The visitors to Durrington High School were the only other unbeaten side in the NBL, the Thames Valley Cavaliers, so it was going to be another tough task.
From the start Thunder were a different team. From offence to defence the hosts hustled their illustrious visitors, not giving them a chance to settle.
Thunder started at a fast pace, matching TVC all the way. Cameron Hildreth was back to his best and Howard Crawford is considerably improving as the season passes.
Thunder led early in the period but TVC hit back to take a 22-17 lead at the first break.
The second period was end to end throughout with Thunder making things difficult for the much bigger visitors. Nine points from Hildreth and seven from
Tom Ward ensured Thunder stayed within close proximity and at halfway they trailed 43-37.
Thunder began to take over in the third period, taking the lead several times. With Hildreth and Ward again showing the way the quarter was close and at the final break it was 60-60. It was an epic battle and destined to go to the wire. The final ten minutes started with attacking basketball with TVC showing their class.
Thunder began to get in front and with three minutes and 45 seconds remaining were leading by seven points.
The last minutes were dramatic as Thunder relentlessly attacked but the experienced TVC repelled them.
Thunder made a couple of errors down the stretch and with just over a minute left the lead was a single point.
Another successful defence by the visitors led to a big three pointer and TVC led by one. A free throw and another basket led to a victory for TVC by 81-77.
Thunder’s players were disappointed but had given their all. Every member of the squad could be proud.
Star man was Hildreth, back to his superb best.
Thunder: Hildreth 28pts, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal. Ward 15 pts, 6 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 steals. Richardson 14 pts, 10 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 1 block. Crawford 13 pts, 2 assists, 2 steals, 1 block. Ives 5 pts, 5 rebounds. land 2 pts, 3 assists, 1 steal. Fontaine 4 rebounds, 1 steal.