A 20 point victory for the Sharks against Surrey United wasn’t enough to save them from a dressing down by coach Atiba Lyons.
Sheffield huffed and puffed through the opening quarter and half of the second period before finally turning on the style and cruising to a comfortable win over a United side that has yet to register a victory this season.
Lyons was furious that his players allowed Surrey to trail by just one (28-27) at the end of the first quarter and take a 32-30 lead early in the second.
He said: “We lacked the proper focus to be the team that we can be at all times. We recovered it during this game but in other games we won’t be as lucky.
“Against a better team - not taking anything away from Surrey - if they put up nearly 30 in a quarter then it’s not good enough.
“We have to make sure we’re not that lax. We didn’t execute anything in the first quarter. It’s a snowball effect; it drags on and it brings the whole team down.”
Sharks eventually snapped out of their malaise with the score at 34-34. A free throw from Mike Tuck began a 13-4 run up to half time.
And after a few choice words from Lyons at the interval the Sharks looked a different team in the third quarter.
Tuck scored six points, including one thunderous dunk, in a 15-0 opening to the second half to make it 62-38.
Surrey were never going to come back from that deficit although they showed signs that when their American players finally arrive they may pose a few problems later in the season for some of the BBL’s mid-table teams.
Lyons rested his starters until the start of the fourth quarter where they took a 72-51 lead out to 78-51.
It allowed the Sharks boss to go deep into his bench and with a line up of Nick Lewis, aged 20, Colin Sing (24), Marko Backovic (16) and the Brownell brothers George (20) and Eddy (17).
“They work hard in training,” said Lyons. “They’re ready for the physicality and this kind of situation.”
* Sharks: Jemison 15, Horstmann 15, Tuck 14, Simmons 13, Lewis 10, Gachette 5, Sing 4, Holmes 4, Babalola 2, G Brownell 2.