Worthing Thunder Basketball Club have began the new year with a bang, with back-to-back victories at the weekend.
Thunder won their first EBL match of the season on Saturday, away to Bristol Academy Flyers, who started the day in third place, 90-74.
They followed that up with a 84-64 victory at home to BBL side Mersey Tigers in the BBL Trophy first round on Sunday. With the victory, Thunder became the first EBL side to ever progress past the first round of the competition.
Bud Johnston led all scorers with 23 points, with Hank Rivers supporting with a double-double of 18 points and 14 rebounds against Mersey.
At Bristol, Johnston top-scored with 22 points and had 10 rebounds, with Rivers adding 16 points.
Thunder coach Daniel Hildreth said: “I am thrilled that these young group of lads have beaten BBL opposition when, at the end of the year, we were bottom of the EBL without a win. It proves that we have never given up hope and good things come to those who wait.
“My goal as coach was for us to be a better side at Christmas from September and we were.
“We have KD (Kadiri Richard) in the team and he has helped us greatly and I can’t thank him enough for what he has done to this organization, and it’s rebounded on the others. Hank’s playing better, Rhys (Francis) has more confidence, Max (Richardson) and Josh (Brown) are learning lots. It’s really fantastic to see.”