WORTHING Thunder Basketball Club captain James Brame admitted that there were positives and negatives to come out of the weekend after they exited the National Trophy on Sunday, following a league victory on Saturday.
Thunder bounced back from their league defeat to Brixton Topcats last weekend with a hard-fought 80-79 win over Leicester Warriors on Saturday but Brame then felt his under-strength side were out-worked by London Leopards in a 84-74 defeat on Sunday and he said: “It was a great result on Saturday in a back and forth contest.
“Down the stretch, we played good team basketball and it was a tough win on the road.
“The game was at 3pm, so we had plenty of time to rest once we got home but we went to London with just seven fit players. Liam Mitchell was still out (knee) and Vinnie Darpino pulled a hamstring on Saturday, so will be out for four-to-six weeks.
“We couldn’t find our energy in the first quarter against Leopards and were 10 down at the end of the quarter. They bullied us on the backboards and out-rebounded us and that gave them far too many second-chance points.
“We gave away a lot of turnovers again, with 23, although they gave away 22 but they out-rebounded us 41-29, which allowed them more possession and more shots and that just can’t happen.
“We were down 20 at one point but rallied, with great impacts off the bench from Jack Sunderland and Adam Martin, to get it down to five but a defensive lapse then allowed them to pull away again.
“We got out-worked on Sunday but are playing Leopards at home on Saturday in the league and we’re not going to let them come and out-work us again.
“It’s frustrating to be out of the Trophy but we’re still finding our feet. Our line-up has constantly changed and we’ve been without our coach, Gary Smith, for the past few weeks but that’s just one of those things in sport. We’ll just look to redeem ourselves on Saturday.”
Marcus Tullis top-scored with 23 points for Thunder in their win at Leicester on Saturday. Hank Rivers also sank 15 and Courtney Small 13, while Eugene Pettway scored 27 for Leicester and former Thunder man Mansour Mybe hit 15.
The scores were tied 14-14 at the end of the first quarter but Leicester led 40-38 at half-time. Thunder moved 56-55 ahead with one stanza to play and led by four points with 20 seconds left.
Leciester then hit a three-pointer with eight seconds to go. Small missed two free throws but Rivers’ rebound off the second miss sealed Thunder’s win,
Tullis top-scored with 25 points in the defeat at Leopards, while Rivers scored 21 and Small 17.
Vernon Teel led Leopards’ scoring with 24 points.