Captain's praise as Worthing Thunder keep up pressure in title race

Brendan Okoronkwo. Picture: Kyle Hemsley
Brendan Okoronkwo. Picture: Kyle Hemsley

Skipper Brendan Okoronkwo saluted Worthing Thunder’s ‘key’ victory as they kept up the pressure on National League Division 1 leaders Team Solent Kestrels.

Second-placed Thunder were 92-76 winners over Thames Valley Cavaliers in their first fixture after the Christmas break on Saturday.

Captain Okoronkwo scored 27 points, four assists and two steals, seeing him named Barkers of Tarring player of the match.

Jorge Ebanks with 18 points and eight assists, Zaire Taylor 16 points and Alex Owumi with 15 points all supported Okoronkwo superbly.

And the Thunder skipper hailed the victory, which left them two points behind leaders Solent.

He said: “This was a key win for us to keep pressure on the race for first, while giving us breathing room on the teams below.

“The week off after a great performance against Surrey gave us some added rest, energy and real belief we can handle any obstacle we come up against as a unit.”

Cavaliers started the first quarter the stronger and finished at the break three points up (23-20).

Thunder’s second quarter performance set up the victory after a 29-17 run and the home team went into the locker room 49-40 ahead.

Worthing never looked back for the remainder of the game and despite some good attacking play from the visitors, the home team finished the match comfortable winners by 16 points. Player-coach Josh Goddard feels Thunder are improving each week.

He said: “Although we were shorthanded this week, I feel that the team stepped up as a whole. The promising development from the last couple of games is that we are now playing a complete team game with players playing for each other.”

Thunder travel to third-placed Reading Rockets for a key clash on Sunday.

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