Thunder lose on the road in London

Tom Ward top-scored with 30 points in Thunder's defeat away to London Lituanica in National League Division 1 on Sunday
Tom Ward top-scored with 30 points in Thunder's defeat away to London Lituanica in National League Division 1 on Sunday

WORTHING Thunder Basketball Club lost away to London Lituanica on Sunday afternoon as the hosts hit back to win in the final quarter.

Trailing by double digits at one stage in the National League Division 1 match, Worthing fought back to lead 68-67 at the end of the third period. However, the much taller London Lituanica side used that advantage to clean up on the glass and score inside seemingly at will against a smaller Thunder unit.

Worthing, who were led by Tom Ward’s game-high 30 points now move to 2-4 in the league. James Cambronne added 20 points for Worthing with Brendan Okoronkwo amassing 11.

Thunder coach Daniel Hildreth knows the game was there for the taking, but rebounds and several missed free throws cost his team.

He said: “It was always going to be a tightly contested game.

“We were all tied up with 30 seconds to go but credit to London Lituanica. Bottom line is we only had 25 rebounds as a team but more importantly 14 missed free throws.

‘I was happy in large spells with our defence but in two consecutive possessions, calls just went against us and we failed to execute in the closing seconds.”

Both teams could not be separated after the first quarter at 22-22, but the hosts made their size advantage count to take a 45-42 cushion at half-time.

The third quarter saw Worthing utilise their quickness as they played transition basketball. They quickly turned a deficit into a 53-46 lead midway through the quarter, only for London to hit back and finish strongly to narrow the gap to 61-59 heading into the last quarter.

But Thunder’s lack of rebounding, coupled with missed foul shots, proved to be their downfall as they go 0-2 at Newham College this season – after a National Trophy defeat at the same venue in September.

Worthing travel to Manchester Magic in the league on Saturday (6.30pm), before they entertain Reading Rockets in the National Cup quarter-finals on Sunday (5pm).

Hildreth said: “We’re away to Manchester on Saturday, before we play Reading on Sunday which is far from ideal but it’s an opportunity for us to get to a semi-final this early in the season.

“We’ve beaten Reading away already this season and this will be another good game.“

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