ABOUT TO GO IN enjoys covering the NBL and so want to shine light on teams who did well last weekend. Worthing Thunder came back with a vengeance against Westminster Warriors, winning 90-86, before taking on Reading Rockets to secure a double win of their weekend, finishing 70-68. To stay up-to-date with all the action, catch up with their game highlights above, as well as the game reports below.
SATURDAY 7TH NOVEMBER 2015
WORTHING THUNDER VS WESTMINSTER WARRIORS
THUNDER GOT THE JOB DONE AGAINST WESTMINSTER WINNING 90-86
Worthing Thunder defeated Westminster Warriors 90-86 in a National Basketball League, Division 1 clash at the Worthing Leisure Centre on Saturday night.
Tom Ward led Thunder with 22 points and seven rebounds, which was matched by American James Cambronne on his home debut, but it was Ward who guided Thunder home with his three-pointer that gave the hosts a 90-84 cushion with 11 seconds remaining.
It was a nervy last few minutes, but coach Daniel Hildreth was glad with the win.
“We battled hard and I’m pleased with the overall performance and victory,” Hildreth said.
“We became a little too comfortable with our lead I think and we let a strong and well coached Westminster side back into it but when we were faced with pressure, we responded brilliantly.”
“We pulled through down the stretch and played as a unit to grind the win out,” Cambronne, who claimed Barkers Tarring MVP honours in the win added.
“Credit to the opposition who made it tough throughout but we really came together when it mattered most and that was the most important thing.”
Jon Johnson led Westminster with 26 points and 14 rebounds.
After an even first few minutes, where the scores were tied at 8-8, Worthing began to take charge as a bucket from Brendan Okoronkwo followed by a three from Louis Allen gave the hosts a 13-8 cushion.
The Warriors then showed signs of life as the first quarter came to a close, but Thunder held a 17-15 lead, heading into the second.
The visitors were the stronger of the two sides at the start, as they raced out to a 24-19 lead with two minutes of the second period played on the back of a bucket by player/coach Julius Joseph.
Turnovers though proved to be the Warriors’ undoing as the second quarter progressed. Worthing were pushing the ball in transition and as a result, raced out to a seven-point lead on the back of a jumper along the baseline by Tomas Seduikis.
The visitors though narrowed the gap towards the half, but Thunder still had a 38-33 lead at the half.
Westminster narrowed the gap further to four points at the start of the third, before Thunder started to accelerate away from their London rivals with a mixture of easy buckets and solid team defence. An 11-0 run extended the hosts’ lead to 59-44 before the Warriors responded again.
The quarter belonged to Worthing though; they had a comfortable 70-53 lead after three periods.
Worthing maintained their double-digit advantage for the first four minutes of the fourth quarter before the Warriors brought it back to single digits thanks to a basket by Joseph.
The Warriors set up a nervy last minute for Thunder by cutting the deficit to just three points, but Ward sealed victory with a clutch triple to give Worthing a boost of confidence ahead of the trip to Reading the following day in the National Trophy.
SATURDAY 8TH NOVEMBER 2015
WORTHING THUNDER VS READING ROCKETS
WORTHING EDGE ROCKETS TO SET UP HOME TIE IN NEXT ROUND OF TROPHY
Worthing Thunder finished second in their National Trophy southern group after beating Reading Rockets 70-68 at the Rivermead Leisure Complex on Sunday afternoon.
The win means that Worthing will have a home tie in the next round of the Trophy as they face Team Northumbria, whereas Reading will face a tough away fixture against the Lancashire Spinners.
James Cambronne capped off a good weekend by leading Thunder with 25 points and Tom Ward adding 15 as they led for large chunks against a Reading side, heavily tipped to be contending for titles this season.
“Again, it was another test of character in the fourth quarter that was required, and we came up with the goods,” Worthing coach Daniel Hildreth explained. “I’m so pleased with the efforts of all the guys this weekend. A true team who want to win for each other.”
Thunder, led by Ward and Cambronne started strongly and raced out to 20-13 lead after the first, but the hosts replied to lead by as many as seven in the second.
Despite the mini blip, Worthing came back at both sides could not be separated at the half, with both sides tied at 31-31.
Reading executed better to start the third and held a 48-41 lead with 4:08 left but Thunder finished the quarter on a 10-2 to hold a slim 51-50 lead, heading into the final period.
Worthing though had more fight and determination in them, and in a relatively close encounter, edged out their Berkshire rivals.
Credit to Ben Henwood, Worthing Thunder | Game reports written by John Swiss Hobbs, Worthing Thunder | Photography by John and Andre Nichols