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SMITH STARS FOR TEESSIDE AT SHEFFIELD
Sheffield Elite Academy IV
Teesside Lions Men
Saturday 18th March|
Teesside Lions unbeaten continues following a win on the road at Sheffield Elite.
The 22pt victory is the club’s 15th league win of the season and with one more league game prior to the play-offs, the opportunity to remain undefeated is a realistic goal and one all of the players are motivated to achieve.
Lions took just 8 players to Sheffield due to injury, but the core of the team was strong enough to overpower a resilient home side led by new American Mike Harris who hit a whopping 42pts, more than half of the Sheffield total.
The flow of the game was such that fouls were becoming a real concern. Lions American Aaren Smith picked up his second foul in the fifth minute of the first quarter meaning he was withdrawn to protect him from any further fouls early in the game.
Harris hit 15pts in the first quarter but was subdued in the second period by hard denial from Eddie Matthew. He had two points during the first seven minutes until Matthew collected his second foul and had to switch.
Teesside found themselves down 23-17 at the end of the first quarter, but came back much stronger in the second 217-30 to not only recover the deficit but take a 5pt lead into half time.
While the Lions struggled to connect the target from distance in the earl stages, they began to sharpen their focus as they progressed, hitting six 3’s by half time.
Luke Mitchell was extremely focussed with his grandmother in the crowd watching him contribute 12 assists and 25pts including seven 3’s.
Aaren Smith was another Teesside star and mid way through the third quarter rose high for a 210 degree dunk, one of five in the game on his way to a solid 27pts. The second half was complete dominance from Teesside both inside and out. The Lions hit a total of 13 3’s and scored an impressive 59pts in the second half.
The MVP was another contest between Eddy Matthew, Aaren Smith & Luke Mitchell, with Smith edging the honour yet again. To have a minimum three players in contention almost every game is a great indication of how strong the Teesside squad is and how well their chemistry is working.
Sheffield Elite 84-106 Teesside Lions
Sheffield: Harris 42, Matwe 17
Teesside Smith 27, Mitchell 25, Matthew 24, Hughes 17, Hylands 10
Teesside now prepare for their final league game away to sixth placed Sunderland, looking to finalise their undefeated season and enter the playoffs in confident mood.