The Met office had warned about the likely impending damage that could be caused by storm Brendon but it was a different Brendan – in the guise of former Thunder player Brendon Okoronkwo – who caused most of the harm when Thunder made the relatively short trip along the coast last Saturday to Solent Kestrels where the home side that came out comfortable winners by 98-76 in a rehearsal for the forthcoming BBL Cup quarter-final.
Thunder, missing Dominic Ives, hit the first points of the match to go into a short-lived 3-0 lead and again at 5-2, but Kestrels stormed back with a 19-0 run to find themselves ahead by 16 points at 21-5. Matters did not get any easier for Thunder in the first period after Alex Owumi picked up two early fouls in the first two minutes and then with just a minute and half of the first period to play a further foul on his return to court after having been substituted out. At the first interval Thunder trailed by 12 and by the end of the second period Solent had increased their lead to an unassailable 25 point advantage.
With Owumi in foul trouble and Thunder not having the best of evenings with their shooting from the field hitting only 36% of their attempts, by the end of the third quarter the home side had racked up a 35 point advantage at 85-50. Although Thunder pulled back the deficit winning the last quarter 26 -13 it was Solent who came out fully deserving of their victory. Thunder will no doubt wish to ensure they turn in a more assured performance when Solent come visiting in the BBL Quarter-Final.
And Solent’s own “storm” Brendan ?…. well he racked up a very impressive 17 points and 16 rebounds to go with his 3 assists and 3 steals.
Thunder’s scorers : Cameron Hildreth (21 points); Alex Owumi (13 points); Tom Ward (12 points) ; Zaire Taylor (11 points); AJ Basi and Ishmael Fontaine (8 points); Nick Ballone (3 points)