NBL Under 18s Vs Bristol 04-02-2012

Uncompromising defensive effort sees Under 18s record another win.

Match Report

Dorset Storm (20, 18, 15, 22) 75

Bristol Storm (12, 13, 10, 2) 37

Dorset Storm Under 18s headed into Saturday’s game against Bristol Storm looking to build on the good performances that they have had so far in 2012.  Storm had picked a mixture of players for this game, and with Stephen Mahinay confirmed as vice-captain for the remainder of the season the team were determined to put in another good shift.  The outcome of this game could be crucial as the sides have split the two previous encounters – if the teams finish tied on points then the winner of this game would be on top.

Storm opened the game with Jack Kelly, Conor James and David Rudenko in the back court whilst Oliver Heath and Seb Darby returned in the front court.  Storm started the game with some good ball movement, and a triple from Heath and a lay-up inside by Rudenko saw them take an early 5 – 2 lead.  Bristol upped their defensive intensity and forced Storm into a couple of silly turnovers as coach Kemish called a timeout in the fourth minute with the score in Bristol’s favour 5 – 6.   Storm improved their defensive effort and coordination as the started to deny dribble penetration more effectively.  As their defensive organisation improved, so to did their offence as Heath and Stephen Mahinay both nailed further threes.  A Dan Message put back ensured Storm finished the quarter strongly, leading 20 – 12.

A key to the first quarter display was Storms ability to keep Bristol shooting contested shots from outside.  Unfortunately Storm failed to carry their performance over into the second quarter as Bristol nailed three consecutive triples to open with a 9 – 2 tear.  A slashing drive to the basket from the top of the key from Darby got Storm underway, before two triples from Heath opened up a 31 – 21 lead for the home side.  Timeout Bristol.  Heath continued where he had left off following the timeout as he added four more to the scoreboard, one basket courtesy of a great feed from Rudenko.  Darby continued to be influential dishing out two assists and controlling the glass whilst good pressure from Maykel Patino put Bristol’s guards under pressure.  Despite going on a 14 – 1 run over the middle part of the quarter, a poor start and a sloppy finish allowed Bristol to still be in with a chance as Storm led 38 – 25. 

Storm wanted to get an aggressive start to the second half to make up for a little bit of a lacklustre finish to the first half.  They didn’t get off to the best of starts as Heath picked up his third and fourth fouls inside the opening twelve seconds of the half which resulted in the games leading scorer heading to the bench.  Storm were clearly unsettled by this as two early turnovers saw them stutter at the offensive end too, as an early timeout was called by the coaches to emphasise some key points.  Coming out of the timeout Darby scored on another penetrating drive, and Jack Kelly picked up the defensive intensity for the home side.  Conor James then came alive, first dishing to Mahinay for the easy two before scoring a basket of his own in transition.  Jack Kelly continued to drive Storm forward, as he added baskets on the break as well as a three ball from the wing to help Storm extend their lead out to 51 – 32 and force a timeout from Bristol.  Storm were now full of confidence, and Under 15s player Jordan James scored the final basket of the quarter for Storm who took a 53 – 35 lead into the final stanza.

Storm now wanted to continue their good play in the final quarter, and most importantly continue to improve all the time.  A breakaway lay-up from Rudenko, coming from his own good defensive play got Storm underway.  Joe Butler found space numerous times along the baseline and converted inside for Storm too.  It was defensively where Storm were really making their presence felt though, as good communication and footwork caused chaos for Bristol guards.  Despite two timeouts in the quarter from Bristol, Storm continued to work well as a team defensively and maintained their intensity throughout.  Another Under 16s player Maykel Patino completed the scoring for Storm and became the tenth Storm player to score on the day as the home side ran out 75 – 37.

In the end then, an absolutely stunning result for Storm, coming from a defensive display that improved in every quarter.  Leading scorer Oliver Heath was back on form as he netted 21 points in limited minutes due to foul trouble, whilst Seb Darby collected big numbers in terms of rebounds, assists and steals.  Guards David Rudenko and Jack Kelly created some great looks for their team mates whilst being tenacious defensively.  It was the defensive effort that assistant coach Jill Kemish highlighted first:

“Defensively we were outstanding.  Compared to last time we played them when we played without any energy this was an exceptional performance.  In 2012 we have held every team we have played to less than their season average, and the players are buying into it right now.

Importantly the senior players are setting the tone, and that means the younger guys are being forced to follow suit. 

We know the players are not satisfied yet.  We want to continue to improve, and despite the good performance I know Luke will have things to work on at training this week.“

Dorset Storm Under 18s are in action next Sunday as they travel to Wales to take on the UWIC Archers, where the team will be looking to pick up another win.  A big thank you to all the supporters who stayed to watch and made plenty of noise along the sideline.

Scorers: *Heath 21, *Rudenko 10, Mahinay 10, *Kelly 9, *Darby 8, Message 5, *C. James 4, J. James 4, Patino 2, Butler 2.