Sep 26 2007 Paisley Daily Express
SHEFFIELD SHARKS .....85 SCOTTISH ROCKS ........82
ROCKS player/coach Sterling Davis admitted the Braehead side had run out of gas in the final quarter as the Sharks put the bite into them in their BBL opener.
Davis’ men had led 77-72 with just five minutes remaining, but the Rocks tired and the hosts came back to snatch the victory.
The Rocks chief felt the fact they only had a six-man rotational pool to choose from took its toll on his men.
But with new boy Bilal Clarance expected to be available for this weekend’s home clash with Cheshire Jets it’s not a problem Davis envisages affecting his men in the future.
He said: “We lost the game but there were a lot of pluses within our team.
“Our gameplan worked well but we were lacking a player and that took its toll. We tired out a little bit at the end and couldn’t make some crucial turnovers and that was the final straw, which affected the end result.
“We’ve got to move forward now and we’ll do that.
“We came out and set the tone and were aggressive offensively and in particular defensively and we helped each other and we set the tempo.
“But we have one more player to come in and then we’ll have a seven-man rotation and that will take some of the strain off us.”
Rocks captain Rob Yanders scored 21 points while Julius Joseph was on target with 18 and they looked like they would start their season with a win when a three-pointer from Moritz Wohlers and a lay-up from Maurice Hampton put them in control.
But Justice Graham netted a three-pointer for the Sharks followed by an Alto Virgil score to tie the game before Wohlers restored the visitors advantage by scoring from beyond the arc.
However, a decisive run of seven unanswered points from Raymond McKeithan, Graham and Locker Okorie put the hosts in control although Yanders cut the deficit with one minute 38 seconds left on the clock.
Then Graham netted a free-throw with just 20 seconds left to increase the gap to three and in the dying seconds both Yanders and Davis missed three-pointers to level as the Sharks took the win.
But Davis was unperturbed by the late misses and insists he won’t let his players’ heads drop.
He added: “It’s all part and parcel of it and we knew it could happen.
“But we can’t put our heads down and start thinking we’re not a good team, as we know we are and we’ll identify and correct the mistakes we made.”
Davis admitted after such an agonising defeat he is desperate to get back out on the court and correct it this Sunday against Cheshire at Braehead.
He said: “I’m looking forward to it. When you lose a game that close you want to go out and get another one under your belt straight away.
“We’ll have the home crowd behind us and it will be good to let them see some familiar faces and introduce them to a couple of new faces and it should be a good day for everybody.”