NBL Under 16s Vs Plymouth 15-11-2014

Storm never stop fighting, but despite big come back a lack of energy in key periods sees Storm slip to defeat.

Dorset Storm (6, 15, 6, 15) 42

Plymouth Raiders (14, 12, 16, 9) 51

Dorset Storm Under 16s made the long trip to Plymouth to take on the Raiders in what would be a tough test for the Storm team. Storm chose to maintain the same group of players from last weekend who put in a good home performance against Cardiff.

Storm opened the game with Harry Batson, Harry Jackson and Tom Stocks in the backcourt whilst Jack Bartlett and Josh Westlake opened up the back court. The game opened with Plymouth setting the tone early, and Storm playing Dorset Storm Basketball Club National League Under 16s versus Plymouth November 20143second fiddle throughout the opening few possessions. Storm struggled to take care of the basketball, with fumbles, drops and stepping out of bounds when under no pressure resulting in a series of early turnovers. Plymouth, slowly but surely, added points to the scoreboard and led 5 – 0 half way through the quarter which resulted in a Storm timeout. Out of the timeout Storm quickly adjusted to Plymouth’s zone as both Joshes – Westlake and Sissons – scored off a well-executed zone offence. Defensively Storm were still not able to establish themselves as Plymouth kept the scoreboard ticking over, leading by the end of the quarter 14 – 6.

Storm opened the second quarter with more energy as Callum Crook and Deividas Liveris scored early baskets. At the opposite end of the court steals from Stocks, Batson and Aidan Squires put more pressure of the home side. Storm were still giving the ball away too often at the offensive end, but their improved defensive display did mean that Plymouth could not open up a bigger lead. In fact on a triple from Jackson with the deficit was reduced to five. Plymouth called a timeout. Over the final few minutes of the quarter the team exchanged baskets with Batson scoring four points for Storm. At the end of the half, Storm trailed by five, 26 – 21.

Storm opened the third quarter poorly, as Plymouth were allowed a series of uncontested shots, which they scored as they open with a 8 – 0 run to take the score to 34 – 21. Dorset Storm Basketball Club National League Under 16s versus Plymouth November 20142Following a Storm timeout (and a second in the contender for the worst piece of refereeing to help develop junior players of the season), the visitors came out with little more in the way of energy, as Plymouth continued to rack up the points. Storm missed a series of open layups from good ball movement that did little to help keep them in the game. Storm trailed by 20, 42 – 22 with four minutes to play. Jack Bartlett back into the game, pulled down a series of big defensive rebounds which gave Storm a lift and when Stocks started to attack the hoop aggressively for the first time Storm managed to get their opposition on the back foot. By the end of the quarter they had reduced the deficit to 15, with Plymouth leading 42 – 27.

Storm needed a quick start to the fourth quarter, and they did get that with some good ball and player movement – their best of the game – creating a series of open shots. A lack of finishing continued to hurt them though, as they missed their opening nine shots of the quarter. Storm were scoreless for the opening five minutes of the quarter allowing the home side to open up a lead, Storm called their final timeout of the game with five minutes remaining. Out of the timeout, it was Jack Bartlett who scored Storms first points of the quarter, just past the half way mark. Aidan Squires then came to life as he directed traffic for much of the final five minutes, dishing out two assists whilst scoring four points of his own. Some good defensive play, where Storm played with the energy levels seen throughout the game versus Cardiff the previous week unsettled Plymouth and scores from Liveris, Bartlett and two foul shots from Stocks reduced the deficit to just three points with two minutes remaining. As Storm continued to chase the game, a couple of lapses defensively allowed Plymouth to get to the basket and score back-to-back baskets. In the end, despite rattling their opponents during the final five minutes, Plymouth executed well enough down the stretch to take a 51 – 42 win.

Dorset Storm Basketball Club National League Under 16s versus Plymouth November 20141When reflecting afterwards, Storm will be disappointed. This is a team that has high standards, and the inconsistency in the energy levels, especially defensively will be the thing that bothers the team the most. Storm can look back and say that Plymouth scored over 30 points in nine combined minutes – at the start of the first, third and fourth quarters and managed just 21 in the 31 other minutes in the game! Plenty to learn from those nine minutes, but plenty of positives to take from the other 31 minutes too! Storm were led by 11 points from Tom Stocks, whilst Jack Bartlett finished with six rebounds and three assists. Coach Jill Kemish was philosophical about the performance after the game.

“We leave Plymouth thinking that we have played pretty poorly and only lost by nine! That has to be a positive in itself.

We want to make sure that we consistently bring that high energy level. For example, we only conceded 51 points, but it could and should have been a lot less as there were times when we just let people beat us off the dribble and not challenge shots.

On offence we can still tidy up some things, our setting and use of screens was still lazy at times… the annoying thing is when we do it right we get plenty of scores! We must do it consistently!”

Storm have a weekend before they face Torbay Tigers at Rossmore Leisure Centre as they finish off 2014 with five games in four weekends.

Scorers: *Stocks 11, Squires 6, *Jackson 5, *Batson 5, *Bartlett 4, Liveris 4, *Westlake 3, Crook 2, Sissons 2.