Worthing Thunder's super six overcome old foes Reading
Worthing Thunder's final game of 2021 saw them travel to old foes Reading Rockets on Sunday.
A mixture of injuries, illness and unavailability left Thunder with just six players. The first quarter saw Jarred Dixon, Zaire Taylor, Howard Crawford, Lucien Christofis and Ishmael Fontaine on the floor with Kevin Moyo on the bench.
Thunder were phenomenal in the first ten minutes. The scoring mounted quickly and at the end of the quarter it was the visitors who held a commanding lead at 33-14.
Dixon had the range for shooting early and Crawford was impressive in his battle with Reading' s big man on the boards. Taylor was looking every inch the brains of the operation, showing why he has had such a great career.
The second period again saw confidence oozing from the Thunder, although the period was much tighter. Fontaine and Moyo came into the game, scoring at regular intervals, to keep Thunders ahead, 31-50, at the break.
The third period saw Christofis running relentlessly at the Rockets defence. The magnificent Dixon led all scorers and Crawford was heading for a double/double in a 40 minute performance of steady defence.
Although Rockets took the quarter by a point, things were looking good for Thunder. With just ten minutes left Thunder's lead was still a big 20 points at 49-69.
The final stanza saw a bit of fatigue hitting on the players. The lead dropped to six as the game went deep into the final minutes. But, as has been shown many times this season, Thunder have the will to win.
It was a great all-round performance from coach Julian Stanley's magnificent six as Thunder won by 10 points. The win puts Thunder two points clear at the top of the league.
The players now have nearly three weeks to get back to full fitness before they visit Essex Rebels. The Thunder's next home game is against Bradford Dragons on January 15.
Thunder scorers: Jarred Dixon - 31 points, 10 rebounds, four assists, three steals; Zaire Taylor - 23 points, four rebounds, six assists, four steals; Howard Crawford - 12 points, 10 rebounds, two assists, two steals, two blocks; Lucien Christofis - 12 points, three assists, two steals; Kevin Moyo - seven points, four rebounds, one steal; Ishmael Fontaine - seven points, three rebounds, two assists, one steal.