Thunder returned to Worthing Leisure Centre on Sunday following their trip to Essex and Herts Leopards to face Division 2 side Ipswich Basketball in the second round of the National Cup.
This is a competition in which Thunder have not enjoyed too much success over the last few seasons and the home side were keen to ensure that they made some good progress in the tournament against lower league opposition. The competition rules preclude Division one teams playing with more than one American player against lower league opposition and as such Alex Owumi sat out the match in favour of Zaire Taylor.
In essence this was not one of Thunder’s better performances turning the ball over 17 times and shooting less than 45% from field goals. Nevertheless Thunder worked hard in a game which was close throughout the first three quarters. It was the visitors who finished ahead in the first quarter 27 – 26 and at half time the teams were still separated by just a single point with Thunder heading into the locker room with the slenderest of leads (48-47). By the end of the third period the game was still anybody’s to win with the home side leading 66-63. The damage was done for the visitors however in the last stanza when Thunder imposed their presence on Ipswich and, but for a 10 point unanswered run buy the visitors late on, the victory margin would have been more significant than the eventual 83-77 final score.
Thunder scorers : Tom Ward (20 points); Cameron Hildreth (18 points & 10 rebounds); Zaire Taylor (17 points and 10 rebounds); AJ Basi (10 points); Oberon Lacroix (6 points); Dominic Ives, Kayne King and Ishmael Fontaine (all 4 points)