NBL Under 16s Vs Plymouth Marjons – 18-09-2010

Match Report

Dorset Storm (9, 11, 9, 10) 39

Plymouth Marjons (42, 16, 15, 23) 96

Dorset Storms Under 16s kicked off their National League season against Plymouth Marjons on Saturday afternoon at Rossmore LC. Storm headed into the game a little short on preparation and also missing some key players due to this season’s very early start date. The team contained seven players who have been part of Storms successful Under 13s and 14s teams in recent seasons who are now looking to make the step up to Under 16s basketball.

Coach Stoddard opened with Jack Kelly and Dan Saguirre in the guard spots, with Kieran Docherty, Dan Message and Charles Rillera up front. Both teams started in uncertain fashion, and almost two minutes had passed before the first basket was scored, courtesy of Rillera inside. Storm though could not take advantage as they missed four of their next seven field goals, all of which came in the form of lay-ups around the basket. Meanwhile, Plymouth raced out to a 16 – 4 lead, as they took full advantage at the opposite end of the court. Storm continued to struggle to handle the ball under pressure from Plymouth. Storm started the second quarter better than they had the first, with more control offensively they were able to get set and also play some good defence at times. Docherty and Message got to the basket regularly and drew numerous fouls, whilst Saguirre picked out some cutters for easy baskets from the back court. In a more competitive second quarter Storm were outscored by the opponents 11 – 16.

The third quarter started like the second had finished for Storm, with the home side ending up at the free throw line on regularly throughout the quarter. They were now dealing better with Plymouth’s pressure defence, with Kelly in particular stepping up and shouldering much of the responsibility. Storm were being more aggressive defensively, and this continued as they headed into the final quarter continuing to battle. There spirit and determination can be summed up by the three charging fouls that they drew in the last 12 minutes of the game, showing that they were learning with every minute on the court. A late 11 – 0 run from Plymouth extended their lead further as the game drew to a close.

The result was not the important thing this early in the season, rather the way in which the players performed being the key. Storm fielded a team with just two Under 16s players, the remaining places being taken by Under 15s players. Coach Stoddard will have seen enough to be confident that over the coming weeks his team can make the small adjustments needed to become competitive in the league.

For Storm Kieran Docherty led all scorers with 17, Dan Saguire added 3 steals and 3 assists. However, the most noteworthy performance was the improvement that Jack Kelly made in just one game, confidently handling the ball and taking responsibility for the offence towards the end of the game.

Scorers: Docherty 17, Message 9, Rillera 7, Saguirre 4, Kelly 2, Coles, Gosling, Donohoe, Lawson, Stevenson.