NBL Under 18s Vs UWIC Archers 9-10-2011

Dorset Storm Under 18s put is good performance but fall to a five point defeat in Cardiff.

Match Report

Dorset Storm (22, 14, 14, 13) 62

UWIC Archers (20, 22, 14, 12) 67

Dorset Storm took to the road for the second consecutive weekend as they visited the Welsh capital to take on UWIC Archers. The team were hoping to build on last weeks opening game victory over Bristol, with a second good performance against a team that is always at the top of the table competing for honours. Storm handed Maykel Patino his first opportunity of the season, as Jack Kelly was unavailable.

Storm opened with a familiar line up of Gabriel Gordula and Seb Darby inside, and Oliver Heath, David Rudenko and Conor James. Storm got off to a quick start with several open lay-ups coming from good spacing and quick moves to the basket. Defensively Storm were awake, limiting dribble penetration and contesting shots on the perimeter with good effect. Storm continued to get excellent looks at the basket as Rudenko sliced his way to the basket for six early points. Stephen Mahinay and Heath added baskets too, whilst defensively the team played well and carried on where they finished last week, rebounding the ball well. A sloppy final two minutes to the quarter saw four turnovers, converted to six points for UWIC as they fought back to trail 20 – 22 at the end of quarter one.

Storm started the second quarter with more focus and more control. Early on they dealt with UWICs continued pressure up the court well. Both teams battled well as both teams took their opportunities to score. A couple of turnovers mid way through the quarter resulted in UWIC scoring a quick fire six points with Storm falling behind for the first time in the ball game. Message ripped his way through the key to convert a strong move, and a Mahinay triple kept the team level. Both teams struggled to score in the second part of the quarter as UWIC held a small 36 – 40 lead at the end of the quarter.

Storm knew they would need a quick start to the second half, and it was crucial, to ensure that UWIC could not extend their lead further. Unfortunately, a half-asleep Storm side took to the floor at the start of the second half and an early timeout with a clear wake up call being given to the five starters seemed to have little effect. With UWIC opening up a 16 point lead. Whole sale changes followed as no improvement resulted from the timeout and through some hard work and fight at the defensive end of the court – typified by Michael Stevenson and Patino flying on the floor and Message battling hard for the rebounds Storm gradually made inroads into the 16 point UWIC lead. Mahinay lead the way offensively, attacking the basket aggressively, and Joe Butler followed suit as he also got to the front of the rim to score some much needed points. With further scores from Heath and an and-one from Rudenko Storm had got themselves back into the contest, trailing by six 56 – 50.

Storm continued to play well at the start of the fourth quarter with Mahinay and Darby adding scores early. Defensively, Storm were more alert too and made life difficult for UWIC any time they put the ball on the floor. A great effort on the defensive boards was crucial too, as Storm tried to make inroads into the home sides lead. Despite extending their defence up the court, Storm could not get past that final hurdle and fell agonisingly short, falling to a 67 – 62 defeat.

Despite the result, assistant coach Jill Kemish was quick to point out the positives from the game:

“We played well for 36 minutes in the basketball game. You can isolate two two-minute spells where we were outscored 12 – 0 as being key in deciding the outcome of today’s game.

We can take plenty of positives from the game, it’s hard to compete away from home – you have to deal with different referees, a different court, the travel – and we dealt with all of that really well. “

Storm will be looking to reverse the result in a few weeks time when UWIC visit Rossmore Leisure Centre, in what looks set to be a mouth watering encounter. Kemish was confident that the players would be ready for that challenge:

“The fact that the players were really disappointed with the result tells you about the mind set of this team; they want to perform well and believe they can win any game… that mental approach is crucial if you want to be successful.

They will take it one step at a time, it’s a continual process and we will continue to improve and develop into a better basketball team as the season progress.”

For Storm Oliver Heath lead all scores with 13, backed up by four other players scoring seven or more points. Defensively Dan Message and Seb Darby combined for 17 rebounds as Storm continued to improve in this area, something that will be crucial if the team is to be successful.

All in all a really positive performance, and with another week to iron out any final creases next weeks match up versus ABC Gwent looks set to be a great battle.

Scorers: *Heath 13, Mahinay 10, *Rudenko 10, Patino 8, *James 7, *Darby 4, Butler 4, Message 4, *Gordula 2, Stevenson.

[nggallery id=39]