University of Chichester Thunder 99 Guernsey 52
Fresh from securing nursery status with BBL club Worthing Thunder, the University of Chichester Thunder welcomed Guernsey for one of two home games to be played before a Worthing match - and ran out 99-52 winners.
An added boost was the re-signing of Cory Thompson and the return of Liam Mitchell to the squad after a four-game absence.
In front of a record crowd for the team, there was a slow start with defences on top and Thunder’s Cahill dominating the defensive boards in the early encounters.
Johnston picked up the momentum with a series of lay-ups and assists, Chiwuzie benefiting and dunking on the Guernsey centre. Some impressive outside shooting from Nyathi saw the first stanza finish with Thunder 25-16 up.
The introduction of Mitchell from the bench sparked Thunder into a game-changing 15-0 run. A series of steals and three-pointers saw the lead stretch to beyond 20 points as Guernsey struggled to contain a rampant Thunder.
With Mitchell picking up 14 points in the quarter, Thunder took a commanding and deserved 55-25 lead into half-time.
Guernsey’s Marriott led the away team’s attack at the beginning of the third stanza with intelligent play inside, but with Johnston looking to impress in front of the BBL fans and hierarchy he scored Thunder’s next 19 points, including three three-pointers.
The fourth stanza saw Thompson remind coach Davies of his form from last season, coming off the bench with strong play inside and combining well with Hield.
Guernsey’s Stephen, determined to add respectability to the scoreline, made three three-pointers but Mitchell again delivered two of his own.
An entertaining game finished with Johnston top-scoring with 32 points.
Team secretary Sid Fletcher said: “It was great to be given this platform by Worthing Thunder and Worthing Leisure Centre and the team didn’t disappoint.
“Bud Johnston and Liam Mitchell’s individual performances were outstanding but the whole squad contributed.”
THUNDER: Cahill, Godliman, Nyathi, Jones, Mitchell, Thompson, Hield, Johnson, Johnston, Chiwuzie.