Basketball: Tamworth Thunderbolts beat Newcastle Hunters 85-76 in Waratah League

DOMINANT DISPLAY: Matt Monckton was on fire against the Hunters at the Dome on Saturday night.

DOMINANT DISPLAY: Matt Monckton was on fire against the Hunters at the Dome on Saturday night.

An “angry” Matt Monckton scored a game-high 32 points as the third-placed Tamworth Thunderbolts won for the fifth time this season in a 85-79 home defeat of the Newcastle Hunters on Saturday.

Chris Skilton added 19 points for Tamworth, on a night in which they never surrendered the lead.

Monckton netted six three-pointers among his 13 field goals.

Skilton sensed that Monckton had a “point to prove”, although he did not know why. 

He said: “I sort of asked him at one stage during the fourth quarter, I asked him, ‘What’s going on? I’ve noticed something in your eyes tonight. You’ve got a chip on your shoulder’. I think he said to me he’s angry. I don’t know what he’s angry at.”

The Thunderbolts led 25-6 lead at the first break and 46-32 at halftime, before extending the margin to 19 points heading into the final quarter.

Skilton said Tamworth were more dominant than the scoreline suggested.

He said: “It was a pretty comfortable win, I suppose. We probably deserved to win by quite a bit more than the nine points that it ended up being.”