Basketball: Newcastle 118 Sheffield Sharks 78 (Sharks lose 209-168 on aggregate)

Mike Tuck led the Sharks at Newcastle with 21 points. Pic: Dean Woolley.
Mike Tuck led the Sharks at Newcastle with 21 points. Pic: Dean Woolley.

Sheffield Sharks season came to an end on Sunday afternoon after they suffered a heavy defeat in the second leg of their BBL Play-offs semi-final tie with Newcastle Eagles.

The 118-78 victory for the Eagles are handed them an overall margin of 209-168 and moved them one step closer to a clean sweep of BBL silverware after winning the Championship, Cup and Trophy earlier in the campaign.

It is Newcastle’s fourth consecutive Play-off Final.

Having lost the first game 91-90 on Friday night at the EIS the Sharks twice levelled the tie in the opening quarter in the north-east. And when captain Mike Tuck started the second quarter with a two to make it 28-26 the Sharks were in front overall.

However, another Tuck basket to make it 30-29 was Sheffield’s final lead as Newcastle stormed away with a 23-14 burst up to the half time interval.

Sheffield needed a quick start to the third quarter but the Eagles rattled off seven unanswered points to put Sharks 16 down on aggregate.

And the punishment got worse as the period progressed with a Drew Lasker dunk extending the overall margin to 20 points.

The impressive Rahmon Fletcher, who scored a game-high 28 points, ended the quarter with a three as the score on the night was 85-60 – an overall deficit of 26 points.

There was no way back for the Sharks from that position with Newcastle pouring in a further 33 points as Sharks coach Atiba Lyons gave his young bench players some valuable play-off experience.

Tuck led Sharks scorers with 21 points and 14 rebounds.

London Lions will meet Newcastle in the Play-offs final on Sunday at the O2 Arena in the capital.

The Lions led 81-68 after the first leg and although opponents Cheshire Phoenix won the second game in Chester yesterday 85-77 it wasn’t enough.