NBL Under 18s Vs Plymouth 28-01-2012

Second promising display against league leaders for Under 18s.

Match Report

Dorset Storm (10, 15, 17, 7) 49

Plymouth Marjons (11, 19, 17, 17) 64

Dorset Storm Under 18s made the long trip along the south west coast to face the high flying Plymouth Marjons on Saturday.  An odd week at training wasn’t the ideal preparation for the team heading into a tough game against the current league leaders.  Storm travelled without Maykel Patino who was a disappointing last minute drop out.

Opening the game for Storm were the usual trio of Jack Kelly, David Rudenko and Conor James in the back court while Oliver Heath was joined by Dan Message in the front court.  Storm opened the game positively, playing tough defence over the first few possessions.  Offensively neither team was producing a highlight shooting display as Storm held a 1 – 0 lead after four minutes of basketball!  Plymouth upped the pressure with a conservative half court trap and this resulted in Storm coughing the ball up weakly on three consecutive occasions forcing a timeout from the visitors with the score 6 – 1 to Plymouth.  With their press break tidied up Storm began to get better looks at the offensive end of the court.  Rudenko, Heath and Stephen Mahinay all scored before the quarter ended with Plymouth leading 11 – 10.

Storm had a good start to the second quarter with Heath getting the scoring under way.  Kelly was all over the place at the defensive end of the court, collecting rebounds and knocking balls away.  Following a Plymouth timeout they again upped the pressure, but Storm dealt with it much better second time round.  Despite Plymouth upping the tempo Storm continued to be patient offensively, with good ball movement and spacing allowing them to create open looks for themselves.  Plymouth put their foot down at the offensive end, nailing a brace of long-range efforts but Storm, lead by some good play from Seb Darby, continued to fight and stay in touch.  At the half Storm trailed 30 – 25.

Storm knew they would need to concentrate and focus for the whole 10 minutes if they wanted to keep the score close heading into the final stanza.  Heath again opened the scoring for Storm who were continuing to set a positive tone with their defensive intensity.  Every Plymouth shot was contested, and the only look the home side could get was over an outstretched Storm defender.  Storm continued to deal with Plymouth’s press effectively and generally their execution was good throughout the quarter.  Joe Butler maintained the defensive intensity throughout the later stages of the third quarter as Storms defence set up Mahinay for a breakaway lay-up.  Storm had a chance to narrow the gap further in the final seconds, but their second consecutive offensive foul gave Plymouth a chance to extend their lead.  Plymouth’s shot fell short, letting Storm off the hook as the visitors still trailed by five, 47 – 42.

Entering the final 10 minutes of play Storm wanted to keep the game tight and give themselves a chance down the final stretch.  Early on in the quarter they managed to do that, with Seb Darby pulling the strings offensively as he set up a score for James from the wing.  Halfway through the quarter Storm started to stumble, a series of turnovers and forced one-on-one shots allowed Plymouth to capitalise in transition.  A timeout from Storm didn’t have the desired effect, as a couple more baskets took Plymouth lead up to 20 points with three minutes to go. Another timeout from Storm with lead coach Luke Kemish clearly expressing his disappointment at his teams lack of togetherness in the past couple of minutes seemed to have the desired effect.  The senior duo of Mahinay and Rudenko were the first to respond as they both scored to help Storm close out the game and finish well.  In the end though, Plymouth’s fourth quarter burst was just too much as Storm slipped to a 49 – 64 defeat.

For Storm a well-balanced offensive attack saw seven different players brace the score sheet whilst Jack Kelly and Seb Darby both dished out four assists.  It was a shared effort in the rebounding department with every player grabbing a rebound and four players collecting seven or more.  Lead coach Luke Kemish was quick to point out the importance of that team effort.

“It was a real team effort today.  We had lots of players step up at different times and make the plays.  The few minute when we stopped playing together, especially at the offensive end of the court was the one time Plymouth were able to pull away from us.

It’s no secret that early on in the year we were poor defensively, but in recent weeks we have put that right. That was Plymouths lowest score of the season at Marjons by 10 points, and last time out we held Gloster to below their season average.”

Storm will look to have a good week at training heading into their first home game of 2012 next Saturday against Bristol.  Tip-of is at 3.30pm, following the Under 14s match at 1.30pm –so if you are free why not come down to Rossmore and check out the action.

Scorers: Mahinay 12, *Rudenko 11, *James 9, *Heath 7, Darby 6, *Message 2, Butler 2, *Kelly.