Basketball: Ice-cool Holmes lifts Sharks title charge

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Sharks hero BJ Holmes thought he’d blown his winning shot on Tuesday night against Newcastle Eagles at the EIS.

Point guard Holmes scored Sheffield’s last 10 points as they came from an 11 point deficit early in the fourth quarter to beat title rival Eagles 94-92 and keep alive their hopes of winning the BBL Championship.

However, the American thought his buzzer-beating three was going to miss.

He told The Star: “It slipped. (Scott) Martin was just a couple of inches from blocking it. He jumped to the right, I went to the left but it slipped when I went up.

“But I managed to get it back collected and it went in - I thought it was short when it set off. But it went straight in - no rim.”

Holmes had put Sharks 89-88 and 91-90 up inside the final 30 seconds only for Newcastle to respond both times.

It took a knockout blow with his final three-point shot to eventually see off the Eagles.

Holmes said: “I thought it was over with the first one and then Paul (Gause) came back quick and answered. We hit another one and then they got a tip in. The last play was drawn up great. We work on that all the time and it worked to perfection.

“We wanted to protect our home court and that’s important when you’re going up against the top teams in the league.

“It gives us confidence when you go out there and compete against the second ranked team in the league. It helps us going into the next game and next practice.

“It gives us a sense of urgency. We have to do everything right all the time or we could be down 11 in the fourth quarter.”

Sharks have set their BBL Trophy semi-final two-legged tie against Worcester Wolves for Friday, March 7 (home) and Wednesday, March 12 (away).