Thunder crash to heaviest defeat of the season against Leopards

Julian Stanley made his Thunder debut at home to London Leopards on Saturday
Julian Stanley made his Thunder debut at home to London Leopards on Saturday
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WORTHING Thunder Basketball Club crashed to their heaviest defeat of the season on Saturday at home to London Leopards.

Thunder, who slipped two places place to fourth in the EBL Division 1 table, lost by 37 points going down 89-52, after giving away 26 turnovers and captain James Brame believes that was the decisive factor in their loss.

Thunder had given away 28 turnovers in their previous home game, a 94-90 defeat to Brixton Topcats, and Brame said: “You can’t win a game of basketball when you give away that many turnovers. It would be hard to win if we’d given away half the amount of turnovers which we did.

“Even when we’ve been winning games, we’ve given away too many turnovers, which is why we haven’t had any really big wins.

“It’s very frustrating and something we have to improve quickly, otherwise it will make it tough for us to win games.

“We just didn’t turn up on Saturday, which was why we lost by such a big margin but Leopards are a good team, who were full of hustle and heart.

“We had a few positives come out of it. Jack Sunderland came off the bench and scored some points, it was good to have Sam Cricelli back and Julian Stanley, one of our under-18 players, came on and hit a big three-pointer near the end.”

Leopards gave away just nine turnovers on Saturday and led from the first minute onwards.

Cricelli made his latest debut for Thunder after signing before the game but Thunder ended the opening stanza 19-13 behind.

Leopards started the second period on a 13-0 run, which included three triples, two from Ousman Krubally, which ballooned the lead to 30-13, before Thunder closed the gap to 38-28 at half-time.

Leopards started the brighter of the two sides after the break, with a four-point play from Buchberger giving the visitors a 50-32 lead.

Thunder continued to struggle with Leopards’ overall intensity at both ends and Leopards finished the period with a 63-41 lead.

The fourth was a non-event and Leopards increased their winning margin to 37 points.

Courtney Small top-scored with 13 points for Thunder, while Sunderland sank 11.

Thunder host Bradford Dragons on Saturday in a match Brame is calling a must-win.