After a weekend break without a match Worthing Thunder returned to action on Saturday with an impressive victory against third-placed Hemel Storm.

Whatever the players did on their week off it certainly paid dividends. Thunder were as dominant and determined 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.

Thunder scored the opening basket in short-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 Hemel simply could not keep pace with the home side. By the end of the first quarter Thunder were ahead by 10 and an impressive second quarter (31-16) saw the home side go to the locker room with a handsome 25 point lead (52-27). Cameron 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.10 steals by the home side (5 from Zaire Taylor) and 17 points from turn-overs for Thunder before the break did not help Storm but their downfall was more to do the home side’s intensive defence rather than the visitor’s carelessness with the ball.

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

Thunder still find themselves in seventh position 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 on Saturday, a home berth in the play-offs will almost certainly be on the cards.

Scorers for Thunder ; Cameron Hildreth (26 points and 12 rebounds); Zaire Taylor (17 points); AJ Basi (17 points); Alex Owumi (15 points and 10 rebounds); Dominic Ives (6 points); Ishmael Fontaine (5 points); James Lloyd (4 points); Josh Goddard (2 points)