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Thundercats upset undefeated Chargers

File photograph by Blair SimmonsLooking up: Jorel Smith, the Rim Rockers captain, said he was always confident his team would pull off a win against Thundercats at Bermuda College last Wednesday. Thundercats responded with a superb victory over undefeated Charges on Saturday at Somersfield Academy

Chargers’ undefeated season has come to an end after Thundercats defeated them 86-79 in the One Communications Summer League at Somersfield Academy on Saturday night.

Thundercats started well dropping three pointers like it was an everyday routine. They had a full team and displayed an abundance of energy, running the courts and cutting to the basket, expecting the pass every time.

Thundercats’ Mykal Glasgow said: “We used our youth to our advantage, we ran the court, we ran the game and it feels good to beat them.”

Chargers tried to keep up with Thundercats’ pace but were unsuccessful.

Calvert Lee, the Chargers coach, said: “We fought back but I think it took a little bit out of our legs after a long break and we came up short.”

Both teams were missing key players who are on international duty with the Bermuda national team at the Fiba AmeriCup 2021 Pre-Qualifier in Surinam.

Thundercats were in the lead for the first two quarters. At the end of the third quarter, which displayed an outstanding round of rebounds from Chargers’ Lee and Leonardo Ballenilla, the score was tied 62-62.

The fourth quarter started with a jump shot by Chargers but Thundercats were quick to retaliate with a three-point shot by Glasgow. From there, Thundercats were the champions of the night.

“It feels good, it feels really good,” Glasgow said. “Whenever you’re a low team and to come out and beat the top team it really puts us on everybody’s target list. We’re now the top team to beat.”

Lee believes losing is part of playing basketball and said the loss did not defer his team from winning in the future.

“Every team loses at some point, we just don’t want to lose in the play-offs,” he said.

Lee said his team will play harder in the play-offs and he believes they have the means to take it all the way.

“I think we’re the best team in the league,” he insisted.

Glasgow said his team feel good about the win and are confident of their play-off chances.

“I think overall it shows, we young guys are ready to play and in two to three years time when we are on the national team, we are going to represent very well,” Glasgow said. “We’ve got a long way ahead of us.”

Thundercats player Caelin Peters put up 21 points, four rebounds, five assists, one steal and one block. Chargers player Ballenilla put up 19 points, 17 rebounds, four assists and two steals.

n Rim Rockers won 76-46 against Thundercats in the One Communication Summer League at the Bermuda College last Wednesday.

Thundercats hit the courts with no substitutes and without their captain Chris Crumpler and co-captain Jason Lowe. But they performed liked a unit.

They trusted each team-mate with every pass, shot and drill against Rim Rockers. Late into the second quarter, the game was an equal match and Thundercats trailed behind by one point.

Thundercats’ Mykal Glasgow said: “At that time we were just confident.

“We didn’t have a bench today, but we thought that if we just kept it up, played our game, we would stay in the game all the way to the end.”

Jorel Smith, the Rim Rockers captain, said he knew his team were sure to push through by the third quarter.

“We knew we had to play better because we were only up by one,” Smith said.

“We were tired, they were tired, but we were able to push through our fatigue and beat them by 30. That’s a big difference.”

Chris Horwood put up 19 points, 11 rebounds, and three assists for Thundercats and Smith had 17 points, 10 assists, five steals and one block.

Thundercats’ Rye Ahronson put up 18 points, seven rebounds and three assists. Despite the loss, Thundercats feel good about their chances in the play-off season.

“We are going for that ‘W’!” Glasgow said: “Regardless of who’s on the roaster, we are going to go out there and compete like everybody else does.”

Rim Rockers secured the game and Smith believes his team will be good competitors during the play-offs. In the second game of the evening, Twisters defeated Flyboys in a nail-biting match, which ended 68-63.

Twister made a come back against the Flyboys as they were trailing behind them during the first half. Flyboys had one substitutes and were missing their captain Adam Correia.

According to Flyboys player, Akil Smith, they also had a lack of fitness. “We were up, our confidence was high, but we knew our fitness wasn’t there.”

With the majority of Flyboys’ players away with Bermuda in Surinam, Smith feels the lack of bodies and energy cost them their lead and ultimately the game.

“They [Twisters] came back and we didn’t have enough gas.”

Twisters had a slow start. Top scorer Omari Dill-Pettiford missed a couple of jump shots at the start of the game but found his footing late in the third quarter. He ended the game with 31 points, 14 rebounds, four assists and two steals.

Twister’s player Darae Smith believes his team went into the game expecting an easy win. He described his team entering the game feeling “lackadaisical”.

“They [Flyboys] didn’t have a full team, so we felt like we could play to their level,” Smith said. “It took us until the third quarter before we started to play our type of basketball.”

Darae Smith said he feels hopeful for the play-offs.

“I think we can go all the way,” he said. “The team that’s a problem is the Chargers, but I think we got them.”

Despite Flyboys dealing with fatigue and lack of players, Akil Smith believes the skill level, effort and trust his team-mates displayed was of a high standard.

“I thought throughout the game we played as best as we could — you can’t win every game,” he said.