NBL Under 18s Vs Team Gloster 14-01-2012

Good start to 2012 for Under 18s against league leaders.

Match Report

Dorset Storm (12, 13, 12, 10) 47

Team Gloster (17, 24, 18, 26) 75

Dorset Storm Under 18s took to the road for their opening game of 2012.  Their opponents would be the current pace setters in the league Team Gloster Jets.  Storm had complete a reasonable set of training ahead of this game, the only disruption being the unavailability of one of their normal facilities.  Storm travelled without a couple of regular players who had not been to training.

Storm opened with Conor James, Jack Kelly and David Rudenko in the back court whilst Seb Darby and Oliver Heath made up the front court.  Gloster started the more organised of the two side, something that was to be expected bearing in mind that this was their third game back since Christmas compared to Storms first!  Despite a couple of sloppy possessions both offensively and defensively Storm got themselves off the mark as Rudenko nailed a three from the top of the arc.  Defensively Storm were controlling the boards well, but seven turnovers in the opening five minutes wasn’t helping their cause.  Following a timeout Storm managed to be more aggressive offensively as Kelly, Darby and Maykel Patino all made an impact for Storm.  At the end of quarter one, Storm trailed 17 – 12.

The second quarter started by dribble penetration into the heart of Storms defence being a problem.  Rudenko and Stephen Mahinay scored baskets for Storm who were still in touch with their visitors by the half way mark of the quarter.  Good defensive play from Michael Stevenson resulted in Kelly getting to the foul line at the opposite end of the court as Storm battled hard and contested everything Gloster did.  The home side started collecting some offensive rebounds and as a result grew in confidence.  A 7 – 2 Gloster run was halted by a Storm timeout, but Gloster continued to pile on the pressure as Storm struggled to find a basket at the other end of the court.  Storm did find their way again, with Rudenko creating a couple of scoring opportunities for Patino and James before getting to the foul line himself.  At the half Storm trailed 41 – 25.

Storm started the second half well, with their defensive display improving all the time.  As time moved on Storm were becoming more comfortable at the offensive end as Mahinay, Kelly and James all added scores in the opening few minutes.  Defensively Storm were continuing to make life difficult for their opponents and like at the offensive end their communication had improved as the minutes ticked by.  Storms effort was never in doubt as they were continually doing a good job of being in the passing lane and breaking up play with deflections and touches on the basketball.  Joe Butler typified Storms improvement knocking the ball away on a couple of occasions and also converting a strong drive down the lane.  At the end of the penultimate stanza Gloster lead 37 – 59.

Storm entered the fourth quarter happy with their performance so far, but there were still 10 minutes ahead of them where they would need a big effort and all of their concentration to finish it off.  Rudenko and Mahinay ensured they got off to a good start offensively, scoring on the back of two good passes by Darby and Dan Message collected a couple of good offensive rebounds to help Storm keep the pressure up.  As the game entered the final few minutes Storm continued to contest every Gloster shot and pick up defensive rebounds.  Two long range threes which rattled in during the final two minutes perhaps flattered the Gloster scoreline as they won 75 – 47.

Despite the defeat, Storm could feel pleased with their days work at the final buzzer.  They had competed with their opponents throughout, and as the game went on the post-Christmas rust was visibly shaken off too.  The other thing that will impress the coaching staff is that the team improved throughout the 40 minutes, something that shows that they are still getting better as we head into the second half of the season.

“The players can be happy with their performance today. They made the top team in the league struggle to execute their offence, and weren’t scared to take it right to them defensively either.”

“The players were relaxed, yet focused and there was visible improvement throughthe game, which was good.” Summarised assistant coach Jill Kemish.

For Storm David Rudenko lead all scores with 14, closely followed by Stephen Mahinay whole added 12.  There were contributions from every player though, and two players that stood out defensively were Jack Kelly and Maykel Patino who chased around screens and contested perimeter shots relentlessly all game.

Rather frustratingly Storm have a weekend off before heading down to Plymouth for their next game of the season.

Scorers: *Rudenko 14, Mahinay 12, *James 8, Patino 7, *Kelly 2, Butler 2, *Darby 1, *Heath 1, Stevenson, Message.