Thunder reach National Trophy semi-finals

Tom Ward scored 22 points for Thunder at Leeds
Tom Ward scored 22 points for Thunder at Leeds

WORTHING Thunder Basketball Club reached the semi-finals of the National Trophy with a comprehensive 89-58 victory at Leeds Carnegie on Saturday.

In what was by far Worthing’s best performance of the season, they got a measure of revenge for their loss to Leeds on the same floor last month in the league, while forcing the hosts into 26 turnovers, and numerous missed shots. Thunder were energised and fully refreshed having stayed the night before in Leicester and the showing reflected coach Daniel Hildreth’s preparation as the team played solidly for 40 minutes.

Hildreth said: “I have wanted us to play for 40 minutes all season long and tonight, we did just that.

“This was all about our defence, our tenacity that we showed, all the extra effort like diving for the ball, contesting rebounds, putting our hands in the passing lanes, which was there for all to see. We have been discussing it all year long and now that we know where we want to be, we will try to maintain this intensity.”

Tom Ward led Thunder with 22 points, supported by Terrell Bell, who had 19 points and Rory Spencer had 17.

Thunder will host Manchester Magic in the semi-finals on Saturday, February 8, which means the away league game with Bristol Academy Flyers will be rearranged to a later date.