IN the circumstances it was one of Sheffield Sharks best performances this season.
Without the services of guard Jimmy Langhurst, who is awaiting a working visa, and big man Justin Dobbins, who is suffering from back spasms, the Sharks turned in an excellent overall team effort to easily beat Cheshire Jets 90-77 on Friday night at the EIS.
With only six players available the experienced core of Atiba Lyons, Olu Babalola, Mike Tuck and Nate Reinking coaxed a combined 60 minutes of excellence out of youngsters Zach Gachette and Colin Sing.
Reinking set the tone early in the match as his back-to-back three-pointers started a 12-0 run up to the end of the first quarter, which put Sharks 26-16 in front. Jets proved hard to shake off in the second quarter as the impressive Adam Brown and Bill Cole kept the visitors within range.
However, Reinking was proving almost unstoppable as he scored 10 of Sheffield’s last 13 points in the half to give Sharks a 52-40 lead.
Babalola and Gachette took over the scoring in the third quarter. The latter worked the baseline well to find space for several easy lay ups and Babalola stemmed a mini-Jets comeback by claiming the final five points of the quarter to keep Sheffield in control at 73-62.
A Sing free throw, a three-point play from Tuck and a two from Tuck gave Sharks the best possible start to the fourth quarter.
Jets responded with a 7-0 burst to make it 79-69 but brilliant play from Lyons to pull down two offensive rebounds set up Gachette to give Sharks breathing room to see the match through.
SHARKS: Babalola 27, Reinking 25, Gachette 13, Lyons 13, Tuck 9, Sing 3.