Sheffield Basketball

Finals night wraps up season

May 17 saw the SBL season come to an end with finals for the Cup, Plate and Shield competitions.

The first final to finish was the closest one of the evening as USB Spartans 1 won the SBL Shield with a 77-70 victory against Barnsley Barbarians

Spartans enjoyed a 7-0 run in the first quarter that broke an 11-11 tie. They maintained their advantage throughout the second period and led 39-31 at half-time.

A pair of threes early in the third quarter from Reece Hill brought Barbarians back on terms and another couple of long shots later in the quarter gave Barbarians their first lead at 48-46.

Starting the fourth quarter tied at 52, it was Spartans who pushed ahead with a 10-3 run that would eventually prove to be the difference between the teams.

Spartans shared the scoring load with five of their players falling between 12 and 16 points. The MVP jury had a tough call to make and gave the award to Jack Loizel, who finished with 15 points, including a couple of baskets in the all-important fourth quarter run.

Hill was the game's top scorer with 20 points for Barbarians, supported by 17 points from Aivaras Vosylius.

Unfortunately for neutral fans the other two finals were one-sided affairs that were over long before the final whistle.

First up Kingstone Knights completed a remarkable Plate run with a 54-38 win over Hillsborough.

Knights limited Hillsborough to a single point in the first quarter and just 10 points in the first half to lead 32-10. Hillsborough won the second half 28-22, but by then it was too late.

What was remarkable about the Plate win for Kingstone is that they finished bottom of Division 4 in the regular season, picking up just one win. In the Plate they topped Sheffield Starz 2, Chesterfield and Sheffield Storm 2 before cruising to the final win.

The MVP jury picked Liam Cooke for his 10 points - six of which came in the decisive first quarter.

The Cup final was also as good as over after one quarter as Team Nook 1 defeated Sheffield Hallam University 95-57 to complete a league and Cup double.

Hallam led 4-3 early on, but Nook took the rest of the first quarter 21-4 to post what proved to be an insurmountable lead.

Joseph Baugh had 23 points in the first half and ended with 30 to claim the MVP award. Nook forced Hallam into 32 turnovers in the game and scored 31 points off those turnovers.

This is third consecutive double for Nook and their fourth overall.