WORTHING Thunder Basketball Club suffered a heartbreaking 95-94 double over-time defeat at home to Manchester Magic in the National Trophy semi-finals on Saturday.
In a back and forth encounter throughout, Manchester won through a Ryan Lohfink basket two seconds from the end of the second period of over-time.
Thunder had led 46-36 at half-time, before the game was tied 75-75 at the end of the fourth quarter. It was 84-84 at the end of the first period of over-time, before Magic won by the smallest of margins.
Thunder coach Daniel Hildreth said afterwards: “The locker room is a very solemn place right now and justifiably so. One of the things I said to the guys is we need to use this feeling as motivation moving forward. We don’t want to be feeling like this again.
“We had a really strong chance to make it to a final this early in the season and the reality is that’s not happened. The only positive I can take out of this is we use it as an incentive to not let it happen again.
“Last year, we went on a fantastic run to finish the season. The fact of the matter is we’re going to have to do that again now. We know that we want to make the play-offs and we want to make the play-off final and we can’t wait any longer to start working our way up the table.”
Full reports for both of Thunder’s weekend matches in this week’s paper.