BASKETBALL: Nate fillip for Sharks

Sheffield Sharks v Cheshire Jets EIS Sheffield. 'Nate Reinking on the ball
Sheffield Sharks v Cheshire Jets EIS Sheffield. 'Nate Reinking on the ball

SHEFFIELD Sharks guard Jimmy Langhurst says the return to fitness of Nate Reinking has given the club a perfect boost as the Play-offs draw closer.

Reinking played nearly 17 minutes in the Sharks 79-73 win over Durham Wildcats on Friday night at the EIS scoring six points with two trademark shots from beyond the three-point line.

And while the 38-year-old Great Britain international is still battling the effects of a knee injury picked up in the 86-67 defeat at Newcastle Eagles on January 20, his presence in the Sheffield rotation is enough for Langhurst to say it is a critical moment for the Sharks.

He said: “It’s all about getting prepared for the play-offs right now. It’s about getting some momentum going. That’s what we’re trying to get into with sorting our rotations out. We have some bodies now, that we’ve never had during the season so that should work to our advantage.

“It’s an adjustment. We have three games left in the season, then the play-offs. Minutes may go down but you have to adjust and still give it 110 per cent.”

As well as Reinking’s return the Sharks have also resolved their long-running issue with the BBL over loan payments to the league, which has allowed player-coach Atiba Lyons to make himself available for action once again.

Langhurst says it is now a matter of the entire squad accepting their roles and making the most of whoever is most in-form.

He said: “The key is gelling together. If we can get a good rhythm going with the guards and an inside-outside game. Mike Tuck is playing phenomenal right now, so we have to ride that horse.”

Tuck’s 24-points led the Sharks against Durham in what was a scrappy performance. For Langhurst, though, it was all about getting the win and playing for the first time with fellow Ohioans Reinking and Ryan Patton.

He said: “We knew they (Durham) weren’t going to give up. It was a good hard-fought game, and although we didn’t play our A-game, it’s in the (win) column now.”