There were two overtime games in the BBL on Friday night as the One Health Sharks Sheffield progressed to the BBL Trophy semi-finals and there were league wins for the Newcastle Eagles, Surrey Heat and Durham Wildcats.
The first of those overtime games was in the BBL Trophy, as the One Health Sharks Sheffield avenged last weeks league defeat to the Glasgow Rocks by beating them 84-81. BJ Holmes led all scorers with 25 points, supported by a double-double of 20 points and 12 rebounds from Mike Tuck (201-F-83, college: Loyola, MD) and 18 points and 10 rebounds from Demetrius Jemison.
The pendulum was swinging in the first half as, initially, the Sharks used a 14-1 surge to lead 25-14 after ten minutes, before the Rocks hit back in the second quarter rattling off 15 straight points sparked by consecutive three-pointers from EJ Harrison and Wedemire, to lead 31-33. And the Rocks held that lead through to 38-41 at the half time break.
But the teams could barely be separated throughout the second half, tied at 59 after the third quarter and at 67 heading into the final minutes. But Wedemire and Harrison hit consecutive triples to give the Rocks what looked like a decisive 67-73 lead with one minute to play. The Sharks scored the last 6 points, going 6/6 from the free-throw line to tie the game with Holmes scoring 4 of those.
The overtime period remained almost as tight, although the Sharks established a slight edge that they wouldn't relinquish. From 76 each, Holmes and Jemison scored consecutive baskets and Jemison was there again after Harrison had responded with a three-pointer. Down the stretch, the Sharks led by 1 and BJ Holmes settled the game with a pair of free-throws as Fantazia and Robinson missed baskets for the Rocks.
Elsewhere, the Surrey Heat strengthened their position in third place in the BBL Championship after a 91-97 overtime victory on the road at the Worcester Wolves. The Heat were inspired by 22 points and 8 rebounds from Samuel Cricelli (200-F-85, college: Caldwell) and 21 points from Chavis Holmes. Alex Owumi, for the Wolves, led all scorers with 30 points.
But it didnt always look that way as the Wolves raced into a 15-4 lead after just three minutes, scoring first 5 points. But the Heat scored the last 4 points of the first quarter through Julius Joseph and Samuel Cricelli, and that gave them a platform at the outset of the second quarter as they opened with a 10-4 push to tie the game at 27, with Cricelli and Joseph opening that run. The Heat would not be held back as McLemore broke a tie with a triple and they extended their lead to 38-45 as Albert Margai added a three of his own with the last score of the half.
The Heat maintained their lead all the way through to the fourth quarter before the hosts opened the decisive stanza with an 11-3 burst with Carlos Fernandez scoring 4 in a row to tie the game and Sam Ocitti netting a three-pointer for a 72-69 lead. The game remained tight, and McLemore tied it with a triple with three minutes to play, and it remained a one possession game all the way to the end. The Wolves might have thought they'd won it when they scored 4 in a row and a pair of Kai Williams free-throws made the score 83-80 with 26 seconds left. But the Heat were not done, as Samuel Cricelli tied the game with a three-pointer for the last score to force overtime at 83 each.
Once in overtime the Heat used that momentum to immediately establish, and hold, a decisive lead. They scored the first 6 points with McLemore and Chavis Holmes opening proceedings. Chavis Holmes added two free-throws soon after to make the score 84-91 and, despite 5 points in a row from Kai Williams to make it a one possession game again, the Heat remained resolute with Holmes and McLemore scoring their final 6 points and keeping the hosts at arm's length.
Elsewhere, the Newcastle Eagles swept aside the Mersey Tigers - winning 121-58 - to move clear of the Jelson Homes DMU Leicester Riders at the summit of the BBL Championship table. The Eagles had seven players in double-figures, led by a massive double-double of 24 points and 13 rebounds from Darius Defoe and supported by 21 points from Charles Smith and 16 for Joe Chapman.
The Eagles scored the first 10 points including consecutive three-pointers from Charles Smith and Joe Chapman, and the result was never in doubt as the lead became 18-2 midway through the period. The Tigers stemmed the flow before Defoe and Kareem Maddox did damage inside - the latter scored 7 points to help the lead to twenty at 36-16, an 11-2 start. And from there it just grew, going through the half century at 91-38 as they scored 38 third quarter points.
Finally, the eleventh placed Durham Wildcats edged closer to the BBL Championship Playoffs with a surprise 81-98 demolition of the UCP Marjon Plymouth Raiders in the South West. The Wildcats led for most of the game as Brad Guinane inspired them with eight three-pointers on his way to 32 points; Keith Page scored 21 and Andrew Keister scored 19 points and grabbed 14 rebounds.
