By Ryan Gillham
Durham saw themselves trying to play catch up throughout a lacklustre game against winless side Sheffield Sharks at the Sheffield Institute of Sport Arena.
Head coach Elderkin and his team were looking to take maximum points on the road after a mixed start to the season but with new additions to the roster Mike Baldarelli and Andrew Keister both in the starting five the Durham side had all intentions taking the W back to the Newton Aycliffe.
The Wildcats opened up the game with Keister putting his first points on the board but that lead was to be short lived after the Sharks made 2/2 from the free throw line and Gage Daye making a bright start creating the first gap of the game at 7-2.
Durham started like they recently did against local rivals Newcastle Eagles as they failed to hit the outside shot causing little damage to Sheffield. Micah Williams soon introduced himself into the game for the Sharks opening up the lead with consecutive threes to make it an 11-point ball game as the first ended 19-8.
The second started the way it ended in the first for the Wildcats with Sheffield taking advantage of many second chance opportunities with some woeful rebounding by Durham. With the score line at 25-9, head coach Elderkin called for a time out before introducing Odiba Attah for his first appearance of the season.
Attah soon made an impact in the game by producing a long range three but it didn’t make an impression on the Sharks as Michael Tuck and Daye created the magic for Sheffield with a dominant offence as the score stood 44-23, with Wildcats guard Guinane beating the buzzer at the end of the second.
It was a fast and furious start to the third for both sides but the Wildcats looked the stronger of the two after the break with Attah controlling the tempo and scoring an early jumper.
The Sharks soon reacted to the change in the Durham team when Williams came up trumps from three point range to extend the lead again by 21 points with the score at 59-38.
Durham struggled to keep up with their positive start as the tempo started to slow when they looked for the outside shot once again but it failed to fall with the Wildcats only shooting 27% from behind the arc as the third ended 63-44 in the Sharks favour.
Baldarelli entered the fourth in great fashion nailing the opening shot from behind the three point line before scoring again from three to take the Wildcats over the half century mark but once again the positive shooting wasn’t to last long with Babalola and Williams seeing out the game for the Sharks as the final buzzer went with the score at 74-58.
Game M.V.P – Micah Williams (Sheffield Sharks); his offensive ability was too tough to control, as he scored 21 points, 7 rebounds and 1 steal for the home side.
Wildcats – Brad Guinane; 12 points and 4 rebounds.
Sheffield Sharks – Micah Williams; 21 points and 7 rebounds.