Worthing Thunder come up trumps on their travels to Leicester Warriors and Liverpool

Cameron Hildreth. Picture: Kyle Hemsley
Cameron Hildreth. Picture: Kyle Hemsley

In a weekend when Solent Kestrels were crowned National League Division 1 champions, Worthing Thunder embarked on a double-header road trip to Leicester and Liverpool in their continued efforts to clinch a home play-off.

But the two games could not have been more contrasting.

A close-fought 84-83 win on Saturday in Leicester was followed by the 150-70 demolition of Liverpool a day later.

Thunder’s meeting with Leicester proved to be a tough battle.

Worthing started slowly losing the first quarter by 31-28 and matters went from bad to worse in the second period.

They were edged out 28-19 and went in trailing 59-47 at the half-time break.

However, Thunder returned to the court with renewed energy and determination after the restart winning the next quarter 23-14 and reducing the gap to just three points (73-70).

The last session was a tense affair with both sides finding it difficult to score points.

In the end, Thunder’s experience was to prove vital down the stretch and their reward was to take the spoils by just a single point.

Thunder scorers: Cameron Hildreth (24 points), Alex Owumi (21 points), AJ Basi (15 points), Zaire Taylor (14 points), Dominic Ives (7 points), Tom Ward (3 points).

After an overnight stay in Stoke, Thunder were back in action less than 24 hours later at Basketball Liverpool.

A dominant victory at least ensured Worthing secure a place in the play-offs.

Thunder led from tip to buzzer and ran up their biggest score of the season and the largest winning margin for many a year.

The opening quarter saw the visitors sink a massive 43 points and a further 38 followed in the second period to go in leading 81-37 at half time.

The second half was more of the same as Thunder were on fire with their shooting and seemingly scoring baskets at will.

Worthing continued to pile on the agony for the home side, winning the third quarter 35-14 and the final session (34-19), ending the match with a resounding 150-70 victory.

There were some amazing statistics as Thunder hit 72 per cent of their two-point shots and 58 per cent of their three-point attempts.

AJ Basi hit a double-double (29 points and 10 assists) and Zaire Taylor was one assist short of a triple-double (31 points, 13 steals and nine assists).

However, these stats pale into insignificance in comparison to those of 17 year-old Cameron Hildreth who turned in a stellar performance, scoring 45 points, hitting 77 per cent of his shots to go with his seven rebounds and the same number of assists.

Thunder are now equal fifth in the league, just two points behind third-placed Derby Trailblazers.

Worthing are next in action on Saturday at Worthing Leisure Centre where they will be keen to continue their winning streak against Nottingham Hoods (7.30pm tip-off).