WORTHING Thunder Basketball Club will be glad to see the back of Worcester Wolves this season after a 97-70 defeat in the BBL on Sunday.
It is the fourth time Wolves have beaten Thunder this campaign and the third time at Worthing Leisure Centre.
The lead changed hands four times in the first quarter as Thunder led 17-14 at the end of the stanza but Wolves pretty much took control from then on.
A three-pointer from Marlin Capers gave Thunder a 37-34 lead late in the second quarter but Wolves ended the period with a seven-point run to lead 41-37 at half-time.
Thunder’s shooting got gradually worse through the game as they managed to sink just 19 of 52 field goal attempts, eight of 29 three-point attempts and eight out of 14 free throws.
Wolves took full advantage, led by Rod Wellington, who sank 24 points, and were 65-55 ahead with one quarter to play – although Thunder had got to within three points at 54-51 down after one of Pepe Zafirov’s four three-pointers.
Thunder needed a run at the start of the last stanza to get themselves back in the game but instead Wolves went on a nine-point run to take a 19-point lead and they ended up taking their final winning margin to 27 points.
Adam Williams top-scored with 19 points for Thunder, while Zafirov scored 16, Capers 11 and Shaun Durant, who also had 14 rebounds, sank 10.
Along with Wellington’s 24 points for Wolves, Justin Dobbins scored 20, and former Thunder man Samuel Cricelli and Callum Jones both sank 14.
Thunder coach Gary Smith said: “For the first two quarters, we played really well and were doing the right things.
“We were getting to the basket and our shots were falling.
“We then struggled in the second half. We couldn’t make our free throws and it deflated us and that meant we weren’t able to do anything else.
“We are looking better, though, but I didn’t think we played at a consistent level.
“We went down by 15, then all of a sudden it was 27 and our heads dropped.
“It wasn’t good enough and is something we need to look at.”
Thunder now travel to Mersey Tigers on Friday evening and host MK Lions in a re-arranged game on Sunday (5pm).