Top-four finish the target for Worthing Thunder

Worthing Thunder skipper Brendan Okornkwo has his sights set on a top-four finish. Picture by Kyle Hemsley
Worthing Thunder skipper Brendan Okornkwo has his sights set on a top-four finish. Picture by Kyle Hemsley
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After splitting the two games in Newcastle, Worthing Thunder captain Brendan Okoronkwo says that the goal of a top-four finish is still the target.

A short-handed Thunder team defeated Team Newcastle University 95-89 on Saturday with Marquis Mathis exploding for 35 points in a game where neither team enjoyed a lead of more than seven points at any stage.

After enjoying sights in north-east - including the Angel of the North on Sunday - Thunder started horribly against reigning champions Team Northumbria, falling behind by 22 points before eventually levelling the game at 65-65 but dropped to an 88-83 loss.

Okoronkwo, who led Thunder with 24 points and 17 rebounds in the defeat , admitted they can’t continue to make the errors they have been.

However, the goal that was set out at the beginning of the season still remains.

Okoronkwo said: “We did a great job to regroup but in that situation one or two mistakes and you come up short.

“Our goal was to make play-offs first, home court second, then compete for the title.

“We still have seven games to achieve the goals in our control - right now that’s a top-four finish - which is still achievable.”

Thunder were without the injured Luke Attfield this past weekend who was and the departed Aiman Rezk.

So Thunder return to home court this Saturday when they entertain Hemel Storm who, since winning the National Cup last month, have suffered a slight dip in form - losing two of their last three games.

And Okoronkwo believes that Storm’s current form will play a factor in Saturday’s National League battle but is pleased to be making a return home - a place where Thunder have a superb record so far this season.

He said: “We’re a much better team protecting our home court and with Hemel’s recent form after winning the cup, we should have the upper hand going into the weekend.”

Thunder will be aiming to maintain their top-four aspirations on Saturday when they host Hemel at the Worthing Leisure Centre (7.30pm).