North-West Thunder lose to Knox 74-61 in Saturday night’s NBL1 clash at Ulverstone

The result drops the Thunder to 15th on the 18-team NBL1 men’s ladder with a 6-9 record, and while still a chance to make the top eight, they simply can’t afford to drop any more games like they did against the Raiders, who arrived at Ulverstone below them on the ladder.

Armstrong said both the players and coaching staff, including himself, will get analysed in the wash-up of the performance, which came on top of a 79-74 loss in Geelong the night before.

“There are a lot of areas that we need to review and I have to make sure I look at my delivery and make sure my message is getting across and the playing style we have is suiting the team,” Armstrong said.

“For some reason we just can’t stay in games and put consistent effort together and we need to go back and look at the reasons why.

“As I’ve said before, you don’t get any fitter or start shooting the ball any better this time of the season but concentration takes over and that mental aspect of our game is currently a real challenge for us.

“I can handle getting beat if we’re playing the right way but that’s not the case at the moment and we may have to try some different things through the last part of the season just to see if we can change our psyche in the game.”

After a dour, but even first quarter, the Raiders took control of the game with a 21-11 second term that saw the Thunder go four minutes without scoring at one stage.

The game threatened to get out of reach for the home side as Knox stretched the lead to 18 points early in the third quarter, but a run of seven straight points from Simon Lokan helped cut it back to nine points.

However that would be as close as the Thunder would get as they were unable to regularly produce enough spark on offence to trouble the visitors defence in the final 10 minutes.

Jordan Bowling top-scored for the Thunder with 16 points, followed by Lachlan Dent with 12 points and Kai Woodfall with 10 points, while Know were best-served by Adam Thoseby’s 22 points and Cadarian Raines’ 15 points.

Despite missing captain Joe Chilcott and Reyne Smith, Armstrong refused to blame a lack of depth as an excuse.

“We lacked a little bit of rotation with our guards but I don’t think that was the overall problem with the result,” Armstrong said.

“Knox came with a real level of intensity about them like they wanted to win and we didn’t match it.”

It was also a tough night for the Launceston Tornadoes in the earlier women’s match, with Knox winning 95-63.