Sheffield Basketball

Titles decided in crucial contests

Due to the sheer brilliance of the SBL fixture guru (or blind luck) we entered the final week of the season with three division titles still up for grabs.

Of the last five games to be played, as many as four of them could have had bearing on the destination of silverware.

First up was Darfield against Team Nook 2 in Division 2 with Darfield knowing that a victory would clinch them the title, but with Nook clinging on to unlikely title aspirations themselves if they were to win. It was Darfield who took the spoils with a tense 64-56 victory to improve on their second placed finish last season and claim their first ever SBL silverware.

On the same night the Division 1 title was up for grabs with three teams still in the hunt. Team Nook 1 took to court knowing that a victory would see them claim the title, but their opponents G-Corp still had a chance of taking the silverware if they could claim an improbable 25 point win. Even though they were not an court Loxley still had an interest in the game as they would be crowned champions if G-Corp won by less than the magic 25 number. However, Nook 1 were never going to let that happen as they cruised to a 100-72 win to claim their fourth consecutive Division 1 title.

The next evening saw the Division 4 crown decided as Retford Rampage let the title slip through their grasp with a 54-49 loss to Hillsborough. The loss meant a three-way tie-breaker at the top of the division between Retford, Worksop and Ecclesall Hunters. Worksop finished on top of this trio thanks mainly to a 62-35 victory over Ecclesall the previous week.

The only title not decided in the final week of the season was the Division 3 one, which Rotherham Rams claimed in the first three weeks of March with a trio of victories including an all-important 56-46 win against Titans 3 that levelled the teams on 10 wins and 2 losses to end the season and gave Rams the head-to-head tie-breaker.

For both Rams and Worksop the title wins were their first SBL titles since the 2011/12 season.

With the regular season now almost done focus moves on the knockout competitions with the Qualifying games and Quarter Finals over the coming three weeks.