NBL Under 18s Vs ABC Gwent 10-12-2011

Little things make a big difference for shorthanded Under 18s.

Match Report

Dorset Storm (14, 16, 20, 23) 73

ABC Gwent (23, 27, 28, 22,) 100

Dorset Storm Under 18 travelled to Cwmbran to take on ABC Gwent on Saturday afternoon.  The team were still missing the Conor James, and Jordan Ambrose was also unavailable.  Storm though were keen to carry on their good form following on from last weekends game against UWIC Archers.

Storm opened with the same five from last weekend, with Jack Kelly, David Rudenko and Gabriel Gordula in the backcourt with Oliver Heath and Seb Darby in the frontcourt.  Storm got off to a decent start, with Heath opening the scoring from the charity strip and then stroking it from downtown.  Stevenson added another basket on a quick and decisive drive to the basket a minute later before Heath nailed his second triple of the quarter to make the score 10 – 9 to Gwent.  Storm worked hard to force Gwent into firing from the perimeter but several times they failed to secure the defensive rebound and that allowed Gwent to up their points.  In the final minute of the quarter, on the back of three consecutive Storm turnovers Gwent went on a 9 – 0 tear to lead 23 – 14 after the opening period.

Storm had a decent start to quarter number two, as Jack Kelly made his presence felt breaking up several plays and converting on the break twice.  Further scores from Maykel Patino and Rudenko – who also drew an offensive foul – cut the deficit further as the middle part of the period was reached.  Offensively, Storm were moving the ball relatively well and were able to create open looks albeit from the perimeter – Steve Mahinay for example converting a long two.  However, failing to rebound well at the defensive end gave Gwent a couple of easy scores and the Welsh team then had their tails up.  Some poor transition defence saw Gwent score seven unanswered points, as Storm used their second timeout of the half to halt proceedings.  Out of the timeout Storm continued to do a poor job defensively, as time after time Gwent were able to reach the centre of the court off dribble penetration and convert in and around the basket.  A single score from Rudenko from the top of the key was the only score for Storm after the timeout as Gwent took the game away from Storm to lead 50 – 30 at the half.

Early on in the second half both teams exchanged baskets as the number eights went to work!  Storm though, were not controlling the tempo of the game, and as a result the game became an up and down transition game.  For the third time in the game Gwent went on a huge run, 15 – 0 on this occasion, with only a Storm timeout stopping the Gwent charge.  By the time that Storm had sorted themselves out Gwent were piling on the pressure.  Mahinay nailed a three, his second of the quarter, and Darby scored along the baseline as Storm continued to score well, but they still had no answer to the Gwent attack, trailing 78 – 49 at the end of the third.

Opening the final quarter Joe Butler did a good job of making his presence felt defensively and steals from Kelly and Stevenson helped Storm set a better tone defensively.  Gwent though still got open looks at the basket on too many occasions as they nailed consecutive threes. Rudenko and Gordula both converted in transition for Storm who continued to play hard, typified by Kelly coming up with three offensive rebounds in the quarter.  For the most part, Storm moved the ball and found ways to the basket which was pleasing as this was something that was lacking last week against UWIC.  In the end though, Storm conceded far too many points to have a chance in this game as Gwent ran out 100 – 72 winners.

For Storm there were several good performances, as David Rudenko, Oliver Heath and Gabriel Gordula all reached double figures.  Seb Darby and Jack Kelly crashed the boards hard, although help was lacking from some of their teammates.  Storm also shot the ball well from everywhere apart from the foul line.

“We actually felt we played quite well in many areas of the game.  There were several things we didn’t do well and at the end of the day those were the things that cost us.” Explained assistant coach Jill Kemish.

“We took good care of the basketball, and for the most part got the shots we wanted offensively.

Defensively though, we were poor on two key areas.  We didn’t rebound well as a unit and our effort in transition was lacking and poor in execution.”

Despite the end result Kemish was optimistic that the team is not that far away from getting it right.

“We have to merge the performances from the last two weeks. The defensive effort was the key to the win against UWIC, and if we play offence like we did today then we will be a tough team to play.

The players have to remember that the little things make the big difference.” concluded Kemish

The Under 18s are in action next Saturday against Wiltshire Wolves at Rossmore Leisure Centre.

Scorers: *Rudenko 17, *Heath 15, *Gordula 10, Mahinay 9, Patino 6, Butler 6, *Kelly 4, *Darby 4, Stevenson 2.

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