NBL Under 16s Vs Torbay 19-12-2015

Under 16s recover from a flat first half performance to take a hard fought win versus Torbay.

Dorset Storm (15, 14, 25, 16) 70

Torbay Tigers (13, 13, 9, 12) 47

Dorset Storms Under 16s National League team were in action on Saturday as they welcomed Torbay Tigers to Rossmore Leisure Centre for their final game of 2015.  Storm headed into the game on the back of a good offensive, but careless defensive display, against Rhondda. Storm also found themselves without several key players from the week before, with the planned absence of Josh Sissons then disappointingly added to late by the absence of Aidan Squires, Ali Webb and Josh Corbin meaning embarrassingly Storm could only field eight players from a home game.

Storm opened with Josh Westlake and Tom Axon in the front court, whist Harry Batson, Harry Dorset Storm Basketball Club National League Under 16s versus Torbay December 2015 - 3Jackson and Callum Crook made up the back court. It was Torbay who got off to the better start after the opening score from a Batson jump shot as Storm stuttered their way through the opening three minutes, with just a handful of turnovers and three fouls to their name. A tough finish from Jackson at the basket sparked Storm into life though as Stocks scored five in a row, mainly from the foul line, as Storm took a 9 – 4 lead.  Crook and Batson started to turn up the heat as they registered two steals and two assists each on the quarter. Storm though, were generally lacklustre and played with little energy as Torbay regularly found ways to score, including going on a 5 – 0 run in the later part of the quarter.  Baskets from Charlie Long and Batson in the final two minutes helped Storm regain the advantage and take a 15 – 13 lead into the second quarter.

Storm wanted a better second quarter performance, and they got off to a good start as Axon scored with a nice move inside. Jackson finished the ‘and-one’ on the next possession following a steal from Axon and when Crook added two from the top of the key Storm had opened the quarter with a 7 – 0 run to lead 22 – 13 and force a Torbay timeout. Out of the timeout Torbay created some good looks and went on a 7 – 0 run. Storm did play some nice basketball on offence too, but missed foul shots along with some slow and sloppy defence which cost them as Torbay got back to within a basket.  Batson continued to play with energy for Storm, as he found Westlake for a two inside, before finding Jackson on the wing for the jump shot a coupe of possessions later.  Stocks split a set of fouls shots in the final minute, but Torbay again had the last word of the half as they found a way to get inside too easily to score again. At the half Storm led, but only by one basket, 29 – 26.

Everybody wanted a better second half performance from Storm after their performance in the Dorset Storm Basketball Club National League Under 16s versus Torbay December 2015 - 4first half that lacked any real enthusiasm. Storm got off to the perfect start as Jackson and Crook combined for the opening six points of the quarter.  Torbay responded from the perimeter before Westlake drew back to back fouls inside. Batson continued to run the show for Storm as he found Jackson cutting to the basket for another score and his third assist of the quarter before picking off a stray pass and finishing on the break resulting in a Torbay timeout. Out of the timeout Storm changed up their defence, with Long doing an excellent job in a short but intense three minute spell before Rory Pearson took over for the final part of the quarter as Storm turned up their intensity at the defensive end.  Points from Westlake, Stocks, Long and Jackson coupled with the improved defence saw Storm finish the quarter on a 11 – 2 run and lead 54 – 35 heading into the final period.

Early in the fourth quarter both teams exchanged baskets, Torbay scored inside – occasionally off offensive rebounds that Storm should have cut out whilst Stocks, Jackson and Batson all registered scores for the home team.  During the middle part of the quarter, Torbay went on a 7 – 0 run which was enough for Storm to call a timeout as Torbay started to get the game heading towards single figures.  After the timeout is was Batson who was instrumental again as he found Stocks and then Westlake for open shots before Jackson added two more tough points driving along the baseline.  That Jackson score gave Storm a 20 point lead 66 – 46 with two minutes to play.  In the final minute Torbay chased the basketball and regularly put Storm on the line, but a decent shooting percentage from the line allowed the home side to extend their lead and finish the game winners 70 – 47.

Despite the slow opening half Storm managed to find a way to get going and importantly improve on their performance against Torbay earlier in the season.  Storm were led with four different players in double figures but amazingly every player finished the game with at least one steal, one assists and one rebound! In a game that was the first opportunity for the team to measure their improvement they improved by 15 points.  After the game coach Luke Kemish was pleased with the improvement:

Dorset Storm Basketball Club National League Under 16s versus Torbay December 2015 - 2“This was the first time we have played a team for the second time, and it was pleasing to show an improvement. Our zone offence was much better, and we took better care of the basketball with only nine turnovers in the whole game.

Our lack of energy and on occasions body language was disappointing in the first half, perhaps we were just tired or it was a bit of nerves, but in the second half we managed to turn it around and gain the momentum.

Every player contributed and for the most part played smart which was important as, somewhat disappointingly, we had such a short bench today.

We must now keep improving during the second half of the season so we finish the season playing our best basketball.”

Storm now have an unbelievably long break before they take on Somerset at the end of January.

Scorers: *Jackson 19, Stocks 18, *Batson 11, *Westlake 10, *Axon 4, *Crook 4, Long 4, Pearson.