Worthing Thunder Basketball Club returned home from their weekend on the road with one win and one narrow defeat.
Thunder won 87-78 at Bradford Dragons on Saturday, before a 72-70 loss at eighth-placed Lancashire Spinners on Sunday.
Tom Ward led the way with 18 points, ably supported by 17 from Brendan Okoronkwo as Worthing ended a six-game losing run at Bradford.
It was a relatively comfortable win in the end for Worthing, who pulled clear in the third quarter.
Bradford led 26-23 at the end of the first quarter but Thunder had moved 44-40 ahead by half-time. They extended their advantage to 70-53 moving into the final quarter and maintained their advantage through the final period.
The loss at Lancashire on Sunday was a case of déjà vu for Worthing, who for the second time this season against Lancashire, were beaten in the last seconds.
Thunder’s James Cambronne tied the game at 70-70 with just over 14 seconds left but was adjudged to have fouled Spinners’ Connor Murtagh at the other end. Despite Worthing coach Daniel Hildreth’s protests, Murtagh converted his two free throws to leave the visitors with a shot of taking the game to over-time, or snatching the victory.
Okoronkwo was fouled as his lay-up attempt missed its mark but still had the chance to take the battle to an extra round.
However, Thunder were not having a good afternoon from the charity stripe and Okoronkwo did not make it any better, missing both his attempts with two ticks left, leaving Worthing nine from 23 from the free-throw line and two points short of Spinners’ total.
Despite the loss, Hildreth was pleased with the determination shown by his team and said: “I was very pleased with the heart and passion of the guys today.
“A long trip, back-to-back games and to play that hard for 40 minutes and not give up, ultimately with a chance to win in the final seconds is a credit.
“We missed too many opportunities in transition but were victim of some very tough decisions early in the final quarter and on the last possession especially.”
Cambronne led Thunder with a 27-point, ten-rebound double-double, with Ward adding 17 points and five steals.
Thunder host Derby Trailblazers on Saturday (7.30pm) and then travel to Kent Crusaders on Sunday (3.30pm).
n Thunder are holding a sponsors’ evening before the game with Derby on Saturday, for any businesses who would like to become involved with the club next season. Email email@example.com for more details.
n Thunder are running a Easter camp for boys and girls aged eight to 18 from March 29 to April 1.
It will take place at The Angmering School and will cost £50. The camp will be run by Thunder head coach Daniel Hildreth and player James Cambronne.
For more information, contact Daniel on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07834 828417.
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