NBL Under 16s Vs Rhondda 12-12-2015

Great ball movement and the perfect balance of aggression and unselfishness key as Storm put in good performance against Rhondda.

Dorset Storm (26, 30, 23, 10) 89

Team Rhondda Dragons (12, 11, 11, 14) 48

Dorset Storms Under 16s welcomed Team Rhondda Dragons to Rossmore Leisure Centre on Saturday for their penultimate game of 2015.  Storm were heading into the game full of confidence following a run of improving performances. Storm made just one change to their team with Josh Corbin replacing Kundiso Majome.

Storm opened with Tom Axon and Josh Westlake in the front court and Harry Jackson, Callum Crook and Harry Batson in the back court. Storm opened well, quickly adjusting to the zone Dorset Storm Basketball Club National League Under 16s versus Rhondda December 2015 - 2defence Rhondda started the game in. Jackson and a Batson three gave Storm a 5 – 0 start. Rhondda responded though, and Storm went through a period of exchanging baskets, with some nice looking offence as Axon and Westlake combined for six points, but some poor defence as the visitors scored regularly. Storm had an early timeout in the fifth minute with the scores reading 13 – 9.  Following the timeout Storm managed to get themselves going as Callum Crook took good care of the basketball, first finding Charlie Long open in the corner for a long two, then Tom Stocks inside and finally Rory Pearson for a three in the corner to beat the buzzer. That Pearson triple gave Storm a 26 – 12 first quarter lead.

Storm opened the second quarter well with Westlake, Crook and Josh Sissons all scoring early in a 6 – 0 run. Rhondda replied with an open three, before Storm broke the game open with a commanding run. Storm scored 18 unanswered, which was halted only by a Rhondda timeout, Batson and Jackson scored seven and six respectively as more outstanding ball movement created open shots shots which Storm scored regularly. Two nice baskets from Aidan Squires typified Storms growing ability to execute against the Rhondda zone defence.  The visitors continued to attack at the offensive end, and frustratingly for Storms coaches and players outworked the home side at the defensive end scoring off offensive rebounds and cheaply in transition. Storm though had played well in the second quarter and escaped a little foul trouble to lead 56 – 23 at the half.

Storm started the second half with a poor defensive possession as Rhondda moved the ball to get a wide open look. In fact, the visitors had the best of the opening few minutes as Storm missed Dorset Storm Basketball Club National League Under 16s versus Rhondda December 2015 - 4several lay-ups inside, they trailed in the quarter early on. Crook got Storm going though, first with a steal and then an assist to Westlake and then by scoring four in a row and finally drawing an unsportsmanlike foul following his second steal of the quarter. After a Rhondda timeout, Crook slotted home both foul shots and Westlake then scored to cap off some more great passing against Rhondda who were again in a zone. Four in a row for the visitors showed their continued fight before Storms forwards combined well to finish the quarter strongly. As Stocks scored all three of his foul shot attempts in the final couple of minutes, Storm shot an impressive 100% from the foul line for the quarter. Ali Webb also made a series of nice contributions registering a steal, rebound and an assist in the latter part of the quarter. Storm held a 79 – 34 lead at the end of the quarter.

Heading into the final quarter Storm wanted to complete a good performance, and the quarter started well as Westlake and Jackson scored early for the home side.  Josh Corbin got his first action for several games, and despite not making a contribution as big as his jersey, collected a couple of rebounds and an assist as he picked out some perfect passes which didn’t always get the finish they deserved.  Sissons kept Storm going, as he scored six in a row though the middle part of the quarter, but Storm at times lacked focus at the defensive end as Rhondda registered their highest quarter score to finish with. It didn’t threaten the result though, as Storm took an 89 – 48 victory.

After the game coach Luke Kemish was pleased with the team’s performance, but felt there could have been better focus at the defensive end.

Dorset Storm Basketball Club National League Under 16s versus Rhondda December 2015 - 3“Offensively, we are really pleased. Over the last few weeks we have shown a growing confidence in executing against a variety of defences be it full court, half court, zone, whatever it be we have been able to adjust and find ways to score. Today our ball movement and unselfishness was as good as it has been all year, we are really starting to find the balance between being aggressive and unselfish at the same time.

Defensively we were good for parts but, there is some improvement that could be made. I think the players would be the first to admit that we gave away too many cheap baskets which on another day would cost us more dearly.

The main thing is now that we spend the next week working really hard and continuing to get better to complete a good year which has seen us improve massively.”

Storm are straight back in action next weekend as they face Torbay Tigers in a double header with the Under 18s. Both games will be at Rossmore Leisure Centre with the first tip-off at 1.30pm.

Scorers: *Westlake 16, Sissons 14, *Crook 12, Stocks 12, *Batson 10, *Jackson 10, *Axon 4, Squires 4, Long 4, Pearson 3, Webb, Corbin.