Thunder love it at Loughborough - but suffer cup woe at Newcastle

You win some, you lose some – that was the story  of a long weekend on the road for Worthing Thunder

Hafeez Abdul top scored for Thunder at Loughborough / Picture: Kyle Hemsley
Hafeez Abdul top scored for Thunder at Loughborough / Picture: Kyle Hemsley

Thunder’s big weekend started with a trip to take on Loughborough Riders.

From the start this was the Thunder side we have become used to this season.

Playing good team basketball from the start against a spirited Riders team the first two periods provided good end to end entertainment.

Thunder held the upper hand at the end of the half with a 38-34 lead.

Thunder stepped up a gear in the third period as they ripped the home team’s defence to shreds. Nine treys flew into the Riders basket as Thunder looked unbeatable.

The lead grew quickly to a massive 23 points as Hafeez Abdul, Lucien Christofis, Jarred Dixon, Tom Ward and Jorge Ebanks all hit the net.

It put the game to bed but Thunder continued in the final quarter as they played with a confidence not seen the week before. The lead ballooned to 35 points before the entire bench was brought on to see out the final minutes.

Top scorers were Abdul with 24 points and Christofis with 19 points.

Sunday brought a National Cup quarter-final away to Newcastle.

Thunder started the brighter in the first period to take an early lead. A high scoring quarter ended with Thunder leading 31-28.

In a frenetic second quarter Thunder extended the lead to 65- 59!

After the third quarter Thunder had an 11-point lead but fatigue was beginning to appear.

Within minutes of the final stanza starting, tiredness hit and some harsh calls against them knocked their confidence.

Newcastle capitalised on their tiring opponents racking up 29 points to Thunders 16 to finish two points to the good at 108-106.

Thunder had given their all over the weekend and can be proud of how they played.

Special mention must go to Dixon (34 points) and Abdul ( 31) who led the scoring and worked their socks off.

This Saturday brings Thunder’s last home game before Christmas when Nottingham Hoods visit (7.30 pm).

Thunder remain second in the league so this game is vital and a large crowd will help.