WORTHING Thunder Basketball Club progressed past Team Solent to reach the third round of the National Cup on Sunday evening.
Milton Chavis led Thunder with 34 points and six steals as he scooped MVP honours in a routine win against their lower league opposition. Tomas Seduikis added 19 points and Dominic Baker sank 13.
Worthing were again without Hank Rivers (inactive), Joe Carter (injured) and Jakob Bogusz (unavailable) and will now play Plymouth Raiders 2nd at home in the next round.
John Wilkins opened the scoring for Thunder inside but the visitors from Solent began brightly and built up a 7-2 lead early on.
Thunder settled into the game, though, and a Chavis-led 18-0 run gave Worthing a 28-18 lead after the first period.
Buckets from Josh Brown and Chavis extended the hosts’ lead to 32-20 in the early stages of the second quarter, as Solent’s offence was static.
Buckets from Wilkins and Alex Barbary stretched Worthing’s lead to 40-24 and a 7-0 finish to the second, highlighted by a spectacular alley-oop lob from Brendan Okoronkwo, gave the hosts a 49-33 lead at the interval.
Thunder were in complete control and back-to-back steals and scores from Chavis and Baker only extended the lead further as they led 74-49 heading into the final period.
From there, both teams were constantly changing line-ups. Solent managed to outscore Worthing 30-24 in the fourth but Thunder, by then, were home and dry.
Brian Reid led Team Solent with 27 points. Former University of Chichester Thunder forward Fab Oram secured a double-double for Solent with 13 points and 13 rebounds.
The victory saw Thunder bounce back from their National Trophy loss at Essex Leopards the previous night and Chavis said: “It felt good to bounce back quickly from the loss last night and it was good to get a win in front of our fans.
“We wanted to prove a point after the loss and get the confidence back ahead of a tough double-header this week. We know it will be hard but we’ve just got to play our game and play together to get the results.”
Thunder coach Daniel Hildreth added: “I was happy with the fact that we got out in transition and most of the time we ran the break, we looked like we were going to score.
“The whole team did their part tonight and it was a win which we needed to restore some confidence ahead of next week.
“Tomas I thought was outstanding tonight. He only missed two shots all night, defensively, he was aggressive but in control the entire time. That is how I want Tomas to play every time he is on the floor. Last night, he was a little quiet but he responded brilliantly tonight.”
Thunder entertain Westminster Warriors in the National Trophy on Saturday (7.30pm) and then travel to Newham Neptunes on Sunday (4pm).