Scorchers suffered a setback in their BBL Play-Off bid as they fell to a 78-86 defeat against Sheffield Sharks at Surrey Sports Park on Friday evening.
Creon Raftopoulos’ side were entering the clash following the crucial win over Manchester Giants last weekend, but they just fell short in a tight game against Sharks.
It took Scorchers almost four minutes to open their account at the start of the game, but it was then an even first quarter where Lacey James registered 10 of the hosts’ 15 points.
Scorchers then overcame a three-point deficit in the second quarter to enter the interval with an impressive 44-34 lead courtesy of a strong display across the court.
Evan Walshe got the ball rolling early in the quarter before Tayo Ogedengbe and James made valuable shots to edge Scorchers in front.
Tony Hicks then scored two triples in quick succession late in the half to ensure the home side finished the half with a flourish.
The third quarter saw Sharks close the 10-point gap to just two with the visitors’ top scorer Bennett Koch among the points, while Jeremy Hemsley and Mike Tuck also aided the fightback.
It was a tense affair in the final quarter with Hicks, James and Caylin Raftopoulos ensuring Scorchers kept pace with their opponents, but Sharks had already started to pull away into the lead.
Hicks had a big opportunity to level the scores late on when he attempted a triple, but he couldn’t quite get it in the basket and Sharks eventually held out for their win.
Results elsewhere on the night mean Scorchers remain in the play-off fight as they prepare to face Newcastle Eagles on Saturday, with this now looking like a pivotal game in the season.