NBL Under 18s Vs Wiltshire 26-02-2012

Storm fail to control the controllables, slip to disappointing defeat at Wiltshire

Match Report

Dorset Storm (15, 12, 18, 15) 70

Wiltshire Wolves (21, 10, 16, 13) 77

Dorset Storm Under 18s were looking to capitalise on their recent good play when they visited Wiltshire Wolves on Sunday afternoon.

Storm started the game with the same five that opened well last weekend against ABC Gwent.  Jack Kelly, Conor James and David Rudenko were the backcourt trio while Oliver Heath and Joe Butler were paired in the frontcourt.   Storm started slowly with Wiltshire working the ball inside without any real effort by Storm to keep them out of the middle.  Storm quickly found themselves 8 – 1 down and a timeout was called.  Out of the timeout Storm stepped up with Heath and Seb Darby both scoring baskets to help tie the game at 8.  Storm failed to take control of the games tempo and Wiltshire continued to get success as they got in and around the basket too easily.  By the end of quarter one, Storm trailed 21 – 15.

Storm upped their defensive intensity in the second quarter with Kelly and Darby both picking up steals.  A series of missed open lay-ups prevented them from taking full advantage as Wiltshire maintained their lead for much of the quarter.  Five points to close the quarter out from Mahinay brought Storm to within four at the end of the first half, trailing 31 – 27.

A poor start to the second half saw Storm undo the hard work of the second quarter to get back into the game.  A 6 – 0 run, was expanded to 13 – 3 slowed only by a Storm timeout.  Michael Stevenson injected some life into Storm in the middle part of the third quarter as the visitors trailed by as many as 15 points.  Stevenson scored back to back baskets as Storm mounted a fight back.  By the end of the quarter through increased effort at the defensive end they had once again trimmed the deficit to two points, 47 – 45.

Storm started the fourth quarter well, and a Mahinay triple saw them take the lead for the first time.  Wiltshire soon had the lead back though, and Storm didn’t have their noses in front until a Patino lay-up with one minute to go gave them a 57 – 59 lead.  Wiltshire split a pair of foul shots and at the other end Kelly also split his pair to give Storm a 60 – 58 lead.  Storm them committed a foul to put Wiltshire back on the foul line with just a few seconds remaining.  Wiltshire nailed both, and Storm failed to get a shot off and the game was headed for over time with the score tied at 60.

Storm opened the overtime period with several poor defensive plays as Wiltshire opened with a 6 – 0 run.  With four players fouled out by the 44th minute of the contest their were few options left for Storm.  In the end though, Wiltshire dominated the extra period, not necessarily through great play of their own, but rather by some pretty poor play from Storm to run out 77 – 70 winners.

For Storm it was a disappointing performance, littered with errors offensively and backed up with a poor defensive effort at times, as a sombre assistant coach Jill Kemish reflected:

“We never came ready to play today.  We missed seven uncontested lay-ups and picked up some really lazy fouls defensively that cost us.

Luke always talks about controlling the controllable, and today we didn’t do that.  We were to whingey, and shirked responsibility too often.  Despite playing poorly we still had a chance, but failed to grab it.”

For Storm Stephen Mahinay and Oliver Heath led all scores with 22 and 16 points respectively but their inability to keep themselves on the floor at the end of the game proved costly.  Jack Kelly and Conor James were the two bright defensive points for Storm, who again lacked the tenacity and fight needed to stop their opponents scoring consistently.

Storm will have to regroup quickly as they face Team Gloster twice next weekend.  Both games are at Rossmore Leisure Centre.

Scorers: Mahinay 22, *Heath 16, *Rudenko 13, Darby 8, *James 4, Stevenson 4, Patino 2, *Kelly 1, *Butler.