The Raiders had held an early lead until Durham hit 7 in a row to take a lead that they would maintain. In the second quarter Guinane hit 8 consecutive points, including two three-pointers, to make their lead 23-34 and he had 21 points in the first 15 minutes. The Wildcats then maintained a double-digit lead for much of the second half, for perhaps their most impressive victory of the season so far.
Myles Hesson and Devon Van Oostrum Suffer Season-Ending Injuries - 16 hours ago
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Myles Hesson (198-F-90) and Devon Van Oostrum (190-G-93, agency: Octagon Europe) both face long spells on the sidelines after sustaining season-ending injuries. Both players took to social media to make their announcements which will come as a double blow to GB ahead of this summer's EuroBasket tournament. Hesson was having another strong season in France - with a Pro-A career-high 29 points last month - and averaged 12.4 points and 5.1 rebounds per game on the season. The forward had als... [read more]
Myles Hesson (198-F-90) and Devon Van Oostrum (190-G-93, agency: Octagon Europe) both face long spells on the sidelines after sustaining season-ending injuries. Both players took to social media to make their announcements which will come as a double blow to GB ahead of this summer's EuroBasket tournament. Hesson was having another strong season in France - with a Pro-A career-high 29 points last month - and averaged 12.4 points and 5.1 rebounds per game on the season. The forward had also impressed for Gravelines in the FIBA Europe Cup this season and revealed he has had surgery after fracturing his tibia. 'I'm sad to announce that I will miss the remainder of the season,' Hesson said on Facebook. 'I have broken my shin bone. Surgery went well so now I'm on the road to recovery. 'I'm a firm believer in the saying 'that what doesn't kill you, only makes you stronger' - I will return better than ever.' According to French website, 'La Voix Du Nord', the club's physio estimates Hesson being out for around 3-4 months. Meanwhile, Van Oostrum had recently joined MZT Skopje to play in the Adriatic League alongside Daniel Clark (210-F/C-88) following a spell in Greece. The 24-year-old guard was averaging 8.7 points per game, but a torn ACL has curtailed his season. Van Oostrum and Hesson both played together on the squad that competed in GB's last EuroBasket four years ago. Courtesy of: hoopsfix.com
Manchester Magic retain National Trophy title as Team Newcastle University clasp Cup & Sussex Bears seal Shield success - 1 day ago
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Manchester Magic maintained their spell over London Lituanica for a second weekend in succession to defend their National Trophy crown with an authoritative 81-53 victory at Hertfordshire Sports Village on Sunday. Having defeated their opponents 74-61 in Division One of the National Basketball League a week ago, it was simply a case of different day, same story as Manchester achieved a swift double in league and cup over the club from the capital. A game-high 19 points and five rebounds w... [read more]
Manchester Magic maintained their spell over London Lituanica for a second weekend in succession to defend their National Trophy crown with an authoritative 81-53 victory at Hertfordshire Sports Village on Sunday. Having defeated their opponents 74-61 in Division One of the National Basketball League a week ago, it was simply a case of different day, same story as Manchester achieved a swift double in league and cup over the club from the capital. A game-high 19 points and five rebounds were more than enough for standout star Duane Morgan (198-F-93, college: Adelphi) to emerge from this one-sided outing as the MVP. Magic's Stefan Gill (173-PG-83) (16 points and eight assists), captain Jack Minister (196-G-86) (14 points and six rebounds) and Simon Anumba (11 points and eight rebounds) chalked up double digits to boot against a lacklustre Lituanica, who struggled to keep pace throughout despite the best efforts of Mantas Guzys (180-PG-93) (15 points and seven rebounds) and Mantas Adomaitis (203-F, college: Oklah.Panhandle) (10 points and seven rebounds). 'This was my first opportunity to play in a championship game and it's a really good feeling to have won it,' Morgan said. 'We knew that we had to shut them down on defence, so that was a big emphasis for us, along with our high-tempo game. 'We now want to win the league and finish up as the number one side in Division One. 'There's a great group of guys here at the Manchester Magic. They've been very welcoming and made me feel right at home. I feel like I've been playing with them for a long time. You want to play for your brothers and I feel like they are mine.' Earlier on in the day, Team Newcastle University came away with the Patron's Cup courtesy of a 77-65 success against Kent Crusaders and Sussex Bears clinched the Men's National Shield thanks to a tense and tight 58-57 triumph over Team Birmingham Elite. Kent Crusaders began the first quarter in earnest fashion, yet Team Newcastle University soon recovered from a somewhat sluggish start and never looked back thereafter. Indeed, the Knights bookmarked the game brilliantly - winning the opening stanza 24-16 and the fourth and final one 24-18 to render the narrow losses in between (18-17 and 13-12) rather redundant. Team Newcastle's Richard Austin registered 21 points, 10 rebounds and six assists to claim the MVP accolade. He was well supported on offence by Jack Beresford (17 points), Frank Urli (14 points and six assists) and Matt Brown (196-F) (12 points). RJ Eytle-Rock (192-SG-98) produced a game-high 23 points in the Kent Crusaders' challenge for the silverware and Mohamed Adamu and Dan Akin both scored 10 on a day when the Shodipo brothers, John (four) and Tim (one), both failed to fire. 