Thunder on a mission to get first A-grade win

Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser
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Kinjarling Thunder will be out to break through for their maiden win since joining the Albany Basketball Association men’s A-grade competition, when they tackle the Raiders under-18 development squad for the first time tonight.

Despite showing impressive signs in the six completed rounds thus far in 2017-18, the Thunder sit winless at the foot of the table having lost three games by under 10 points.

With a draw against Crabs in round 2, their closest result of the season, the Thunder will take plenty of confidence against the Raiders, who have only beaten Crabs in their five games.

Cohen Taylor again looms as a key to the Thunder’s hopes along with fellow guard Michael Simpson as they look to contain Ryan Barber and twins Henrick and Henry Alforque.

Taylor averages the second-most points of any player this season at 13.2 per game, with his best haul of 18 coming against Barking Owls.

Simpson is averaging 11 points a game and Thunder forward Jackson Shaw averages almost 10 points a game after a solid start to the season.

Raiders lost by 11 points last week to Ambassadors and will be hopeful of regaining key duo Keanu Weeden and Ryan Barber for the clash with the Thunder at 7pm.

The second-placed Den/Albany Spartans will take on Tigers, who sit in third spot, in the match of the round also at 7pm.

In the other round 8 fixtures, Ambassadors and Crabs face off at 8pm while Knights will look to bounce back from their first defeat of the season last week when they meet Pelicans.

In the women’s A-grade competition, Panthers will chase their third victory over Raiders at 6pm, having already beaten them by seven and 12 points in their two previous encounters.

The winless Flames take on Magpies in the 7pm fixture to complete round 8.

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