NATE Reinking showed a touch of real class to lift Sheffield Sharks out of their losing streak last night against Worcester Wolves at the EIS.
In a match where both teams seemed intent on letting the other take the victory, Reinking displayed all the qualities that have made him a regular in the Great Britain squad. The 38-year-old scored 13 points in the final quarter, including the winning basket with 1.2 second remaining, to give Sharks a much needed confidence boost.
In truth Sheffield’s overall play barely deserved the dramatic climax. Their first half show was as bad a performance as there has been from a Sharks team.
They trailed 22-18 after the first quarter and an early 9-0 Wolves run in the second period helped the visitors take a 42-32 lead into the interval.
Sharks trailed by as many as 14 (58-44) in the third quarter before heading into the final period down 60-47.
However, with Wolves slowly self-combusting through a combination of indiscipline and poor shot selection the Sharks gradually fought their way back.
Reinking scored six points and Jimmy Langhurst three in a 9-0 run to tie the score at 66-66 before Olu Babalola gave Sharks their first lead at 71-70 since a 5-3 advantage early in the match.
Two free throws by Amas Kazlauskas and one from Carlos Fernandez put Wolves back on top before Reinking drove to the basket for a three-point play.
The impressive Richie Gordon gave Wolves a 75-74 lead with seven seconds remaining before Reinking again got to the hoop and saw his scoop shot balance on the edge of the basket before falling through for the win.
n SHARKS: Reinking 25, Dobbins 16, Langhurst 14, Babalola 9, Lyons 6, Tuck 6.