Worthing face their own Storm Brendan in defeat at Solent Kestrels
The Met office had warned about the likely impending damage that could be caused by storm Brendan but it was a different Brendon – in the guise of familiar face of Brendon Okoronkwo – who caused most of the harm when Worthing Thunder made the short trip to Solent Kestrels.
It was the home side that would came out comfortable winners by 98-76 margin in a rehearsal for the forthcoming BBL Cup quarter-final.
Thunder, missing Dominic Ives, hit the first points of the match to go into a short-lived 3-0 lead and again at 5-2, but Kestrels stormed back with a 19-0 run to find themselves ahead by 16 points at 21-5.
Matters did not get any easier for Thunder in the first period after Alex Owumi picked up two early fouls in the first two minutes and then with just 90 seconds of the first period to play, a further foul on his return to court after having been substituted out.
At the first interval Thunder trailed by 12 and by the end of the second period Solent had increased their lead to an unassailable 25-point advantage.
With Owumi in foul trouble and Thunder not having the best of evenings with their shooting from the field hitting only 36 per cent of their attempts, by the end of the third quarter the home side had racked up a 35-point advantage at 85-50.
Although Thunder pulled back the deficit winning the last quarter 26-13, it was Solent who came out fully deserving of their victory. Thunder will no doubt wish to ensure they turn in a more assured performance when Solent come visiting in the BBL quarter-final.
And Solent’s own ‘Storm’ Brendan - well he racked up a very impressive 17 points and 16 rebounds to go with his three assists and three steals.
Following their defeat less than 24 hours earlier, it was essential that Thunder got back to winning ways if they were to maintain their challenge for a home spot in the post-season play-offs.
And an assured performance saw them notch up an 81-73 victory at Barking Abbey after going down against Solent Kestrels the previous day.
Although the home side edged the first quarter finishing 16-14 ahead, the lead frequently changed hands in the second period until a late rally by the visitors saw them win the second session 23-15 to go into the locker room with a six-point advantage.
Thunder’s experience began to dominate the match with travelling side extending their lead to as much as 16 points in the fourth quarter at 74-58.
Barking battled back but Worthing were not be outdone and four late free throws (two each from AJ Basi and Alex Owumi) saw Thunder home by an eight-point margin to pick up another valuable win.
Thunder now lie equal fourth in the league with Thames Valley Cavaliers both with a ten and four.
Both teams sit two points third-placed Reading Rockets (11-5) with two games in hand on them.