Bradford Dragons were stunned by a last second buzzer-beater, leaving them on the wrong end of an 82-83 score-line against Worthing Thunder.
At the end of the third quarter, the Dragons appeared to be down-and-out, facing up to an 18 point deficit. However, following an incredible final quarter performance, they fought back to be leading by 2 points before Worthing’s Milton Chavis let fly with a last second shot, from the halfway line, to deny Bradford the victory.
Bradford had the better of the opening exchanges and soon opened up a six point advantage, with Davies hitting all of the hosts opening 9 points. However, Worthing replied with a nine point unanswered run, before the Dragons hit back again, eventually taking the first period by a single point, at 18-17.
Into the second period, and it was Worthing that went on another unanswered ten point scoring streak. But Bradford, immediately came back at them with Davies hitting his own 8 point unanswered run, although not enough to peg the score back completely and at half time, the Thunder were holding a seven point lead, at 35-42.
It all fell apart for the Dragons in a third quarter in which they allowed their visitors to put thirty points on the board. Going into the final break the Dragons looked dead and buried, with the score standing at 54-72 in Worthing’s favour.
However, in the final period of the game the Dragons incredibly turned the game on its head. With only 1 minute 15 seconds remaining on the clock, coach Mellor called a timeout, with the scores tied at 80 apiece. Davies then hit a further two points to put the game in Bradford’s control. However, with only seconds left on the clock Davies missed the opportunity to put the game out of Worthing’s reach. It was then that Chavis threw the ball up from the halfway line, just as the clock was counting down the final second. As soon as the ball left his hands, there was no doubt where the ball was going, and the Dragons players, coaches and fans could only watch as victory was grabbed away from them at the death.
Davies top scored for the Dragons with an impressive haul of 34 points, followed by Miguel Lorenzo with 16 points. For Worthing, Chavis finished the game on 25 points, whilst Louis Allen scored 18 points and Henry Rivers added a further 17 points.
After the game, Davies said, “We did some good things tonight. We came out and played hard, but hit a dry spell in our offence during the second and third quarters; so that’s definitely something we’ll spend time working on during the weeks to come. It’s disappointing to lose in the manner that we did, however there are a lot of positives that we can take from this. We will go back to work this week and prepare to get a win against Leicester next Saturday.”
Head coach, Chris Mellor added, “It was tough to lose in that fashion, right at the end, especially after coming back from 19 points down. But, defensively giving up 83 points is not what we are about and that end of the floor is where we will be putting in the work this week.”
Elsewhere for the Dragons, the under 16’s enjoyed a home victory against Trafford, 95-64, whilst the under 18’s also beat York Vikings 76-65.
All photographs © ALEX DANIEL PHOTOGRAPHY