WORTHING Thunder Basketball Club lacked any sort of on-pitch magic as they lost their second National Trophy game of the season 82-44 away at Manchester on Saturday evening.
With the team running later than usual, it was always going to be a tough ask to come out and play against a Manchester side, determined to impress in their first home game of the season.
They out-rebounded Worthing 41-25 on the night as they had their way in the court.
Tomas Seidukis and Joe Carter led Thunder with eight points with Julian Stanley adding six, as no-one from the squad managed double-digit scoring.
Stanley said: “It was a tough game, a hard trip followed by a rough few minutes.
“We struggled inside, and couldn’t find our range, they played smart basketball and we just didn’t perform. It’s still early in the season so we have time to right our wrongs, but tonight, they beat us, simply put.”
Dominic Baker opened Thunder’s account from the free throw line, but by that time, the hosts had scored six points of their own.
Tom Ward got Worthing off the mark from the field, but Manchester took control again, racing to a 16-5 lead before a bucket from Rhys Francis broke the home side’s spell.
Worthing struggled to fend off Magic’s offensive strength in the first quarter and after the first ten minutes, trailed 20-7.
Things didn’t get much better for Worthing as coach Daniel Hildreth called a timeout with 6:36 remaining of the first period following back-to-back turnovers from his side allowed Manchester to build their lead to 29-9.
A free throw from Ward got Thunder into double digits but Magic, by that points had established a 38-19 lead at half-time – a bucket from Johnston with five seconds remaining making sure the Sussex club finished on a high.
Any hopes of a comeback for Thunder were unfortunately dashed when the hosts held Worthing to just nine points in the third as they led 61-28, heading into the final quarter of play.
With Magic running their bench at regular intervals, Thunder tried putting some respectability to the scoreline, but Manchester finished the stronger of the two teams and eased to victory.
Former BBL player Nathan Schall finished with 17 points for the Magic.
Thunder are in action twice this weekend with a trip to Tees Valley Mohawks on Saturday in the National Trophy, before their first home match of the season on Sunday when they host Team Solent in the National Cup.