Slow start proves costly for Thunder

Tom Ward led Worthing Thunder with 21 points in their defeat to Team Northumbria on Sunday
Tom Ward led Worthing Thunder with 21 points in their defeat to Team Northumbria on Sunday
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WORTHING THUNDER Basketball Club lost the second match of their weekend in the north east away to Team Northumbria on Sunday.

A light-handed Worthing side could not build on Saturday’s win at Tees Valley, as they fell behind early in the first quarter to a well-drilled Northumbria side.

Tom Ward led Thunder with 21 points but coach Daniel Hildreth admitted that his side struggled to find their rhythm throughout.

He said: “Unfortunately it was a case of digging ourselves a hole that we couldn’t get out of.

“We knew that offensive discipline was required but we struggled to get into any kind of flow and we were flat on defence.

“I was really proud of the effort shown by my guys after a poor start, which is a test of character for the team this year.”

Not being able to score for the first four minutes plus falling behind 11-0 to start, Thunder were on the back foot straight away and a dunk by new American signing James Cambronne at least put them on the scoreboard.

However, Team Northumbria were executing at both ends and they had a commanding 29-9 lead after one quarter.

Worthing managed to play better team basketball in the second quarter, as they settled into their routine, but so did the hosts and despite Thunder’s scoring attack in steady flow, Northumbria managed to build on their lead to 48-26 at half-time.

The visitors looked visibly tired but pressed on as they attempted to find a way through a stubborn Team Northumbria defensive line but it was to no avail as the hosts won by 16 points.

Thunder entertain Westminster Warriors in the league on Saturday, before they travel to Reading Rockets for their final National Trophy South Group match on Sunday. Both teams have already qualified for the quarter-finals.

Hildreth feels a tough weekend lies in wait and said: “We lost at Westminster in our first game of the season.

“We did quite well that day and had a lead of around 20 at one stage. Unfortunately, we could not hold out but I think we have a good chance on Saturday.

“Sunday’s clash with Reading now has added importance, with the winner gaining a home quarter-final tie. Everyone wants a home tie in a knock-out competiton, so, hopefully, we can beat Reading and set-up a home clash.”

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