Worthing Thunder fail to contain Thames Valley Cavaliers' charge

Alex Owumi led Worthing Thunder's scoring with 36 points
Alex Owumi led Worthing Thunder's scoring with 36 points

Worthing Thunder suffered a heavy defeat 131-115 at Worthing Leisure Centre at the hands of visiting Thames Valley Cavaliers in a high-scoring match.

Missing injured Zaire Taylor, the sides seemed to be evenly matched during the first five minutes of the first quarter with the teams tied at 16 a-piece.

However, a 15-2 run by the Cavaliers opened a 13 point margin (31-18) and a further run of 8-2 saw the visitors storm into a 16 point lead (41-25) as the buzzer for the end of the first period sounded.

The opening three minutes of the second stanza started much the same as the early part of the first period with both sides trading baskets and Thunder not slipping too much further behind.

Once again, however, it was the visitors who took the initiative hitting 17-0 run preventing Thunder from adding to their points total for more than four minutes extending their lead to 28 points (60-32).

The first half ended with Cavaliers returning to the locker room with a commanding 25-point lead.

Thunder were always going to find it difficult to rescue the match from such a deficit and whilst their performance improved markedly in the second half of the match winning both the third and fourth periods 35-31 and 34-29 respectively, Cavaliers were always in control and never allowed the home side any real chance of overturning their lead.

For the visitors, Taylor Johnson had an outstanding match notching up a “triple double” of 35 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists.

The visitors hit a highly creditable 63 per cent of all their field goal attempts compared to that of 48 per cent by the home side.

For Thunder, the ever-reliable Alex Owumi top scored with 36 points.

Thunder scorers: Alex Owumi (36 points); Cameron Hildreth (28 points); Dominic Ives and AJ Basi (14 points); Tom Ward (11 points); Ishmael Fontaine (7 points); Nick Ballone (3 points); Josh Goddard (2 points).

The defeat drops Thunder down to fifth place in the league (11 wins and 5 defeats), leaving them two points behind Thames Valley (11-4) and Reading Rockets (13-5), six points below Hemel Storm (14-3) and 8 adrift of undefeated Solent kestrel (15-0).

Thunder’s next home game is against Loughborough Riders, who sit just two points below Thunder in sixth place (10-5).

Worthing will be keen to break their 3-0 losing streak to continue to challenge for a top-four place and a home berth in the post-season play-offs.

The match starts at 7.30pm at Worthing Leisure Centre on Saturday.