The DBL Sharks Sheffield returned to winning ways on Sunday afternoon with a nail-biting 58-62 Yorkshire derby win at Leeds Force in the British Basketball League Championship.
Rashawn Rembert and captain Mike Tuck held their nerve from the free-throw line in the final minute to secure the win for the Sharks, who came into the game off the back of a heart-breaking last-second defeat at top-four rivals London Lions on Wednesday night.
Sheffield survived a late Leeds onslaught to clinch the season head-to-head series against Force 2-1 and improve to a win/loss record of 13-8 for the season.
A low-scoring first quarter saw the Sharks edge into a lead early on before being pegged back at 9-9 by a 7-0 Leeds scoring run.
However, the Leeds pressure merely served to spark the visitors into life, with Rashawn Rembert finding his shooting accuracy and Mike Tuck and Tony Wroblicky displaying superb strength to keep a physical Leeds side at arm’s length.
A 6-0 run at the start of the second period saw the Sharks stretch out a lead, Riley impressing in the offense and Tuck and Wroblicky battling to defend the Sheffield basket.
Sheffield’s offense was starting to click, but Leeds refused to lie down - Jack Isenbarger, Robert Marsden and Eddie Matthew keeping them in touch at 28-36 at the half.
However Rembert, Malcolm Riley and Jordan Davis started to give the Sharks clear daylight at the start of the third quarter, only for Leeds to dig in once more and put together their own 5-0 run to close to within four points of the visitors.
With the power of Wroblicky, the experience of Tuck, Rembert’s unerring accuracy and Davis’ boundless energy, though, the Sharks were always a threat - and so it proved at the start of the fourth, Davis providing a sublime reverse-pass assist for Wroblicky to lay-up and seemingly set the Sharks clear.
That wasn’t to be the case, though, as Leeds put together a 9-1 run in the dying minutes to bring themselves to within a point of their opponents with seconds left.
Tuck added a point from the free-throw line for the Sharks but Force were back in possession with 11.1 seconds left.
However a missed shot followed by a foul gave Rembert the opportunity to seal the victory with two free-throws, which he duly dispatched to put an end to a frantic final quarter.
Sharks scorers: Wroblicky, Riley 16; Rembert 11; Davis 10; Tuck 5; Sing 4.