Leeds Force narrowly lost their Yorkshire derby with Sheffield Sharks 58-62 in a thrilling contest.
Sharks looked to have had the game wrapped up but Force made it a very nervy final few minutes. Sheffield did start the quicker as Anthony Wroblicky and Colin Sing got them in front.
A basket from Rob Marsden couldn’t stem the flow as the Sharks went on a 9-2 run. But Marsden helped level the game. His reverse pass to Eddie Matthew set the Geordie away for an easy layup. Marsden was then on hand in the key to level.
Jack Isenbarger popped up with his signature deep triple to cage the visitors, and only a buzzer beater from Wroblicky was enough to separate the two sides after the opening quarter.
Sheffield went on a 6-0 run between quarters to open up a gap that rose as big as 11.
Coach Matt Newby took exception to a foul that wasn’t called on Armand Anebo and was given a technical foul by the officials.
Force reduced the deficit to six in the final minutes of the half as Harris slotted in two baskets.
In the final five seconds of the half Davis hit two free throws to open an eight-point gap.
Leeds came out firing in the third as Rob Sandoval hit two quick baskets to halve Sheffield’s lead. But as Force went on the lookout they were hit on the counter.
Sandoval hit nine of the Force’s 14 points in the 3rd , most notably spinning between two players and laying up.
In the final minute, Wroblicky found himself in the key and dropped in two easy baskets to give Sharks an eight-point lead.
Sharks looked to have put the game to bed early in the 4th as they stretched their lead to nine but the Force hadn’t given up. And two triples from Sandoval and Isenbarger brought the game back to life in the final minutes.
Sandoval then came up with a layup with a minute to go make it a one point game with 55 seconds on the clock. Sandoval then had the chance to win the game for the Force but he saw his hot come back off the iron.
A late free throw from Davis secured the series for Sharks in a pulsating Yorkshire derby.