Thunder close in on title
WORTHING THUNDER Basketball Club moved a step closer to retaining their EBL Division 1 title with a hard-fought victory over Kings Lynn Fury on Saturday.
Thunder were missing back up centre Dan Shotton (illness) and guard Daniel Hildreth (hand injury) and despite having captain James Brame reinstated to the starting line up, soon found themselves 12-4 down.
The introduction of Pat Bates midway through the quarter allowed Worthing to take the ball inside and he quickly got himself to 11 points. Bates helped Thunder get back into the game, although they still trailed 25-17 at the quarter break.
The star of the first half was Fury's former Worthing forward Hank Rivers. With nobody able to stop him inside or keep him off the glass, he helped himself to 26 points and 17 rebounds in a dominant performance as Thunder went in only one ahead, 45-44.
The second half saw Thunder come out with a real sense of purpose. Ivanovskis led the way as a 17-3 run put Thunder 62-47 up.
With Rivers limited to one point in the quarter, it was Fury's second American, Lawrence Summers, who took up the scoring, with 11 of their 18 points as Worthing took control of the game and were up 78-62 at the end of the third.
Thunder increased their lead at the start of the fourth. Dan Midgley contributed seven points as the gap grew to 24 at 91-67.
Rivers' replacement at Thunder, Marcus Avant, had a good game at both ends of the floor, adding 16 rebounds and 8 assists to his 16 points, but Rivers led all scorers and rebounders, with 31 and 30 respectively.