Tamworth survived a spirited bid from Port Macquarie to extend its winning streak to three games in the Waratah Basketball League men’s competition on Saturday night.
The Thunderbolts share equal top-spot on the division one ladder after accounting for the Dolphins 87-77 in an entertaining affair at the Sports Dome.
Tamworth held the lead at every change, but was unable to breathe easy until the dying minutes as the visitors cut the margin to seven points with three minutes remaining.
But some clutch baskets from American ace Kyle Gupton and ensured the Bolts’ record is still perfect.
The dynamic Gupton again led Tamworth’s scorers, finishing with 19 points.
Point guard Max Chillingworth produced a lively display and hit a season-high of 18 points.
Tamworth’s depth was again highlighted by the fact nine different players hit the scoresheet, while Matt Monckton and the emerging Scott McGann also contributed double-figures.
Armidale talent McGann continues to impress at state level, contributing 11 points to the Thunderbolts’ cause.
Tamworth held sway by six points at the first change and stretched that to a 47-40 halftime advantage.
Port Macquarie would not go away quietly although the Bolts had the key answers during the third quarter to lead by 10 points heading into the last term.
Ryan Adams (23 points) played a fine game for the Dolphins, who made the trip here with seven available players.
Beau Montgomery (16) also caught the eye in a losing Port cause.
Tamworth is one of five sides sporting a 3-0 win-loss record, joined by Shoalhaven Tigers, Canberra Gunners, Manly Warringah Sea Eagles and Bankstown Bruins.
TAMWORTH 87 (Kyle Gupton 19, Max Chillingworth 18, Matt Monckton 11, Scott McGann 11) d PORT MACQUARIE 77
TAMWORTH opened its Waratah League women’s division one season with a 17-point home loss to the Maitland Mustangs.
Playing their first game under new coach Brad Melton, the Thunderbolts started brightly and held an early advantage before scores were locked 10-all at quarter-time.
Maitland made its move during the second term to lead by five points at the main break and stretched the gap to 13 at the final change.
Taylor Skelton (13) was the top-scorer for Tamworth, with Lily Darcy (nine) one of the other leading Thunderbolts.
MAITLAND 63 d TAMWORTH 46 (Taylor Skelton 13, Lily Darcy 9)