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London new boy Marks shines but Lions title tilt takes another hit at Sheffield Sharks

London Lions head coach Vince Macaulay. Photo: Isabel Infantes London Lions head coach Vince Macaulay. Photo: Isabel Infantes

Saturday, December 28, 2013
8:54 AM

BBL Championship: Sharks Sheffield 81 London Lions 70

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New London Lions signing Chez Marks shared a joing game-high 19 points with Sheffield Sharks skipper Mike Tuck but it wasn’t enough to prevent a third straight defeat for the Stratford side as their British Basketball League Championship bid hit the skids after an 11-point defeat.

It saw London remain in fifth place, six points off leaders Worcester Wolves who were joined at the summit by Sharks after this result.

Lions were depleted by a family bereavement that saw Julius Joseph excused from team duties, while Adrien Sturt and Mike Martin suffered injuries.

Head coach Vince Macaulay said: “We never like to lose but I felt we competed hard, we always have things to work on, and rest assured we will as we strive to be a better team each day.”

The contest had entered the fourth quarter tied at 51-51 and were still level at 58-58 before Sheffield’s Demetrius Jemison had all the points in a 6-0 burst.

A 4-0 Lions run cut a 10 point deficit back to six at 74-68 before a BJ Holmes and Tuck play sparked a 7-2 finish to the match for Sharks, having been at the heart of everything the Sharks did.

London, with Marks making an impressive debut, led 15-9 in the first quarter before Sharks rattled off the next six points to level the match at 15-15 after ten minutes.

Sheffield were again behind in the second period before a 10-0 burst put them 32-28 on top. A two by Jeremie Simmons edged Sharks 38-35 in front at half time but the third quarter saw the lead exchange hands several times before finishing 51-51.

Both teams made frequent, successful, trips to the free throw line with Sheffield ending with 18 of 24 and Lions 18 of 22.

Marks ended with his team’s top tally and five of ten from the three-point line - which was the reason head coach drafted in the shooting guard after releasing US import Ben Smith just before Christmas.

The former Glasgow Rocks man will now hope to make his home debut at the Copper Box tomorrow (4pm) when Lions face fourth placed Newcastle Eagles and must win in order to not get cut adrift from the top four teams.

Lions Scorers: Marks 19, Brown 14, Freer 9, Knutson 8, Ikhinmwin 7, Martin 6, Sturt 4, Lawson 3, Irish, Margai.

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