JETS PUT LIONS ON ICE

While the country struggles to cope with the big freeze, Cheshire Jets were red-hot in the only game to survive on Sunday, defeating Milton Keynes 112-87.

Paul Smith and his side enjoyed a blistering start to the game and never looked back as they consolidated second place in the BBL Championship standings.

The Jets were in fine form from three-point range against the Lions, the prolific Jeremy Bell leading the way with a 31 point haul.

Saturday: Sherlock sees Riders home

Leicester Riders joined a clutch of teams on 12 points in the BBL Championship with an 82-69 home win over Worthing at John Sandford Sports Centre.

The Riders were the only team to escape the weather in the BBL on Saturday night with matches being postponed at Essex Pirates, Guildford Heat and Worcester Wolves.

With snow blanketing the country it was mystery how Leicester managed to host the game, but they soon solved the Adventure of Worthing Thunder with help from their very own Sherlock.

Tom Sherlock scored all 16 of his points in a decisive run which took the match from 57-57 up to the comfortable final scoreline for the home team.

Sherlock first drained a three on the third quarter buzzer to make it 60-57 and then scored five points in a crucial 11-4 burst, which took it to 73-63. From their Worthing could find no way back and remain second bottom of the table.

“I thought we started a little slow but built momentum and confidence as the game went on,” said Riders guard Ryan Zamroz.

“We were short-handed missing Robert Youngblood, Tony Windless and James Warwick but we knew it was a game we had to win and in the end we took care of business.

“Tom Sherlock had a fantastic game off of the bench. He really created the spark we needed to pull away from Worthing in the second half.”

The victory draws Riders level with third placed Guildford, Sheffield Sharks, Glasgow Rocks and Newcastle Eagles on points.

Thunder had used an 11-0 run to take the first quarter 17-19 from being 17-8 down. And they scored the first seven points of the second quarter to go 27-38 up. However, with Petroslav Zafirov injuring himself as he began that 7-0 tear with a three the Thunder offence lost a valuable contributor.

By half time Riders trailed 45-37 and despite falling behind again by double-digits, they clawed back to lead 53-52 on the back of two three-pointers and an assist from Ryan Zamroz.

Sherlock’s three broke the tie to put Leicester on top heading into the final stanza and from then on Rob Paternostro’s men dominated totally to make it a happy Christmas in the East Midlands.

Friday: Eagles quell Thunder

Newcastle Eagles moved up to third place in the table with a comfortable 118-80 victory over Worthing Thunder on Friday.

And it was their backcourt which led the way, 26 points from Joe Chapman and 24 from Trey Moore sparking the rout.

It was the visitors who started the stronger as they opened up an early 9-11 lead, but a Moore free-throw and Darius Defoe basket gave the Eagles the lead at 12-11 and they did not relinquish their advantage from that point onwards as they rattled off an 18-5 run to lead 27-16 at the end of the first quarter.

The Eagles continued to extend their lead throughout the game as the Thunder were unable to prevent an impressive offensive display from the home side as they bagged crucial baskets throughout the remainder of the game to secure the victory and move into joint third position in the Championship table.

However, Newcastle’s trip to Guildford, scheduled for Saturday, has been postponed on safety grounds

In the other game of the night the Guildford Heat shook off their off-court worries to come from behind at the EIS, Sheffield to pick up a hard-fought 99-96 victory over the Sheffield Sharks, sparked by 30 points from Mike Martin.

A 9-3 Heat run trimmed the deficit to just four points at 92-88 heading into the closing stages of the contest, but three-pointers from David Schneider, Tayo Ogedengbe and Martelle McLemore overturned the Sharks lead and gave the Heat a 97-96 lead with 30 seconds remaining.

A Julius Joseph free-throw with 18 seconds left moved the Heat further in front and the Sharks had a chance to send the game into overtime but were unable to get a shot off as time expired and the Heat made the journey back down south with the overall victory.

Elsewhere, Worcester’s home tie with Milton Keynes on Saturday, and their trip to Glasgow on Sunday, have been postponed due to the weather.

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