Thunder begin new year with victory over leaders

Bud Johnston
Bud Johnston

WORTHING Thunder Basketball Club began the new year with a thrilling 85-75 win at home to EBL Division 1 leaders Hemel Storm this evening.

Captain Bud Johnston led Thunder with 35 points, while American Rory Spencer sank 24 and James Brame scored nine, which included two brilliant three-pointers.

Thunder led 29-18 at the end of the first quarter but Hemel hit back in the second stanza, with Tomas Seduikis and Spencer both in foul trouble, and were 42-38 ahead at half-time.

An eight-point run midway through the third quarter gave Thunder a 52-46 lead, before back-to-back three-pointers from Johnston moved the hosts 58-48 infront.

Hemel finished the stanza with a five-point run but Worthing led 58-53 with ten minutes to play.

Brame hit two three-pointers in the early exchanges of the final period and Spencer hit one as Thunder opened up a 69-58 lead.

Spencer then sank back-to-back buckets to put Thunder 15 points ahead.

The visitors countered with a nine-point run to cut Thunder’s lead to six points but Spencer again hit back-to-back baskets to move Thunder 77-67 ahead.

Hemel only managed to get back to within eight points of Thunder in the closing stages as the hosts made an excellent start to the new year.

Full match report and reaction from head coach Daniel Hildreth and Spencer in the January 9 edition of the Worthing Herald.