NBL Under 18s Vs Wiltshire Wolves 17-12-2011

Most complete performance of the season sees NBL Under 18s pick up another win.

Match Report

Dorset Storm (25, 15, 23, 30) 93

Wiltshire Wolves (12, 20, 13, 16) 62

Dorset Storm Under 18s took on Wiltshire Wolves at Rossmore Leisure Centre on Saturday.  Storm came into the game on the back a reasonable performance the previous week against Gwent, and of course the recent victory over UWIC was also fresh in the mind of the players.  With the influential Jack Kelly already missing Storm lost several players due to illness and injury in the final 48 hours meaning Gabriel Gordula and Stephen Mahinay got a stay of execution.

Storm opened with Seb Darby and Oliver Heath in the front court, while guards David Rudenko and Gabriel Gordula were joined by Maykel Patino.  Storm started well offensively with Heath, Gordula and Rudenko all netting in the opening four minutes giving Storm a 9 – 4 lead and resulting in Wiltshire timeout.  Following the timeout Wiltshire switched to a big zone, but Storm were patient offensively when the game became a half court contest and regularly found gaps off ball movement and dribble penetration.  As time went on Storm continued to move the ball well against the zone and Stephen Mahinay and Jordan Ambrose took full advantage converting four triples on the quarter.  A decent first quarter of defence from Storm, in which they put constant pressure both on the ball and in the passing lanes saw Storm hold a 25 – 12 lead at the end of the opening period.

A sloppy start to the second quarter saw Wiltshire get to the basket and Mahinay pick up his second foul which saw him heading to the bench.  Gordula was playing well for Storm and converted twice in the transition, with Ambrose and Rudenko providing two pinpoint passes.  Defensively Storm were doing a better job controlling the boards as the game went on, with Patino rebounding particularly well.  Offensively a score from Dan Message inside, and a three ball from Rudenko gave Storm their biggest lead of the first half at 38 – 24 heading into the penultimate minute.  Storm though, lacked some concentration in the final couple of minutes, as Wiltshire ran in eight points in the final 90 seconds to bring themselves right back into the ball game.  The score at the half was 40 – 32 to Storm.

Coming out of the changing room for the second half were a more focused group of players than finished the first.  However, the supporters on the sideline could have been forgiven for fearing the worst as a scrappy opening couple of minutes saw Storm miss two wide-open lay-ups.  After Wiltshire found their way to the basket along the baseline, Heath nailed another from downtown for Storm.  Darby and Rudenko came to the party soon afterward with two midrange jump shots being scored following some good dribble penetration and kick outs from Ambrose and Heath.  Defensively Storm had regained the composure as Wiltshire had to work hard to get away any sort of shot – Rudenko and Gordula being particularly active defensively.  Storm once more switched off at the end of the quarter, as Wiltshire scored six to close out the third stanza.  It was the visitors who trailed though as Storm held a 61 – 46 lead.

Storm took to the floor again with the immediate intention of making those six points up.  Heath started well, slashing to the basket on the break and then grabbing an offensive rebound to score with a tough put back on the next possession.  Ambrose and Patino were beginning to cause havoc at the defensive end, and it was Ambrose along with Rudenko who converted in transition as a result of that defence.  Storm continued to play good defence in the final quarter, with good communication on the numerous ball screens in the Wiltshire offence.  Millatt nailed an 18 footer from the wing, and Stevenson converted along the baseline to help Storm stay in control.  Conor James, returning after missing the previous two games, provided the on floor leadership that Storm needed as the game entered the final few minutes.  As the game finished Storm ran out winners 93 – 62.

For Storm it was a chance to finally put together the complete performance that have eluded the team in recent weeks.  On Saturday, the team were certainly good both offensively and defensively and that resulted in their impressive display as lead coach Luke Kemish explained:

“We have been wanting to put together a good defensive and good offensive performance and today we managed it.”

It wasn’t all plain sailing for Storm though, as a frustrated coaching staff made their views quite clear to the players at the half time break.

“We weren’t pleased at the interval, we let Wiltshire back into the game through a couple of silly offensive decisions and losing focus defensively.  A 16 point lead with 90 seconds to go became eight by the half.

We have high expectations, and we weren’t achieving them at half time.

Disappointingly we did a similar thing at the end of the third too, these are the sorts of small things we have to learn from.  Against the top teams switching off like that would be fatal,” concluded Kemish

For Storm Oliver Heath lead all scores with 22, but he was well supported with David Rudenko and Stephen Mahinay netting 16 and Gabriel Gordula and Conor James adding 10.  Rudenko also added seven rebounds, Patino collected six steals and Ambrose six assists as Storm really did have contributions from all eleven players that were fit enough to take to the floor.

Storm now have the Christmas and New Year break to contend with before facing Team Gloster early in 2012.  A big thank you to all the supports for the noise they made, and best wishes for the festive season.

Scorers: *Heath 22, *Rudenko 16, Mahinay 16, *Gordula 10, James 10, Ambrose 7, *Darby 4, Message 4, Stevenson 2, Millatt 2, *Patino.

[nggallery id=48]