Surrey Scorchers continue to search for their first home win of 2016 in a close encounter with Sheffield Sharks, after sinking to a 69-78 defeat at Surrey Sports Park.
Scorchers 69 (12, 22, 14, 21) (Schlitzer 14, Ross-Miller 14, Ogedengbe & Dusha 9)
Sharks 78 (18, 10, 24, 26) (Brooks 17, Hogg 14, Tuck & Barber 12)
“It was a tough loss tonight,” Coach Creon Raftopoulos commented after the tie. “I think the guys played really well. I was really happy with the way Andreas Schreiber set the tone early.
“Sheffield are a great team, but down the stretch some tough calls just never went out way. I think Nick Schlitzer shot the ball well, KC Ross-Miller scored when we needed him to and Tayo Ogedengbe’s production doesn’t necessarily show on the stat sheet because he defends the best players on the other team.
“We will take positives from the game- fixtures are coming thick and fast so we need to focus and continue our play-off push.”
Sharks began strong in the first quarter and despite numerous defensive rebounds, Scorchers struggled to convert to points.
Andreas Schreiber put in an incredible first half shift, throwing his body around the field, blocking shots and winning turnovers. This largely contributed to Scorchers’ second quarter surge as they went on to put 22 points on to Sheffield’s 10. At half time, Scorchers were up 34-28.
Coach Creon lost the in-form Schreiber for the 3rd stanza with potential concussion after taking a knock in the first half and Sharks started to take control of the tempo, taking a 4-point lead going in to the final quarter. Scorchers scrambled to finish lay-ups and missed free throws towards the end of the game and it was the visitors who closed out for a 69-79 win.
Scorchers will take comfort in the close nature of the defeat and train hard in preparation for Friday night’s home match against Cheshire Phoenix (7.30pm tip off) where they will yet again look to get a first home win after a very narrow defeat.