Worthing Thunder have mixed weekend in league and cup

Worthing Thunder in action. Picture courtesy of Graham Hodges.
Worthing Thunder in action. Picture courtesy of Graham Hodges.

It was a mixed weekend for Worthing Thunder as they solidified second place in the National League but bowed out of the National Cup.

Thunder maintained their perfect record at the Worthing Leisure Centre this season with a 104-85 win over Barking Abbey Crusaders on Saturday night.

Following a closely-fought first quarter, Worthing pulled clear in the second period by blitzing a young Barking Abbey side with 41 points en route to their fourth win out of four in all competitions at home.

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The result of Thunder’s second quarter explosion saw them turn a 22-17 lead after the first into a 63-41 advantage at the half.

From there, Thunder never relinquished their double-digit cushion, as they took advantage of 20 Barking Abbey turnovers, scoring 20 points off those giveaways

The comfortable win also gave player-coach Josh Goddard the luxury of rotating his players, and giving his starting five enough rest.

Tom Ward led six Worthing in double figures with 20 points, which included five three-pointers with the team shooting 44 percent. Alex Owumi added 16 and Brendan Okoronkwo amassed 15 to go with seven rebounds.

However, Worthing’s joy was short-lived as they were eliminated from the National Cup, following a 95-83, quarter-final loss to Hemel Storm.

Despite taking a 48-42 lead at the half, Thunder were only able to score nine points in the third quarter as Hemel took a 74-57 cushion, heading into the final ten minutes.

Thunder battled but the deficit was too much in the end, Zaire Taylor led all scorers with 33 points, but only three of those points were in the second half.