Basketball: Sharks 81 Durham Wildcats 67

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It was just like old times for the Sharks as they held off a tough Durham Wildcats last night at the EIS.

With point guard BJ Holmes returning to the club the performance was in the same vein as last season’s excellent second half to the campaign.

Not that it has been a slow start to this year. The victory was Sharks fifth of the season and sees them keeping pace with the early pace-setters in the BBL.

However, Holmes gives them something a bit extra and he didn’t let the Sharks fans down with a top-class personal display of 19 points, eight assists and six rebounds to shepherd his team past a battling Durham.

The Texan’s first contribution was a neat pass for an assist but then he strung five points together as Sharks levelled at 10-10.

A three from skipper Mike Tuck helped Sharks lead 20-16 at the end of the first quarter and a 10-2 burst to open the second period put Sheffield fully in control.

Leading 32-25 at half time Sharks lead in the third quarter peaked at 51-38 on two Tuck free throws.

Durham took some work to shake off and whittled Sharks 59-48 advantage back to 65-59.

But after a time-out Sheffield looked more composed and eventually broke free with Holmes draining four free throws in a row after the Wildcats were penalised for a foul and a technical foul for dissent.

It made it a 10 point lead again - stretched to 14 by the end, which was only slightly flattering to the Sharks.

“It’s feels like I’ve never been away,” said Holmes.

“The new guys have taken me in straight away and it’s good to see everyone from last season. It feels good to be wanted.”

Sharks: Tuck 21, Simmons 20, Holmes 19, Babalola 14, Horstmann 5, Cook 2.