'The Kent Crusaders have an excellent programme and they are a credit to British basketball in terms of where they're going,' said Team Newcastle University head coach Ian Hewitt. 'But, we're just as talented as them, we played outstanding basketball today and we're a little bit older and more mature. I think that showed as well. 'We fought like crazy defensively too and it was just a great win. We wanted the Cup and we stepped up massively, which was fantastic to see. 'We've held Thames Valley to 66 and Kent to 65 now. It just shows what we're doing defensively and - offensively - we simply look better and better every week, so we're excited about the rest of the season. We are going to keep getting better.' Sussex Bears meanwhile held an eight-point cushion heading into the last 10 minutes having won the second quarter (17-11) by six points and the first and third (both 13-12) by one apiece. However, they very nearly blew it as Team Birmingham Elite came storming back late on to set up a nerve-jangling finale. Steven Hansell (192-G-75, college: Illinois St., agency: Court Side)'s side just couldn't drain that crucial basket down the stretch to ensure overtime or snatch a previously unlikely W though and Sussex prevailed by the narrowest of margins. The Bears' Hank Rivers (202-F-81, college: SF Austin) produced a performance of Superman-esque proportions in keeping with his choice of socks for the day. His 25 point-haul and 14 rebounds saw him deservedly pick up the MVP award ahead of other worthy candidates like his Sussex team-mate Bud Johnson (pictured below), who provided 16 points, seven rebounds and seven assists overall. Darren Mason also plucked 15 rebounds out of the air. Team Birmingham Elite had two players progress beyond single-figure tallies in Meris Masolovic (17 points and nine rebounds) and David Stevic (14 points). 'It feels good to have finally won a final as I've been in England for almost nine years now,' the amiable Rivers stated afterwards. 'It's nice to have won for the people that I know as they really are like a family to me. 'We've been together for so many years and there's a good atmosphere. We feel like we're moving up every year, so you cannot complain about that. 'It was a scrappy game. Team Birmingham Elite are young and we inherently knew that they were going to get runs, but we pulled it out in end. The main thing is that we got it done - that's all that matters.' Courtesy of: basketballengland.co.uk
Surrey Scorchers moved into the Play-Off places after a blistering display in front of the BBC Sport cameras on Friday. Creon Raftopoulos' side torched Plymouth Raiders in the second half en route to a 99-75 victory behind 25 points from Quincy Taylor(183-PG-91, college: Longwood). "It was one of those special nights and I'm glad we were able to perform," Surrey's head coach commented post-game. "I think we showed four quarters of maturity and it was great to come out quick in the thir... [read more]
Surrey Scorchers moved into the Play-Off places after a blistering display in front of the BBC Sport cameras on Friday.
Creon Raftopoulos' side torched Plymouth Raiders in the second half en route to a 99-75 victory behind 25 points from Quincy Taylor (183-PG-91, college: Longwood).
"It was one of those special nights and I'm glad we were able to perform," Surrey's head coach commented post-game.
"I think we showed four quarters of maturity and it was great to come out quick in the third.
"We took a gamble on Quincy late in the half as he had two fouls, but made a really big play and that gave us a lift going into the locker-room."
Plymouth bounced back on Sunday as they came from 12 points down in the fourth to beat Cheshire Phoenix 110-116 in double overtime.
Earl Brown had a season-high 43 points as he and Mike DiNunno combined for 74 in the loss with Cory Dixon leading the victors with 25 points as four Raiders hit 20+.
Meanwhile, Leicester Riders extended their lead at the top with back-to-back victories over Manchester Giants with a 98-73 home success followed by a 73-99 road victory.
Scott Martin exploded for 41 points to help Esh Group Eagles Newcastle keep up the pressure on the leaders with a 108-94 victory over Bristol Flyers.
Glasgow Rocks were victorious at the Emirates Arena as they saw off Cheshire Phoenix 95-82, while DBL Sharks Sheffield complete the top four after edging past rivals, Leeds Force 58-62 away from home.
Worcester Wolves were another team to overturn a double-digit deficit as they recovered from a slow start to beat London Lions 99-91 with 16 made 3-pointers helping them to the win.
"It was a good win against London," declared Danny Huffor. "The first half was back and forward, but in the second half we found our rhythm, got some stops which helped our offence.
"Our ball movement was good as it opened up driving lanes that also created open shots as well."
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