NBL Under 14s Vs Taunton Tigers 17-12-2011

Storm take Tigers by ‘Pettitt’ Margin.

Match Report

Dorset Storm (15, 21,13,14) 63

Taunton Tigers (13, 17, 14,17) 61

Dorset Storm U14’s went into their last game of the year hoping to continue their winning form. As with the previous game against Bristol the coaches elected to go with a more compact squad to try and bring in a bit more togetherness on the court, whereby set moves and teamwork could be the main thrust. Taunton had, like Storm underachieved to this point in the season but would be a challenge.

Storm started with Mahoney and Stevenson in the back court with Pettitt, Storey and Farah up front. The coach prior to the tip off was emphasising to his players that teamwork married with concentration and effort would see them continue their winning habit as they undoubtedly had the talent but just needed to believe in it.

From the start both teams pressed with the game fluctuating basket for basket. However, with Pettitt as always full of exuberance and drive, hitting three unopposed layups in the first three minutes and Stevenson and Farah playing with tenacity getting in the faces of the Tigers, Storm edged the first quarter 15-13.

At the break it was clear the game was going to be tight and the team that wanted it most would take the spoils. The only element concerning the coach was the amount of turnovers needlessly being given away. Having tried to settle the team down and get them to slow their play the second quarter continued as the first had ended with both teams exchanging scores and pressing both ends of the court. However, it became apparent Storm had not faced a team playing full court press and panicked, giving the ball away under their own basket and conceding three easy layups.  A timeout was called, with some positional adjustment and getting the ball inbound much quicker from the Storms own baseline the Tigers threat started to diminish as Storm started to deal with it and play their pass and cut movement much better.  With Farah excellent on both defensive and offensive rebounds Taylor, Bennett and Stevenson working up and down the court like Duracell bunnies and Pettitt on fire scoring with apparent ease Storm ended the first half 36-30 up.

Now having gained a small cushion Storm started the third quarter a little bit more composed with Mahoney starting to come a little bit more into the game setting plays up with Ibay and Storey working as good outlets when under pressure by the Tigers. Mid third quarter Storm switched off leaving the Tigers to close within five and there were too many turnovers appearing. Storm were defending deeper and deeper into their own key inviting trouble. A quick timeout and another switch instructing the team to meet the Tigers guards on the half line saw out the third with Storm up 49 – 44.

The fourth quarter came and the tension rose as Tigers got closer and closer ,at one point coming within two points. It didn’t help when Pettitt went down with cramp disrupting the play, however after much excitement and a steadying free shot converted by Stevenson Storm gained a three point advantage.  A timeout was called with 23 second s on the clock and with a final inbound pass to Farah and with some good keep play by him the clock ran down and Storm had won their second game in a row with a 63 – 61 finish.

For Storm Lewis Pettitt had a huge game leading all scorers in the game, with Adriel Maranan and Joe Stevenson adding valuable support.

The year had ended on a good note, if they can believe in themselves more there is no reason that a successful season cannot be achieved.

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