Report: Sheffield Sharks 87-62 Bristol Flyers
Sunday, December 13th 2020
Bristol Flyers fell to 2-2 in the BBL Championship after a heavy defeat in Sheffield.
Raphell Thomas-Edwards made a strong return to the starting line-up, collecting a 14 point, 11 rebound double. Marcus Delpeche had 18 points and eight rebounds, bringing his total to 50 points over the course of the weekend.
Defensive breakdowns caused Bristol to give up easy scores throughout the first period, as Kipper Nicholls and Antwon Lillard were both able to roll to the basket for open dunks. Eric Lockett sank a characteristic high arcing jumper and then found Edozie for a lay-up to keep the scoreboard close. Sharks changed things up and found success from distance for Nicholls and their Captain Mike Tuck to open up a lead and force a Flyers timeout. With the teams trading baskets, Rob Marsden checked in and gave Sharks an extra offensive edge with strong post-up play to make it 27-16 at the end of the first quarter.
Flyers looked uncoordinated on offence and points were hard to find, but Delpeche and Thomas-Edwards kept the scoreboard ticking over. The hosts extended the lead to over 20 points with another barrage of outside shooting, this time from new addition Jeremy Hemsley and Johde Campbell. Hemsley connected again from outside to make it 55-30 at the half.
Flyers regrouped in the break and came out with renewed defensive intensity in the second half. However, they were unable to make a significant dent in the lead as each small run was answered by the Sharks. Thomas-Edwards cleaned the offensive glass for a put back score and completed a three point play at the foul line.
Nicholls once more slipped through the defence for a dunk but Lockett responded by linking up with Delpeche for a basket-shaking slam of his own. A turnover-plagued spell followed and Sharks were able to undo the damage. Delpeche and Daniel Edozie went to work around the basket, but Sharks responded with outside shooting. Ben Mockford hit a three-pointer to make it 69-50 at the end of the third.
With Flyers struggling to get into consistent offensive rhythm, the margin was too much to overcome. Edozie elevated to throw down a big dunk but was not able to spark a much-needed run. A low-scoring final quarter for the visitors allowed Sharks to pull ahead again and seal the victory comfortably.