WORTHING Thunder Basketball Club made it three successive league wins with victory away to Bradford Dragons on Saturday.
Leading 72-54 after three quarters, Thunder were pegged back to 80-80 with a minute left and once Bradford had their noses in front, Worthing, with only seven players as Brendan Okoronkwo and John Wilkins did not travel, looked to have lost their comfortable lead and the match.
A vital block from Tomas Seduikis found Milton Chavis and as he crossed halfway, he launched a Hail Mary three-point attempt with two ticks left and the ball nestled into the basket to give the visitors a deserved win on the buzzer.
Thunder coach Daniel Hildreth said: “We were obviously in a tough position before even starting the game with only seven guys, so I had to adjust the game plan slightly.
“It was our defence that got the job done for 33 minutes as we held an 18-point lead but Bradford put on some runs mainly due to fatigue that allowed them back into the game but we stuck to the task and the emotion of being in complete control to potentially losing was crazy.
“I said to the guys afterwards how proud I was, especially us being undermanned as we were. Everyone played a important role in the win.”
Chavis hit five three-pointers on his way to 25 points. The rookie American also pulled down 11 rebounds. Louis Allen hit 18 points and Hank Rivers added 17 points and got 15 rebounds.
Worthing led for the majority of the first half after edging the first ten minutes 18-17. The visitors then pulled away for a 42-35 advantage at half-time.
Thunder then ran rampant in the third quarter and built what looked to be a comfortable 72-54 lead after three quarters.
Bradford started the fourth with a 13-0 run and then as the game was entering the final stretch, the hosts had the lead. Seduikis and Chavis then both stepped up to give Worthing the win.
Thunder host Essex Leopards on Saturday (7.30pm).