Thunder ease into last eight of cup

Selby Hind Wills in action for Thunder against Worcester Wolves 2nd on Saturday.
Selby Hind Wills in action for Thunder against Worcester Wolves 2nd on Saturday.

MILTON CHAVIS sank a career-best 42 points as Worthing Thunder Basketball Club eased into the quarter-finals of the National Cup on Sunday evening.

Chavis scored 14 of Thunder’s first 20 points as they enjoyed a comfortable win over Worcester Wolves 2nd at Worthing Leisure Centre.

Youngster Selby Hind Wills also had a career-best, with 18 points, and Brendan Okoronkwo scored 15, and Thunder will now travel to Bradford Dragons in the last eight.

Thunder coach Daniel Hildreth said: “There is always a danger playing a team a division below as they have nothing to lose and in the second half that’s exactly how they came out, so luckily we had a 25-point cushion.

“Despite their run, our experience and physicality showed through. We now face Bradford in a couple of weeks and, having to play the night before and then travel all that way, we will have to be on form for the full 40 minutes.

“It was a great team effort today with four guys in double figures, most notably Selby’s 18 points in 18 minutes and a 42-point haul for Milton were the standouts. We need a good week of practice now in preparation for Manchester this weekend in the league.”

Worcester were always playing catch-up to Thunder as Chavis got the hosts going early on as they raced into a 20-10 lead with the American scoring 14 of those points.

From there, Thunder coasted to a 46-21 half-time lead before Worcester showed signs of life, led by Caylin Raftopoulos and Dave Eden.

Worthing still enjoyed a 65-55 lead after three periods, before Hind Wills inspired a strong fourth quarter performance, when the hosts scored 36 points.

Raftopoulos, who also suits up for the Worcester Wolves British Basketball League side, led the second team, who play in NBL Division 2 with 21 points.

Chavis said: “It was just a good solid win. Everyone did their part and we all did what we do best. We needed this win to let loose a little and have some fun.

“I’m extremely proud of Selby for his huge play late in the game. I’m also very pleased with my team-mates and I played a pretty good game myself as well.”

Thunder host Manchester Magic at Worthing Leisure Centre on Saturday, with a 7.30pm start.