Match Report – Thunder vs Essex Rebels Saturday 2nd October written by Dave Marshall ( Voice of the Mic)
Thunder rebel the Rebels!!
Thunders first regular league game started with a visit from the Essex Rebels last Saturday! Having played them the previous weekend and coming away with a big win they went into the game in confident mood!
The game started in exhilarating fashion for the home favourites with Tom Ward running the game. Hitting 20 points in the first 10 minutes the game was fast becoming the “Tom Ward Show”! Having a great season so far he eclipsed previous performances hitting four treys to help Thunder lead by a big 18 points (39-21) at the first break! Backed up by the impressive Hafeez Abdul, Jack Sunderland and the energetic play of Jerrad Dixon the game was put to bed in this first period!
Thunder poured in another 27 points in the second quarter as Essex wilted under the constant pressure of a rampant Thunder! Despite being short-handed for a second week Thunder produced some fantastic basketball to get the supporters on a high – thoughts of what the season holds were becoming a reality! Getting in on the scoring in the second period Kevin Moyo, Ishmael Fontaine and Jerrad Dixon all added treys in another impressive run of play! A half time score of 66-35 was by far the highest seen at the Thunderdome in a long time!
The third period was a more competitive affair as the young Essex team came out determined to put on a good show! Pressurising Thunder they made life tougher for the home favourites as Hafeez and his teammates came under great defensive pressure! It made the game a much more competitive affair despite the outcome never being in doubt! Essex took the quarter by nine points to see Thunder’s lead diminish to 19 at 83-64!
In an even final stanza Thunder were always in control as Hafeez found his shooting range again with three more treys to go with numerous rebounds! Tom Wards scoring slowed after the first period but as always he was a busy player prompting his team to go forward at all times. With big performances from Ishmael,Jack,Jerrad and Kevin the game was Thunders from that incredible beginning! The whole team were subbed as time ran down and the biggest cheer of the night went to Nicholas Ballone who with his first touch of the ball swished another long three pointer to complete the scoring ( 108-91 )!!
Thunder make the long journey to Bradford Dragons this Saturday and are not scheduled to return to the Thunder dome until Sunday 24th tipping 5.00pm when it will be the start of the National Cup! With Zaire Taylor, Howard Crawford and Jorge Ebanks returning to the ranks it is looking good for the season!
Tom Ward 29 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals. Hafeez Abdul 26 points, 15 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals, 1 block.
Ishmael Fontaine 16 points, 2 rebounds.
Jarred Dixon 16 points, 4 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 steal. Jack Sunderland 11 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals.
Kevin Moyo 7 points, 1 rebound, 5 assists.
Nicolas Ballone 3 points.
Dave Marshall (Voice of the Mic)
Mixed Results for Thunder!- Weekend 18th/19th September
Thunders first game in this year’s LLynch Trophy was a tough match up with last season’s holders Solent Kestrels.
Played in front of a big crowd at the Thunderdome Thunder had their illustrious neighbours on the back foot for the first three quarters of the game! Inspired play by Jerrad,Hafeez, Zaire and Tom kept Thunder in the game and Solent were pressed like they hadn’t been for a very long time!
Solent had done their homework and pressured Thunders big man Hafeez right from the start. However until tiring in the last period he had another game to be proud of! Down by seven at the first break Thunder pulled back to just a single digit at the halfway and third quarter breaks!
Thunder took the lead nine times during the game but with Solent continuing to batter Hafeez and Jarred the fourth period proved to much as the visitors outscored the home favourites by 28-16 to take victory in a game (78-91) that was much closer than the score suggests! With the arrival of Thunders second American next time could be a lot closer!
Jarred Dixon 26 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 steals, Hafeez Abdul 20 points, 15 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals.
Jack Sunderland 9 points, 4 rebounds, 1 steal.
Tom Ward 9 points, 3 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals. Zaire Taylor 9 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal. Kevin Moyo 5 points 2 assists.
Ishmael Fontaine 1 assist, 2 blocks.
Thunders game on Sunday was away in London against the young Lions team that they had beaten a week earlier in the Taylor Classic!
After struggling against the young Lions in the first period (14-17) the Thunder stormed back to take the game easily! Winning quarters two and three by 23-9 @ 32-23 the game as a contest was over in the fourth stanza!
Jarred again led from the front and again with Hafeez having a commanding role in both attack and defence it was to be an easier afternoon than the night before. Leading the scorers however was Tom playing all forty minutes with outstanding team play showing again what an asset to the club he is.
An enthusiastic showing by Jack was ably backed up by Ishmael as Thunder cruised the fourth period allowing the bench to have a run out. Victory by twenty points was no more than Thunder deserved and it was a happy Thunder as they returned to the South Coast.
Tom Ward 22 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals. Jarred Dixon 17 points, 2 rebounds, 1 block.
Hafeez Abdul 14 points, 13 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal, 1 block.
Jack Sunderland 12 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists. Zaire Taylor 10 points, 7 rebounds.
Ishmael Fontaine 8 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists. Daniel Beard 3 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist.
Kevin Moyo 2 points 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal. Nick Ballone 2 points.
Thunder return to action next Saturday with an away game at Essex Rebels for Thunders final group game in the LLynch Trophy! A win will put Thunder through to the knock out stages! Thunders next home game is on 2nd October when Essex visit the Thunderdome in the opening league fixture! The game tips off at 7.30 pm and tickets are now available through the normal sources!
DAVE MARSHALL (WORTHING THUNDER BASKETBALL CLUB)