NBL Under 16s Vs Plymouth 31-09-2015

Outstanding opening from the Under 16s is enough for the to take the win in Plymouth

Dorset Storm (23, 16, 13, 16) 68

Plymouth Raiders (9, 20, 13, 13) 55

On Saturday morning Dorset Storms Under 16s National League team travelled to Plymouth to take on the Raiders. Storm would be looking to Dorset Storm Basketball Club National League Under 16s versus Plymouth October 2015 - 2build on the improvements that they had made in the opening two games of their season, which saw them put in a good display against Huish Tigers last weekend. Storm were without the unavailable Charlie Long for the trip, with Josh Sissons coming back into the team to replace him.

Storm opened with the trio of Harry Jackson, Callum Crook and Harry Batson in the back court whilst in the front court were Tom Axon and Josh Westlake. Both teams got off to a nervy start with neither side scoring until the second minute of play.  Batson opened the scoring for Storm before Plymouth replied and with four minutes gone the scores were tied at 4 – 4. Storm though were playing some good defence and this provided them with confidence that transferred to the offensive end. Despite not shooting particularly well, Storm settled down and moved the ball and themselves to regularly register scores – seven assists in the quarter is testament to this ball movement.  With three minutes to play Plymouth called a timeout as Storm led 6 – 17.  The final few minutes of the quarter were tighter, with Josh Sissons netting twice for Storm who ended the quarter leading 9 – 23.

Dorset Storm Basketball Club National League Under 16s versus Plymouth October 2015 - 3Tom Stocks got the scoring underway in the second quarter for Storm who continued to play excellent defence especially the combination of Jackson and Westlake who were a real presence on the court throughout the quarter.  Josh Corbin and Aidan Squires both provided energy off the bench, with Squires getting to the basket and either scoring or drawing fouls on the fast break. Plymouth though, continued to apply the pressure to Storm by switching defences and crashing the offensive rebounds hard. In fact, the numerous offensive rebounds that Plymouth collected allowed them to stay in touching distance of Storm, who led by 10 at the half, 29 – 39.

Storm started well in the third period as Westlake found himself space inside to finish back to back plays.  Crook came up with a couple of nice defensive plays, and his assist for a Stocks layup helped to keep Storm 10 ahead. Storm were now doing a much better job controlling their defensive rebounds, with Tom Axon leading the way by pulling in several rebounds.  At the offensive end Storm were increasingly sloppy as the quarter went on with a flurry of turnovers allowing Plymouth to reduced the deficit to single figures.  Scores from Axon and Jackson to finish the quarter saw Storm regain their 10 point lead as they led 42 – 52.

Storm had a slow start to the final quarter as they continued to struggle to maintain their focus. A lack of discipline saw them take poor shots and a single Westlake score from an offensive rebound was the only Storm score for the opening six minutes. Storm called a timeout with Plymouth now within seven points, 47 – 52.  Out of the timeout Storm were initially more settled as Batson found Stocks, and then Westlake, open for scores.  Sissons collected a couple of big defensive rebounds as Storm upped their intensity.  Storm created better chances in the final few minutes but some uncharacteristically poor foul shooting meant they failed to take full advantage.  In the end though Storm had enough in the tank to take a 55 – 63 win.

The first half saw Storm continue to make strides as they have so far in each Dorset Storm Basketball Club National League Under 16s versus Plymouth October 2015 - 1game they have played. However, the second half performance, lacked the focus and concentration shown earlier in the game and as a result Plymouth managed to fight their way back into the game.  Coach Jill Kemish explained what they wanted the players to take from the game:

“We had a great first half. We executed well on offence and did exactly what we wanted to do on defence, for the most part, we followed the game plan.

Although we started the second half well, we then lost our focus and concentration for about a ten minute period from the twenty-fifth to the thirty-fifth minute. It almost cost us today. The players dug deep and regained their composure to finish the game off.

It should be a good learning experience, we have tried to keep talking to the players and explaining what needs to happen at key moments in the game, at the moment some of these key moments we let drift past which is something we want to address. Knowing how and when to seize the initiative and to maintain it is crucial.”

Storm have a week of training before they have their first home game of the season versus Vale Vipers. Tip-off is 1.30pm at Rossmore Leisure Centre.

Scorers: *Westlake 17, *Jackson 13, Stocks 13, *Batson 12, *Axon 6, Sissons 4, Squires 3, *Crook, Corbin.