Sharks take down Scorchers with offensive masterclass

BBL Championship
B. Braun Sheffield Sharks 92 – 74 Surrey Scorchers (31-21, 24-15, 20-20, 17-18)
(Sharks – Pipkins 20, Nelson 19, Delpeche 14; Scorchers – McFolley 25, Johnson 14, Martin 12)

The B. Braun Sheffield Sharks welcomed the Surrey Scorchers to the Ponds Forge in tonight’s BBL action and secured a 92-74 win, off the back of their highest scoring game in the league so far this season.

Jalon Pipkins led the Sharks with 20 points and seven rebounds, followed closely by Saeed Nelson who added 19 points and eight rebounds.

Josh McFolley’s heroics on his debut with 25 points was not enough to get the Scorchers the win.

The game started with the hosts coming hot out of the gates and rushing to a double-digit lead (16-6) within five minutes, after Devearl Ramsey intercepted the pass and ran the court in transition to lay it in.

Sheffield increased their lead to a quarter-high of 12 (18-6) when Bennett Koch showed off his post moves and finished with a hook shot.

A quick 5-0 run by Surrey however brought them back into the game, first with Charleston Dobbs connecting from downtown after three offensive rebounds, and then with Boban Jacdonmi scoring a layup.

With the lead at just five points (26-21) going into the final minute of the period, coach Lyons called a timeout, which enabled his team to regain their composure and close out the quarter with their own 5-0 run, with Jordan Ratinho draining a buzzer beater three (31-21).

The 31 points scored by Sheffield was their highest scoring quarter in the league so far this season.

The Sharks continued in the second quarter from where they had left off, rushing to their largest lead of the game (37-21) off the back of two jumpers – first by Marcus Delpeche and then by Rodney Glasgow Jr.

The Scorchers continued fighting back and showed signs of a comeback through their hustle, with Shakem Johnson driving hard in the paint, taking the contact from Koch, and connecting for the and-one play (39-28).

Just when it seemed that the visitors were getting back into the game, Sheffield went on a 6-0 run to increase their largest lead to 21 points (51-30), after Koch powered through his defender along the baseline and finished with the reverse layup.

The two teams exchanged a couple of buckets as the half came to a close, first with Pipkins adjusting his body in the air and then McFolley returning the favour with a similar move (55-36).

The 55 points scored by the Sharks in the first half was their highest scoring first half in the league so far this season.

The third quarter started with McFolley continuing to put on a clinic on the offensive end, first scoring an and-one, before draining a triple on the next play, to take his tally to 4/8 (57-42).

Pipkins returned the favour when he connected from behind the arc – while getting fouled – after Nelson drove down the middle and dished to the corner (60-42).

Sheffield continued to be on top form and play some excellent basketball, increasing their largest lead to 22 points (68-46).

Glasgow Jr hit nothing but net on a long three, before the Sharks’ tenacious defence forced their opponents into a shot clock violation and then Delpeche dunked it off Ratinho’s beautiful assist.

The final 10 minutes saw a drop in the game’s tempo, with the hosts trying to control the rhythm and prevent the Scorchers from scoring any easy baskets that would allow them to get back into the match.

That didn’t stop Sheffield from putting on a show for their fans, with Nelson throwing up an alley-oop pass from behind the three-point line, which was dunked with fury by Pipkins for what is bound to make one of this week’s Top 10 plays.

Delpeche continued to show tremendous hustle, even when it looked like his team had all but secured the W – grabbing the offensive rebound and jamming it home through a forest of hands for the and-one play (90-69).

As the Sharks let their foot off the gas in the final three minutes, the final score represented their highest scoring game of the season so far in the league.

With this dub the Sharks cement their place in the playoff spots and move to a record of 9-16, while the Scorchers drop to 2-22.

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