Heat Unbeaten at Home
15 October 2012
The Surrey Heat maintained their 100% home record with a comfortable 79-63 defeat of the visiting Sheffield Sharks. Having defeated the Sharks two weeks ago up in Sheffield, the Heat also sealed the season series with one game left to go. The Heat’s victory was built on solid defence and a dominant fourth quarter when they turned a close game into a blowout with a 26-11 performance. Such was the Heat’s dominance that the Sharks only managed to make into double figures for the final quarter with a three-pointer in the last minute.
However, it was a different game for the first three quarters as the Heat struggled to put away a competitive Sharks team. Each time the Heat threatened to make a move, the Sharks pegged them back, leaving the Heat with a two point lead at half time and a one point lead going into the final quarter.
The Heat’s primary woes were on the offensive end, as they struggled to put together any meaningful runs. Going into the final quarter, the Heat were provided with a spark off the bench from Albert Margai, who hit a pair of three-pointers to get the Heat going. That gave the Heat a five point cushion at 59-54 and they were still ahead by four, 61-57, when the Sharks called timeout with six minutes to go.
That, perhaps, was their mistake, since it allowed the Heat to regroup. Martelle McLemore got the Heat going with a free-throw, then Sam Cricelli, who battled hard all game, but who had a poor shooting night, scored a crucial basket as he drove to the basket. It was his only field goal of the game, to go with his eight rebounds, but put the Heat ahead by seven, 66-57. At the other end, Peter Simek stole the ball and Chavis Holmes hit Martelle with an inch-perfect pass for a fast-break layup to put the Heat up nine. Gage Daye pulled one back with a free-throw, but Sharks coach Atiba Lyons did his side no favours by picking up a technical.
Heat captain, Julius Joseph, made both free-throws to put the Heat ahead by ten and from the ensuing inbounds, Martelle completed a three-point play to make it 71-58. Chavis Holmes then drove to the basket by blowing past his man on the three-point line and sliding past two more Sharks defenders as if they weren’t there to lay the ball in the basket. Another Martelle three-point play came after he stole the ball and went coast-to-coast for a layup and Sam Cricelli finished things off with a free-throw after Chavis Holmes had blocked Daye’s jump shot.
That capped a 16-1 run and put the Heat ahead 77-58 with under two minutes to go. Coach Creon emptied his bench and the Heat coasted home, 79-63.
The Heat were led by Martelle McLemore’s season-high 25 points to go with his seven rebounds. Chavis Holmes added 13 points, six assists and four steals, while Frank Holmes had a double-double of 10 points and 12 rebounds, all gained while playing on a dodgy ankle. Julius Joseph added nine points, as did Albert Margai who hit three of four three-pointers. The Sharks were led by Olu Babalola’s 15 points and eight rebounds, while Gage Daye had nine points, eight assists and seven steals.
The Heat now prepare for the visit of the Glasgow Rocks on Sunday 21st October 3 o’clock tip-off at the Surrey Sports Park.
Surrey Heat 79 (16, 35, 53)
Sheffield Sharks 63 (14, 33, 52)