Thunder’s aims of reaching the EBL Division 1 play-offs were ended with a 76-70 defeat at Essex Leopards and Hildreth said: “It’s frustrating that we’re not going to make the play-offs, as that was our intention.
“We now finish the season with home games against three of the top four and we’ve got to stay focused and finish the season strongly.
“What we’ve got to remember is that we’ve got a very young team. Even the likes of Brendan Okoronkwo and Tomas Seduikis are only in their early 20s and we came up against a Essex team on Saturday, who had eight players that had played in the BBL in the last two years.
“Their experience was far greater than ours but we’re building a side here and are doing the right thing.
“All of the team has a year’s more experience now and our junior programme has also done exceptionally well.
“Our under-13 and under-14 teams are unbeaten, the under-15s reached the play-offs, the under-16s are second in their division and the under-18 Conference team made the play-offs.
“It’s positive for us and there’s a good base for the club underneath the men’s team.”
Thunder host Manchester Magic on Saturday, with a 7.30pm tip-off at Worthing Leisure Centre.