BASKETBALL ENGLAND DIVISION ONE – 29 FEBRUARY 2020
Worthing Thunder returned from north London on Saturday evening with another two points to contribute to their home-berth play-off battle after a comfortable 20 point victory over Westminster Warriors. In all honesty the score somewhat flattered the home side after Thunder dominated the first three periods of the match leading by as many as 36 points towards the end of the third quarter. It was an inconsistent performance form the visitors with Thunder getting off to a relatively slow start winning the first quarter by just three points (18-21). The second period saw Thunder put their foot on the gas and as the first half ended Thunder were comfortably ahead by 17 points. (53- 36). Things improved significantly for Thunder again in the third quarter when they extended their lead to a massive 32 points (86-54). However, what was to follow in the final period was not one of Worthing’s most accomplished performances. With 4 minutes and 39 seconds of the encounter remaining the visitors were 34 up but in less than four minutes play and after eight turn-overs during a 17-0 run from the home side the advantage had been reduced to just 17 points. Although Thunder were never likely to lose the match they will be disappointed that the margin of victory could have been so much greater.
In essence the game was a scrappy affair. Neither side seemed to be too concerned about taking care of the ball with 48 turnovers between the two teams which generated 56 points (28 for each team). Along with 52 personal fouls and numerous delays between the referees and table officials it was never going to be an easy for either side to generate any rhythm. There were however moments of exceptional basketball from the visitors; Cameron Hildreth knocking down 32 points including one three point basket from an almost horizontal position after being bundled off court by his opponent and some delightful team basketball which created a number of open shots for Thunder. Alex Owumi offered a masterclass of three-point shooting to which the home side had no answer hitting 6 out of 7 shots from beyond the arc.
All-in-all a satisfactory result for Thunder against a side which is often not easy to beat on their home court. Thunder now have a double-header away weekend with trips to Leicester on Saturday and Liverpool on Sunday. Worthing are next in action at home on Saturday 14 March when the visitors will be Nottingham Hoods tip of 7.30 pm
Scorers for Thunder; Cameron Hildreth (32 points); Alex Owumi (23 points); AJ Basi (19 points); Dominic Ives (14 points); Zaire Taylor (9 points); Josh Goddard (6 points); Ishmael Fontaine and James Lloyd (2 points)