NBL Under 14s Vs Taunton Tigers and Stroud Sharks – 24-10-2010

National League Tournament Report

Dorset Storms Under 14s hit the road for the second tournament of the season as they travel West to Somerset where they would meet Taunton Tigers and Stroud Sharks. Storm came into the game off the back of a good opening show last weekend at home against Torbay and Bristol. Storm were without several players – Josh Sissons, Charlie Harland, Joe Stevenson and Lewis Old  but did welcome back Christian Farah for his first National League appearance for the club.

Dorset Storm (12, 10, 10, 13) 45
Taunton Tigers (9, 9, 14, 7) 38

Storm played the tournament hosts Taunton Tigers first, with Phil Millmaker and Jordan James help Storm get off to a quick start and a 5 – 0 lead. Taunton came back, punishing Storm for not taking full advantage of the chances they produced at the offensive end, to trail by just 3 at the end of the first quarter 12 – 9. It was Taunton who started the second quarter the better of the two sides, and a 6 – 2 run gave them the lead early on. Storm got their game back together and some good ball movement and defence saw Adriel Maranan and Alex Kapuscinski score baskets to help Storm take a 22 – 20 lead in to the half time break.

It was the home side that started brighter once again, taking a 26 – 24 lead on the back of some missed lay-ups from Storm. Six points from Millmaker and some good defence from Vince Ibay allowed Storm to claw their way back, and as the buzzer sounded for the end of the third quarter the teams were tied at 32. Storm started the final quarter brightly, playing high intensity defence for the first time in the game, and making crisp passing and cuts to the baskets saw them take control of the game on a back of an 8 – 2 run. Entering the final couple of minutes Storm held a slender lead, but showed their poise down the stretch to keep control of the basketball to see out the match winning 45 – 38.

Dorset Storm (1, 10, 8, 8) 27
Stroud Sharks (10, 3, 13, 18) 44

Storm faced Stroud Sharks in the second match of the tournament. A sloppy start for Storm in which they failed to convert several open shots under the basket, set the tone for much of the opening quarter. On many occasions the team played good basketball, only to fail to finish it off by putting the ball in the basket. Storm did play some good defence at times and restricted their opponents scoring. Despite the good defensive effort Storm trailed 10 – 1 at the end of the first stanza. After some frank talking during the quarter break Storm came back fighting in the second quarter. With renewed focus at the offensive end they began to hit their shots and 6 – 0 run brought them back within just two points of Stroud. Alex Kapuscinski had a particularly strong quarter scoring six personal points for Storm.

A slow start to the third quarter saw Stroud score four quick points, but MillMaker and Kapuscinski combined for six points in a row to tie the game at 17. However it was Stroud who finished the period the stronger of the two teams as they finished the quarter on a 9 – 2 run of their own to take a 26 – 19 lead into the final quarter. Storm rallied early before lack on concentration defensively gifted Stroud several easy baskets which should never have been allowed. With Storm chasing the game Stroud moved the ball well and ran in several further lay-ups as Storm pressed to try and get the ball back. In the end Stroud ran out 44 – 27 victors.

Summary
For Storm Philip Millmaker put in two solid performances, he was backed up by several other players including the impressive looking Nathan Mahoney and Vince Ibay who both stepped up in their second tournament. It was the inconsistency that the players and coaches will find most frustrating as Jill Kemish reflected:

“We have a habit of making things hard for ourselves. We played some really good basketball which wasn’t rewarded as we lost concentration at key moments.

The players must realise the importance of playing hard and concentrating for the whole match, not just parts of matches. The challenge is to play with the intensity and focus the players showed in the second quarter against Stroud for a whole game.”

The Under 14s have a weekend off before they travel to Torbay to face the Tigers and current league leaders Swindon Sonics.

Scorers versus Taunton:
*Millmaker 12, *James 12, *Kapuscinski 9, *Maranan 6, *Pettitt 4, Farah 2, Casas, Ibay and Mahoney.

Scorers versus Stroud:
*Kapuscinski 10, *Millmaker 6, *Pettitt 6, *Maranan 4, Casas 1, Farah, *James, Ibay, and Mahoney.