North-West Thunder go down 86-81 to Kilsyth in Saturday night’s NBL1 clash

BRAD COLE   ADVOCATE   A campaign of consistent inconsistency has continued for the North-West Thunder after falling to a 86-81 loss to Kilsyth on Saturday night at Ulverstone.

Sam Armstrong’s team have been unable to string consecutive wins together all year, and the trend continued against the Cobras to leave their NBL1 finals hopes hanging by a thread.

The signs looked good early that the home side would be able to carry over the momentum from last week’s overtime win against Melbourne, with a solid performance at both ends of the court giving them a 45-42 advantage at half-time.

That lead grew to 11 points in the with just under three minutes to go and despite the Jordan Bowling’s best efforts to stage comeback, three points would be as close they would get as the Cobras held on.

A frustrated Armstrong was left to pick up the pieces of his team’s fifth loss at home that sees them drop to 7-10 ahead of a road trip to Ringwood and Diamond Valley next round.

“We’ve been lathered with patchy basketball all season and that won’t get it done in this league,” Armstrong said.

“You hope it’s something you can improve on as the year goes on but we’ve really struggled with it.

“It’s not a physical thing, it’s mental, and good teams, regardless of their personnel, sniff that out.

“I was happy with our start and I thought we did a pretty good job defensively.

“Kilsyth haven’t been great in defensive transition and we wanted to get down the floor quickly to try and exploit them.

“We had good balance with that early but as the game wore on, we couldn’t get enough consecutive stops to allow us to get running.”

Bowling led the Thunder with 25 points, while fellow import Nick Banyard added 15 points and Joe Chilcott 12 points.

Tohi Smith-Milner’s 25 points topped the Cobra’s scoresheet, followed by Isaac Turner with 24 points.