Carolina Thunder opened their season in March with a narrow defeat at the hands of the Florence Wildcats who went on to have an ECBL-best 13-1 regular season. The teams met again on May 23 with a similar result, the Wildcats snapping a Thunder nine-game win streak.
When the pair met once again on Sunday in the ECBL Playoffs, Carolina Thunder had on thing on their mind; win and advance. When the final whistle blew that is indeed what happened as the Thunder eliminated Florence with a 110-105 victory.
Bunyon Tyson Jr. led his team with a weekend performance to remember. A day earlier the former East Carolina Pirates standout scored 44 points leading the Thunder past Charlotte in a Southern Conference quarterfinal 140-124. Tyson added five rebounds and a team-high eight assists.
That win set up another matchup with the Wildcats, who were well rested after earning a bye in the opening round. This time the Thunder would not be denied as Tyson again led the way scoring 41 points, 15 rebounds and seven assists.
“BJs’ performance in the fourth was huge, but the defensive pressure caused the big come back,” commented Thunder head coach Sebastian Page. “Kendrick Whittington was huge in limited action. Patrell Rogers was coming back from an ankle injury, but his play Sunday was felt on the defensive end containing Sam Dotson.”
James Richardson was a big contributor on the offensive end scoring 27 points on 12-of-22 shooting from the field. Whittington added 13 points and 13 rebounds for the Thunder who will face the PrimeTime Players in the ECBL Southern Conference final.
PrimeTime Players (13-2) and Carolina Thunder (11-4) met once during the regular season, on May 29, with PrimeTime coming out on top 150-141.