Basketball: Sheffield Sharks 79 Plymouth Raiders 55

Zach Gachette in action for Sheffield Sharks against Plymouth Raiders. Pic: Dean Woolley.
Zach Gachette in action for Sheffield Sharks against Plymouth Raiders. Pic: Dean Woolley.
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Sheffield Sharks turned on a powerhouse performance on Friday night at the EIS to beat Plymouth Raiders in the BBL Championship.

Still smarting from last Sunday’s loss at Manchester Giants the Sharks were intent on shaking off the Raiders at the earliest opportunity.

Allen Payne of the Sharks against Plymouth

Allen Payne of the Sharks against Plymouth

English guard Zach Gachette scooped Most Valuable Player honours for an all-action display but the impressive American duo of Allen Payne and BJ Holmes were equally influential with 16 and 17 points respectively.

Sharks began well and were only behind once in the match - an 11-10 deficit after an 11-5 Raiders burst.

Sheffield ended the first period with an 11-4 run and stretched out their advantage to 34-25 on a Payne two.

Six straight points to end the half gave Sheffield a 40-27 lead.

The biggest margin of the evening was achieved in the third quarter with point guard Holmes’ three-point shot - one of his five in the game - making it 53-32.

Raiders rallied and pulled back to 61-47 heading into the final period.

And a three-point play by Gerald Robinson to open the fourth quarter gave Plymouth hope.

But a 14-0 run, which was highlighted by two spectacular Payne dunks, made the victory safe for Sheffield.

Head Coach Atiba Lyons was allowed the luxury of running his young bench players in the final minutes as Sharks cruised to a comfortable victory.

* Scorers: Holmes 17, Payne 16, Gachette 13, Babalola 10, Tuck 9, Horstmann 5, Lewis 5, Sing 4,