Thunder blown away by Hemel Storm

Brendan Okoronkwo
Brendan Okoronkwo

WORTHING Thunder Basketball Club fell to their fifth defeat in the National Basketball League Division 1 on Saturday.

Thunder, who made the trip to Hemel Storm, were blown away by a rampant display from the home side.

After a near perfect first ten minutes at both ends, which led to a 19-point advantage during the early stages of the second period, Thunder fell victim to a damaging 32-5 run by Hemel that spanned the second and third quarters, which ultimately led to their downfall.

With his parents cheering him on, Brendan Okoronkwo led Thunder with 20 points, ably supported by Louis Allen with 13, while Tom Ward chipped in with 11 points.

Head coach Daniel Hildreth admitted the first quarter was a high point but other than that it was a night to forget for him and his side.

He said: “When you start as well as we did, you should know that teams are going to have runs and Hemel didn’t just go on a run, they went on a rampage where we just could not do anything.

“We switched things up defensively, we tried to break the momentum with timeouts and obviously we had the half-time break, but everything was going their way.

“I thought we lost a lot of composure and we rushed a lot of things, it’s just the way it is.

“We must forget about this now as we have a double-header to focus on next week.”

To begin with, Thunder were quick out of the blocks as three-pointers from Allen and Okoronkwo put the visitors up 6-2. That lead quickly became 12-4 thanks to a long two from Allen, forcing Hemel to call a timeout.

It got better for Thunder and after a strong start they opened up a 32-15 lead at one stage.

However, Storm fought back to make it 36-33 at the interval.

Thunder’s lead slowly began to evaporate and in the end Hemel ended up coming out 79-61 victors.

Thunder host Bradford Dragons in the league next Saturday, before a trip to Loughborough Student Riders in the National Cup semi-final clash on Sunday.

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