Basketball: Thunder too powerful for Storm

Action involving the University of Chichester Thunder and Bognor Amazons feature in our latest local basketball round-up.

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University of Chichester Thunder 65 Bristol Storm 42

National division four south west

The Sir Robert Woodard Academy played host to the Thunder’s second home game of the season against Bristol Storm, who arrived just below Chichester in the table.

The Thunder were looking to extend their run of three straight wins and started purposefully with tough and cohesive defence.

Point guard Scanlon started pertinaciously, hitting a pull-up jump shot in the first quarter which sparked an early run for the Thunder.

Barbary gained multiple steals and finished the play by simply out running the Storm’s guards. The first quarter ended with Thunder up 13-11.

In the second, the Thunder upped their tempo on offence with Mclaren finding gaps in the Storm’s defence as well as Marshall making solid moves in the post to finish.

Forward Hield displayed good post play and finished among the Storm defenders which led to a 35-20 half-time lead to the Thunder.

The third quarter was a different story. Thunder had numerous turnovers on offence and could not buy a bucket. Every shot seemed to rim out.

Nothing would drop which allowed the Storm to break with quick transition baskets that started to eat away at the Thunder’s lead.

Dismore and Sewell checked in and managed to convert a pair of shots, but this was overshadowed by poor transition defence leading to easy looks for the Storm giving them an opportunity to get back in the game. The third ended 45-33.

Thunder saw this as their chance to put the game away. Their focus intensified and the defence was picked up once again with Mclaren and Barbary used good judgment picking off various passes, one of which lead to the play of the game from Dismore that Barbs managed to catch and lay in at the rim.

The Thunder ended on a high, scoring ten straight points.

It left Thunder in a good position going into another important game against league leaders Bracknell Cobras.

THUNDER: Mclaren 22, Barbary 19, Marshall 5.

Crawley Lightning 36 Bognor Amazons 47

These sides had never met before and were looking forward to size each other up early on.

Amazons started well hitting outside shots and drawing fouls to get to the free-throw line. Lightning struggled to make an impression against Amazons’ fast moving three-two zone defence and had a battle to get any points on the board.

After some contentious calls from the refs and competitive friction starting to form between the teams, Amazons moved into a 17-6 lead after the first quarter.

At the start of the second quarter Lightning came back fighting and put eight unanswered points on the board.

But while they had upped their intensity on offence, they did the same on defence which resulted in giving away more shooting fouls - which allowed Amazons to scrape back some baskets. Amazons led 24-18 at halfway.

Serious team discussion and change of tactics during the break inspired Amazons to re-ignite their first quarter intensity. They switched to a man-to-man defence and Lightning found it difficult to implement their set plays.

Lightning quickly found themselves on team fouls and Amazons used the free throws to finish the third quarter 41-22 up.

The final quarter saw another reversal of fortunes as Lightning showed they weren’t going to give up easily and a huge effort saw them score 12 unanswered points in a row.

Amazons knew they had to slow down the game and spread their offence and made safe and easy passes. The tactic worked as they run down the clock and took an 11-point win.

AMAZONS: Wilson 14, Smith 10, Lowe 8, Stapely 6 (MVP), Vitanyi 4, Campbell 3, Thorne 2, Phillips, Camburn.

n Amazons’ next home game is Tuesday, January 22, (7pm) at The Arena, Bognor. Entry is free - come and show your support.