Basketball: Myers in moment of magic

Manchester Giants 85 Sheffield Sharks 87

BRINGING THE league championship down to their last game of the season was not enough for the Sharks and the Giants. Terrell Myers took it to the very last second yesterday, slotting home an 18ft jump-shot to land Sheffield the title in front of 11,143 fans at the MEN Arena.

Myers sold the sweetest fake to two Manchester defenders before launching his shot and he was buried by team-mates, the coach, Chris Finch, and the bench players before the ball had barely swished through the net.

But the 25-year-old from New Haven, Connecticut, was on familiar territory. Last season his final-second shot won the League Trophy for Sheffield. This time he added the league title to the National Cup they won in January to repeat Sheffield's double of 1995.

"I said to Travis [Conlan] in the locker-room before the game, `Give me the ball and I'll win it.' If I get the ball I always believe I am going to hit the shot. I was as good as my word," Myers said.

Although the championship has been settled before in the final game, never in league history have the two prospective champions faced each other in their last fixture with the title still in the balance.

Sheffield should have clinched it last weekend but nerves at the free- throw line cost them an 84-81 defeat at struggling Chester Jets. That gave Manchester a second chance after their title hopes appeared to fade with the previous weekend's defeat against London Towers.

Finch, the first person to win the league as a player and a coach with the Sharks' in 1995, said: "We've come through a tough week but we brought it down to the last shot. It's ended up being a fantastic week."

But nerves stiffened the shooting fingers. Sheffield hit just two out of 12 three-point attempts in the first quarter as the teams struggled to score at even 30 per cent from open play.

When John White opened the scoring with a three for Manchester it proved to be the biggest lead of the first quarter, before Myers and Kevin St Kitts also swapped three-pointers to tie the first quarter at 17-17.

Incredibly, Giants never led again as the Sharks reverted to their slower game to exert a tenuous, but what proved to be unshakeable, control.

They led by eight and nine points in the third and as many as 10 in the fourth, but the Giants always hit back. Whenever big-name stars White or Tony Dorsey hit the spectacular shot, Sheffield's blue-collar workers, Todd Cauthorn, Iain McKinney and Michael Payne, responded.

Before his winning shot, Myers made a play to break the hearts of the majority of fans in the second biggest crowd to watch a basketball game in England. With the Sharks clinging to an 84-83 lead, he missed a three- point attempt but then raced back to block a shot by St Kitts.

Peter Scantlebury, choosing this game to become the first player to make 500 league appearances, scored one free throw to give Sheffield an 85- 83 lead before Dorsey tied the game from the line.

Then, from an inbounds ball with just three-and-a-half seconds left on the clock, Myers took the pass then made time stand still to give the title to Sheffield.

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Living for the moment: Julianne Moore playing Alzheimer’s sufferer Alice
Jay Z
businessJay-Z's bid for Spotify rival could be blocked
The spider makes its break for freedom
A propaganda video shows Isis forces near Tikrit
voicesAdam Walker: The Koran has violent passages, but it also has others that explicitly tells us how to interpret them
Ashley Young celebrates the winner for Manchester United against Newcastle
footballNewcastle v United player ratings
Arts and Entertainment
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: 1st Line Customer Support Technician

£15000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Waterlooville based softwa...

Ashdown Group: C# Developer - (C#, VB.Net, SQL, Git, TDD)

Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Developer (C#, VB & ASP.Net, SQL Server, TSQL) - Pe...

Recruitment Genius: Associate Sales Consultant

£16000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Associate Sales Consultant i...

Recruitment Genius: Operations Manager

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Well established and expanding ...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot