NBL Under 18s Vs Plymouth Marjons – 30-10-2010

Match Report

Dorset Storm (14, 6, 5, 9) 37
ABC Gwent (15, 11, 9, 23) 58

Dorset Storms Under 18s travelled to Plymouth on Saturday for their second match of the season against Plymouth Marjons. The hometown Plymouth team came into the fixture as the leagues top team, having won all three of their matches so far this season. Storm included both Karl Readhead and Matt Lawson in their team this week after the pair missed last weekends opener against ABC Gwent.

Storm opened with the same five as last weekend with Oliver Heath, David Rudenko and Conor James in the back court and Seb Darby and Suthep Craig in the forward spots. Storm opened the game well, moving the ball with confidence and Heath and Karl Readhead both knocked down open shots early on. Some great defence from Gabriel Gordula and Rudenko keep Plymouth at bay as neither team could take control of the game. An inside score from Readhead and a foul shot from Gordula saw Storm score the last three points of the quarter as the stanza ended 14 – 15 in favour of Plymouth.

Storm opened the second quarter with a couple of good possessions, but shots at the end didn’t drop. Storm kept their focus at the defensive end of the court and made Plymouth fight hard for every look at the basket they got. Storm though lost their way at the offensive end of the court, and despite dealing with the Plymouth pressure some elementary mistakes – travelling, stepping over the foul / inbounds line – after they had the ball down the court slowed Storms progress offensively. Some good rebounding from Darby helped Storm at both ends of the court and with two baskets from Craig Wren and Rudenko in the final couple of minutes of the half helped Storm stay within touching distance of Plymouth, as they trailed 20 – 26.

Storm started the second half brightly as Heath nailed a triple, and Readhead started to command the paint at the defensive end of the court. Storm continued to move the ball well offensively and created open shots, and with their continued patience they got themselves back into the game. The key being some outstanding transition defence and rebounding at the defensive end once again. Conor James was playing particularly well, and converted twice on the break as Storm closed the deficit on their opponents. A couple of sloppy possessions offensively and a break down defensively giving up an open three saw Plymouth regain their advantage in the final moments of the quarter as they lead by seven heading into the final 10 minutes.

Storm were still in the game, and would want to hang around in the game for as long as possible safe in the knowledge that they execute well down the stretch in close games. Unfortunately, Storm lacked concentration in the opening two minutes as Plymouth opened the first two minutes and thirty four seconds with a 14 – 0 run, fuelled by five Storm turnovers. It took a Storm timeout to halt the run, and a clear message of stand up and be counted was given to the players. Captain David Rudenko led the way as he scored inside on the next possession and drew three offensive fouls from Plymouth players in the final seven minutes. Gordula and James also set the tone for Storm as they fought hard to restore their pride over the closing minutes of the quarter. Despite the promising finish the two minutes of brain switch off proved to be crucial as Plymouth ran out winners 37 – 58.

Although the score might suggest otherwise, there were once again plenty of positives to take from the game. In particular at the defensive end of the court, which has been a focus this week at training to use some stats to back this up – in Plymouths previous four matches this season they are averaging 98 points per game – they managed only 58 against an improving Storm defence. Storm also had control of the defensive boards, a key to playing well in any game. Offensively for the majority of the match Storm also showed the ability to create decent scoring opportunities which on any other night of the week would have dropped far more regularly. Coach Jill Kemish summarised the team’s efforts:

“We did really well for 36 minutes today. Our transition defence was unrecognisable when compared to last week, and our defence in general was also much improved this week.

It has only taken the players one week to sort last weeks problems, if they continue to make the adjustments I’m sure it won’t be long before it all clicks for the whole 40 minutes.”

For Storm David Rudenko led all scorers with 11, Seb Darby had 10 rebounds and Karl Readhead eight. Storm will be working hard at training this week before they host Bristol Storm as part of a double header on Saturday afternoon at Rossmore Leisure Centre. The two clubs match up against each other in an Under 16s league game first at 1.30pm, before the Under 18s teams meet at 3.30pm.

Scorers: *Rudenko 11, Gordula 7, *Heath 6, Readhead 5, *James 4, Wren 2, Mahinay 2, *Darby, *Craig, Lawson.

[nggallery id=4]