NBL Under 18s Vs Plymouth 12-11-2011

Hopeless defensive effort sees Storm fall to big defeat at Rossmore.

Match Report

Dorset Storm (10, 16, 16, 15) 57

Plymouth Marjons (25, 17, 24, 22) 88

Dorset Storm Under 18s faced unbeaten league leaders Plymouth Marjons at Rossmore Leisure Centre on Saturday.  The recent form guide suggested that the crowd would be in for a tight game with two good teams in action.

Storm started with Seb Darby, Oliver Heath and Conor James in the front court whilst Gabriel Gordula was joined by Jack Kelly in a new back court pairing.   Storm opened up well, a couple of good defensive possessions forced Plymouth into some outside shots, and Conor James nailed a jump shot a minute later to score the first points of the game.  Both teams took a while to get into any flow, and approaching the midway point of the quarter Plymouth held a 4 – 5 lead.  Storm were far from free flowing as they struggled to get the ball inbounded several times and threw the ball away cheaply far too often.  12 turnovers from the quarter tells you part of the problem.  Defensively though, Storm were poor, giving up easy drives and not putting any pressure in the passing lanes.  By the end of the quarter Storm were trailing 10 – 25.

Storm didn’t start the second quarter much better, giving up soft scores and settling for too many early jump shots.  From the first until the final minute David Rudenko and Heath were the only players on the score sheet in the quarter.  Gordula was one of the few players to provide any spark for Storm, but too often his teammates stood watching rather than being ready to react. By the time Mahinay hit a three in the final seconds of the half, Storm were already buried, trailing 26 – 42.

Storm needed a quick start to the second half if they were to give themselves any chance of making a game of it.  Some good defence from Kelly and James, gave Storm the perfect start as Gordula and Darby connected on the offensive end to bring Storm back to within 10.  90 seconds later, Storm had undone all that work though, as Plymouth went on an 11 – 0 tear to open up a 53 – 30 lead.  Storm struggled for the remainder of the quarter, shooting just 6/19 from the field and having a soft centre defensively.  Another poor quarter from Storm saw them trail 42 – 66 at the end of the quarter.

Playing for pride alone in the final quarter Storm opened with a basket from Darby.  Plymouth then went on a 10 – 0 run, and despite a brace of timeouts from the home side they still failed to find a set of five players who could play with any energy or passion.  It wasn’t until the final few minutes that Storm got the bit between their teeth.  Kelly and Patino put constant pressure on Plymouths guards, and Michael Stevenson provided a presence in the middle that had been lacking as Storm closed the game out with an 11 – 0 run.  Despite the finish, Storm crashed to a 57 – 88 defeat.

Coach Kemish was understandably disappointed with his teams showing, although he was quieter than many expected given his teams poor performance.  As he commented:

“Totally inept was one way to describe our defence.  I think I felt that really, a lot of today’s performance came down to a lack of effort or desire to play hard at the defensive end, I can advise on strategy and techniques but flat out effort is down to the individuals.

Very few of the guys came off panting after playing for a few minutes, which perhaps shows our lack of flat out effort at the defensive end.”

Kemish did praise Gabriel Gordula who had a good all round game, keeping out of foul trouble and making regular contributions all over the court.  Seb Darby finished one rebound shy of a double-double.   Maykel Patino and Jack Kelly showed they had made progress this season, as they were the two standout guards for Storm.

Kemish was adamant that his team would be ready to play next week and there would be no repeat of this weeks performance.

“We can make excuses all day long, but nobody is going to listen or feel sorry for us.  We’ve got to hit the court this week and train harder than ever.

It’s time for some of our senior players to come fresh and focused and start playing like they are capable of.

Hopefully some of the supporters will give us another chance and we can play in front of another big crowd next weekend,” concluded Kemish

Storm are straight back in action next weekend as they face Bristol at Rossmore Leisure Centre, tip-off is at 1.30pm.

Scorers: *Darby 10, Rudenko 10, *Heath 6, *James 6, Message 6, *Gordula 5, Mahinay 5, Butler 4, Patino 3, *Kelly 2, Stevenson.

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