THE Jets welcome Newcastle Eagles to the Northgate Arena tonight for a big BBL quarter-final clash (5.30pm) on the back of a comprehensive defeat which ended their four-game winning run in all competitions.
Paul Smith’s side were very much in Friday night’s BBL showdown in the Steel City until the Sharks served up a devastating third-period performance.
Boasting a 52-42 advantage going into half-time, Sharks player-coach Atiba Lyons chose to send out a smaller line-up after the restart – and his decision reaped stunning benefits as his side opened up a 31-point lead going into the final passage of play.
Rookie point guard Paul Peterson (24), Colin O’Reilly (22) – who also took 11 rebounds – and Frank Phifer (11) scored the lion’s share of the points for the Jets, who, to their credit, fought back in the fourth period. But by then the damage had already been done.
Lyons said: “The Jets made a great run in the fourth and credit to them for doing so. They brought it back to 18 points with six minutes left, so there was definitely everything to play for.”