Worthing Thunder's long trips before Christmas will make or break their season

Worthing Thunder players in a huddle. Picture by Graham Hodges
Worthing Thunder players in a huddle. Picture by Graham Hodges

Worthing Thunder player-coach Josh Goddard admits that the long trips his side face before the Christmas break will make or break their season.

Thunder remained unbeaten in the National League, division 1 with two wins from two games following an 86-79 win over Reading Rockets on Saturday night.

Granted, the two wins have come against strong opposition, but Goddard knows that the toughest tests are to come, as Worthing will travel up north to face Bradford, Manchester and Nottingham before the year is out.

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And the first of their long distance road trips comes this Saturday, when Worthing head to the midlands to play the Leicester Warriors.

Goddard said: “It’s good to have the majority of our long distance road games early in the season. It will be a tough challenge, especially this early as we are traditionally used to having most of our long road games later on in the season.”

“November and December will be crazy months with pretty much all of our long distance road games happening then, plus a BBL Trophy game against Surrey Scorchers so these next two months will prove our worth as a team.”

The 21-year-old coach also praised the team’s professionalism not just in Saturday’s win over Reading but also this season so far, especially as the team have not all trained together due to injuries and personal issues.

Goddard said: “We got the win over a strong Reading side that are traditionally well prepared. But we really worked hard and that’s due to our professionalism and how well we all know each other’s game.

“It’s been a tricky start for us, behind the scenes but once we get the next couple of weeks out of the way, we have a few more training sessions under our belts, we should be fine.”

But they look likely to be without guard Nick Lewis, who looks to have left Worthing, and is currently training with British Basketball League side, Surrey Scorchers.

After back-to-back 30-point games in the National Trophy, Lewis did not appear in their first two league games of the season against Hemel and Reading.

Surrey Scorchers’ coach Creon Raftopoulos, whose side face Worthing in the BBL Trophy in December, has confirmed that Lewis has trained with the team, but has declined to comment further.

Thunder has said they will issue a statement in due course.

Cordarius Towns exploded for 32 points, eight rebounds and seven blocks as the American lifted Sussex Bears to an 86-71 road win against Ipswich in National League division 2.

Bears raced into a double-digit lead as early as the first quarter and they maintained it throughout, keeping Ipswich at bay whenever they attempted to fight their way back.

James Felstead added 18 points for the Bears.