NBL Under 18s Vs Taunton Tigers – 13-11-2010

Match Report

Dorset Storm (17, 14, 15, 13) 59
Taunton Tigers (14, 23, 28, 12) 75

Dorset Storm Under 18s hosted the unbeaten Taunton Tigers at Rossmore Leisure Centre on Saturday. A young Storm team have improved in each of their three outings so far this season and that improvement culminated in a convincing victory versus Bristol last weekend. Storm had virtually a full strength team out, with the exception of Rory Catton who was down at an unnamed pub.

Storm opened with the same five as last weekend, with David Rudenko, Oliver Heath and Conor James in the back court, and a forward paring of Seb Darby and Gabriel Gordula. Taunton opened the scoring from the tip, as Storm took a few minutes to adjust to the tempo of the game and during that time Taunton opened up a 0 – 7 lead. In his normal style, Gordula cashed in by nailing a triple from the top of the key, and further scores from Readhead and Mahinay propelled Storm into full flow a they rattled off 12 points without reply to take the lead and force a Taunton timeout. Taunton came out fighting in the normal way, but Storm kept the Somerset based team at bay for the remainder of the quarter to take a 17 – 14 lead into the quarter break.

Both teams opened the second quarter well, Taunton getting the ball inside and Storm creating open shots for their team mates. Heath nailed two threes in the opening three minutes and Darby tied up the defensive glass as Storm continued to keep their opponents at bay. A couple of sloppy possessions, saw Storm miss open lay-ups and turn the ball over, as Rudenko and Readhead both picked up third fouls at the offensive end of the court and headed to the bench with seven minutes to play in the second quarter. Storm continued to play hard defence and made Taunton fight for every point, but credit to Taunton who stoked eight of 10 from the foul line. Storm kept fighting and as Mahinay and Heath combined for eight points over the last three minutes to keep Storm in it at the half time intermission, 31 – 37.

Storm were keen to have a good start to the second half, and a hard drive from Heath got Storm off the mark early on. Storm continued to cause Taunton problems with some good defensive pressure. Offensively, they continued to create good shots for each other as they moved the ball and themselves well against Taunton’s aggressive defence. As the quarter went on, some needless reaching in and poor defensive foot work in the post saw no less than four Storm players pick up their fourth personal foul, again leaving much of the work to be done by less experienced players. Over the final four minutes of the quarter with Gordula, Rudenko, Readhead and Mahinay on the bench an 11 – 0 run from Taunton was halted only temporarily by a Storm timeout as Taunton closed the third quarter with a 46 – 65 advantage.

Storm started the final quarter well as they kept Taunton scoreless for the opening three minutes. Gordula provided the spark for Storm as he score all five points in a 5 – 2 run that saw Taunton call a timeout to regain their composure. Storm continued to move the basketball well and, despite settling for a few too many long range shots, they continued to fight their opponents. Scores from Rudenko, Readhead and Mahinay saw Storm reduce the deficit but in the end the Tigers had a little too much for the Dorset side as they won by 16 points, 59 – 75.

Storm will once again be pleased with their performance, with progression once again being obvious. To hold and at times outplay one of the top clubs in the country shouldn’t be overlooked as coach Luke Kemish was quick to point out:

“We played good basketball again today. It’s obviously frustrating to pick up so many dumb fouls – three offensive fouls and some others 80 foot away from our own basket is just going to make life hard on yourself.

We had players step up again, and despite having some funny combinations on the floor due to our foul trouble we kept fighting and stuck with Taunton throughout.”

Storm were once again impressive at the defensive end, something that coach Kemish was quick to point out:

“I thought the players worked really hard defensively, especially when you consider the length and weight advantage Taunton had today. We are trying some new things out and the players are buying into them right now.”

For Storm, Oliver Heath led all scores with 20 points and added 10 rebounds to complete a double-double. Stephen Mahinay added 15 points, Seb Darby 10 rebounds and Karl Readhead 10 points and seven rebounds. The all round effort by all 11 players was once again key, as all 11 saw court time and contributed to the cause in some way for the home side.

If Storm continue to play as they are, the second half of the season will be an interesting one as the team will surprise a few people along the way. Next weekend the team are off to the foreign land of Wales as they visit UWIC Arches, before having a weekend off at the end of November.

Scorers: *Heath 20, Mahinay 15, Readhead 10, *Gordula 8, *Rudenko 4, Craig 2, *James, *Darby, Lawson, Wren, Williams.

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