Heartbreak for Thunder in Trophy semi-final

Rory Spencer
Rory Spencer

WORTHING Thunder Basketball Club suffered a heartbreaking 95-94 double over-time defeat at home to Manchester Magic in the National Trophy semi-finals this evening.

In an exciting back and forth encounter throughout, Thunder moved 94-93 ahead with a pair of free throws from Bud Johnston in the second period of over-time with five seconds left.

However, Manchester’s Ryan Lohfink scored with Manchester’s next possession with two seconds left to put his side 95-94 ahead and he was fouled in the process. That gave Magic a free throw and Lohfink’s shot bounced off the rim and left Thunder with no time to respond.

Thunder had led 20-19 at the end of the first quarter, before extending their lead to 46-36 by half-time. Manchester fought back in the third stanza and led 56-55 heading into the fourth quarter.

The game was tied 75-75 at the end of the last quarter, which sent it to over-time. The teams were still level at 84-84 at the end of the first period of over-time, before Manchester grabbed the win in the closing seconds of the second period of over-time.

Rory Spencer top-scored for Thunder with 21 points and Terrell Bell sank 19, while Franc Garcia Garrido led Manchester with 25 points.

Manchester will meet Reading Rockets, who overcame Tees Valley Mohawks 90-66, in the final on February 22.