-19. Three-pointers from Andrew Bridge and Trey Moore kept the Eagles in touch, but Patton responded with two treys of his own to make the score 37-25. The Eagles responded again as Smith’s three sparked a 9-0 surge to make it a one possession game at 37-34. But Lyons stemmed the flow for the hosts with six points in the next few minutes – he was 5/5 for 12 points up to that point – as the Sharks reinstated their double-figure lead, going in 52-41 at the half.
However, the Eagles made an amazing 18 point swing as they scored 30 third quarter points. It started with Defoe scoring 4 in a 6-0 run, before Smith added 6 in a further spell of 10 unanswered points to give the Eagles the lead at 58-61. The turnaround was complete late in the quarter as Chapman’s triple saw the Eagles take a 64-71 lead into the fourth.
But it wasn’t enough, despite them opening up a double digit lead at 67-69, as the guard pairing of Lockhart and Moore opened the fourth with a flurry of four points each, and it was still 73-85 on a Joe Chapman triple with just over six minutes left. The Sharks’ comeback ensued as Paul Williams scored 5 in a 9-0 surge and it was a one possession game entering the final two minutes, at 87-89, courtesy of a Dagostino three-pointer. The same player tied the game within the final minute, before Williams made 2/2 at the line with 18 seconds left. Moore thought he might have sent the game into overtime, tied at 91, when he scored with 7 seconds left. But Charles Smith fouled Dagostino with 3 seconds on the clock; the guard made the first and missed the second, and when Williams grabbed the offensive rebound, the game was over.
After the game, Sharks’ Head Coach Atiba Lyons commented, “We had no problem getting the guys up for the game tonight, they are a self-motivated team. I want people to keep talking about our guards, because the big guys just keep getting it done. It was good for us to get the win after coming from behind.”