Winners! Experiment is a huge success for Worthing Thunder
Worthing Thunder’s experimental two-day tournament at the Thunderdome was a resounding success.
With four superb matches it was rounded off with the hometown side lifting the trophy after a thriller of a final against Thames Valley Cavaliers.
Saturday saw two semi final - TVC defeating Reading Rockets in a close run game 90-78 before Thunder beat London Lions 102-87. Led by the irrepressible Zaire Taylor the result was not in doubt from the halfway stage. But he was upstaged by Thunder’s new big man Londoner Hafeez Abdul who top scored with 34 points and 13 rebounds.
In Sunday’s game featured Reading Rockets and London Lions for third place, Rockets, led by ex-Thunder favourite AJ Basi took the game 97-77.
Thunder and the Cavaliers then took to the court for the much-anticipated final.
The first quarter was end to end and Thunder led 23-20 when it ended.
The second brought much of the same and Thunder were 51-44 ahead at halfway.
The third period was another tight affair and the lead changed constantly.
As the final break arrived Thunder led 63-59.
Thunder had a severe test in the final period as TVC piled on the pressure and with five minutes remaining the lead was just three points.
Thunder’s lead was cut to two points but as the seconds ticked by TVC had to foul too get possession, sending Thunder to the line for free throws.
The weekend’s star man Hafiz Abdul slotted home a perfect four from four to see Thunder home. Abdul was star of the stats with a further 23 points and 14 rebounds and with big games from Jarred Dixon (20 points in 40 minutes), Zaire Taylor (19), Tom Ward (18) and nine from Jack Sunderland, Thunder had a great end to the weekend.
Thunder are at home on Saturday when Solent Kestrels visit in the first game of the Lynch Trophy.
A big crowd is assured so supporters are asked to book early.