Worthing Thunder stand in the way of Storm to overcome high-flying Hemel

Cameron Hildreth. Picture: Kyle Hemsley
Cameron Hildreth. Picture: Kyle Hemsley

Worthing Thunder returned to action after a weekend break with an impressive 92-64 victory against National League Division 1 third-placed side Hemel Storm.

Whatever the players did during their time away from the court certainly paid dividends.

Thunder were as dominant and determined against Hemel as they were disappointing and disjointed in their previous two matches. No doubt the return of Barkers of Tarring man of the match Cameron Hildreth helped the cause.

But there is no doubt this was a much-improved performance from the home side with intensive defending, aggressive attacking and court wide, quick passing which thoroughly entertained a packed home crowd boosted by a significant following from Hemel.

Worthing scored the opening basket in quick time and they lead from tip to buzzer, eventually seeing off the visitors by a margin of 28 points.

Normally, games between these two teams are fairly evenly matched but on this occasion Storm simply could not keep pace with the home side.

By the end of the first quarter, Thunder were ahead by ten and an impressive second quarter (31-16) saw Worthing go to the locker room with a handsome 25-point advantage (52-27).

Hildreth, returning to the team after missing the last game, was particularly influential in the first half with his tireless work and ability to weave his way through the Hemel defence.

Thunder recorded ten steals, five of which came from Zaire Taylor, and 17 points from turnover before the break.

That did not help Storm but their downfall was more to do with the home side’s intensive defence rather than the visitors' carelessness with the ball.

After the break, Thunder continued to exert pressure on Hemel and at the end of the third they enjoyed a 28-point lead, a gap which would not be recovered by Storm.

Thunder still find seventh in the league but there are now just two points between them and fourth place with a number of matches yet to be played between the top sides.

If Worthing see the remainder of the season out with the same quality of performance as they demonstrated against Hemel, a home berth in the play-offs will almost certainly be on the cards.