NBL Under 16s Vs Worcester 02-03-2013

NBL Dorset Storm Basketball Club Under 16s versus Worcester Wolves March 2013 1Another electrifying game sees the Under 16s win 54 – 56 at Worcester.

Dorset Storm (9, 9, 16, 22) 56

Worcester Wolves (20, 11, 10, 13) 54

Dorset Storm Under 16s made the long journey to the West Midland to face Worcester Wolves in their National League game.  Storm travelled to the game on the back of a series of good performances, so were feeling confident but fully aware that Worcester had put in some big performances of late.  Will Taylor was included in the team for the visit as injury and unavailability of a couple of players meant changes were made.

Storm opened the game with a back court of Bradley Bennett, Tom Storey and Christian Farah, whilst Lewis Old and Alex Kapuscinski were the front court pair.  Neither team started particularly well, as it took a couple of minutes for the opening basket to be scored.  It was Worcester who made the early run though, as they opened on a 7 – 1 run.  Storm did enough to hang about as scores from Storey and  Charlie Harland and Michael Hester helped them recover to trail 11 – 7 by the midway point of the quarter.  The most concerning thing about the play in the opening few minutes was the leaky defence as Worcester far too often got to the heart of Storms defence and converted easy shots.  Storm struggled to find a way of slowing their opponents who finished the opening quarter 20 – 9 up.

Storm needed a better defensive effort if they were to give themselves a chance in the game and opening the second quarter they got just that.  NBL Dorset Storm Basketball Club Under 16s versus Worcester Wolves March 2013 3Some good rebounding from Will Taylor and Harland allowed Storm to hold Worcester to just four points in the opening five minutes of the quarter.  At the other end of the court, Storm were starting to play better, but it took several minutes for them to register their first points of the quarter too.  At one point, Storm found themselves 15 points adrift.  Adriel Maranan really started to shine in the second part of the period, with his quick hands and feet defensively and five points in a hurry from Harland, Storm began to close the deficit.  A couple of strong finishes inside from Michael Hester allowed Storm to feel they had improved on their opening quarter as the deficit was 13 points at the half, 31 – 18.

Storm needed more good defence if they would stand a chance in the second half. They got that as they held Worcester to just one free throw in the opening four minutes of the third period.  Two free throws from Kapuscinski and a lay up from Hester helped Storm to get the deficit into single figures.  Dan Riggs made his presence felt in the middle part of the period as he grabbed rebounds and put the ball on the floor to attack the hoop aggressively.  Storm looked to push the ball and a couple of smart plays from Farah saw scores from Hester and Harland as Storm went on a 10 – 1 run to close the gap to just four points at 38 – 34 with a minute to play.  Storm failed to get a score on either of the last possessions, but Worcester scored a deep three over a hand on the buzzer to take a 41 – 34 lead into the final stanza.

It was Worcester who started the final quarter more positively as some poor rebounding from Storm saw them open with a 9 – 2 run to take a 50 – 36 lead by the fourth minute of the period.  Lewis Old then started to heat up with back to back jump shots, including his first triple of the game.  NBL Dorset Storm Basketball Club Under 16s versus Worcester Wolves March 2013 4Farah and Bennett both made big defensive plays in the fifth minute as Kapuscinski converted on the break.  There were more big defensive plays as Bennet and Storey both drew offensive fouls in the next few possessions to frustrate Worcester further. Two scores inside from Storey allowed Storm to get to within six at 50 – 44.  Storm were now playing much better defence, as for the first time in the game they rebounded the ball as a five man unit and played with the defensive intensity required to force their opponents into making mistakes. An offensive rebound and score from Kapuscinski followed two foul shots from Bennett brought Storm to within four 52 – 48.  Heading into the penultimate minute, more good defence from Storm gave Worcester no opportunity to score and a three from Farah brought Storm to within a single point, 52 – 51.  Another defensive stop from Storm and a score from Kapuscinski gave Storm their first lead of the game with 50 seconds left to play.  Another stop from Storm and a rebound from Bennett who was then fouled, which put him at the line for two shots.  He hit one to give Storm a 54 – 52 lead.  Storm also had possession from the half way line as the foul was called unsportsmanlike, but Storm turned it over with 15 seconds still to play.  Worcester attacked Storm, and drew the foul with nine seconds remaining resulting in two foul shots.   Worcester hit both to tie the game at 54, timeout Storm.  Out of the timeout Storm executed their play well, and Kapuscinski was fouled on the way to the basket.  He made both foul shots and Worcester had four seconds to score from under their own basket.  A long outlet pass was deflected out of bounds, but the home side could not get an open look at the basket from the inbounds play as Storm held on to win another electrifying game 54 – 56.

Assistant coach Jill Kemish was pleased with the never say dieNBL Dorset Storm Basketball Club Under 16s versus Worcester Wolves March 2013 5 attitude displayed by the team, and the adjustments they made throughout the game:

“We weren’t really in the game for the opening 10 minutes.  Defensively we did not turn up, which is disappointing given that this has been a huge positive for us over the past few weeks.

You have to say that after that opening 10 minutes we were much better.  The tone at the start of the second quarter was really important, as we started to believe we could compete with Worcester. From that point on we only conceded 33 points which was the crucial factor in the result.”

Kemish was also impressed with the teams focus in the final few minutes as well as some big plays from a variety of players throughout the game.

“There was no let up from us today.  It didn’t matter who was on the court, the level of our game was high throughout those final three periods. There were big plays from every player at sometime throughout the game…  Everybody made contributions.”

For Storm, it continued a run of good results which the players have worked so hard for this season. NBL Dorset Storm Basketball Club Under 16s versus Worcester Wolves March 2013Storm were led by 13 points from Charlie Harland, who ran himself into the ground at both ends of the court.  Michael Hester and Alex Kapuscinski added 12 and 10 respectively.  Lewis Old and Bradley Bennett both hit big shots down the stretch, each one a huge blow to Worcester.  Adriel Maranan handled the ball well with Storms several regular guards absent.  Defensively Christian Farah and Tom Storey made big plays, whilst Daniel Riggs and Will Taylor played hard defence and rebounded exceptionally well.

Storm will be keen to put in another good performance when they return home to Rossmore Leisure Centre next Saturday to take on Swindon Sonics, 3.30pm tip-off.

Scorers: Harland 13, Hester 12, *Kapuscinski 10, *Storey 6, *Farah 5, *Old 5, *Bennett 3, Riggs 2, Taylor and Maranan.