NBL Under 16s Vs Plymouth 06-02-2016

An incredible 44 points in the final 12 minutes sees Storm take win versus Plymouth.

Dorset Storm (26, 15, 22, 32) 95

Plymouth Raiders (14, 18, 16, 11) 59

Dorset Storm Under 16s faced Plymouth Raiders on Saturday at Rossmore Leisure Centre. The team came into the game on a back of a solid display against Somerset Tigers, their first game in over six weeks, but knew that their opposition for this game would be a really tough challenge.

Storm opened with Callum Crook, Kundiso Majome and Harry Batson in the back court whilst Charlie Long and Josh Westlake were in the front court.  Westlake opened the scoring as Batson found him in the high post as Storm executed their zone offence well. In the opening five minutes Dorset Storm Basketball Club National League Under 16s versus Plymouth February 2016  - 2further scores from Long, Majome, Tom Stocks and a Batson triple gave Storm a 12 – 2 lead as Plymouth called a timeout.  Out of the timeout Storm opened the scoring through a baseline jumper from Long, but Plymouth went on a 9 – 0 run of their own to close the gap to 14 – 11 shortly after.  Storm were still working well at the offensive end, although some missed foul shots and layups prevented them from taking full advantage. Coming out of a Storm timeout, the home team finished the final two minutes of the quarter by outscoring Plymouth 7 – 3 including an and-one from Aidan Squires. At the end of quarter one Storm led 26 – 14.

Early in the second quarter both teams exchanged baskets. Ali Webb and Crook were particularly active at the defensive end, but some unforced turnovers stopped Storm from making any substantial progress.  Storms uncharacteristic struggle from the foul line continued in the second period, shooting just one from five.  By the seventh minute of the quarter Storm had seen their lead cut to just four points, 32 – 28 and also had five players sat on two or more fouls.  Following a Plymouth timeout, Storm came out aggressively for the final two minutes and 9 – 4 run with points from both Tom Stocks and Squires saw Storm finish the half with the momentum and a 41 – 32 lead.

Storm knew that they could have been better throughout the first half, and set themselves some targets for the second half.  Westlake opened the scoring with a good pass from Crook finding him Dorset Storm Basketball Club National League Under 16s versus Plymouth February 2016  - 3under the basket for the two points, but Storm never really got into a flow early in the second half.  A bunch of turnovers and poor defensive possessions allowed the visitors to work their way back into the game. Five points from Batson and a couple of steals from Harry Jackson helped to keep the home side in the lead. That lead looked to be in severe danger as Plymouth capped an 11 – 2 run with an offensive rebound and put back that saw them trail by just one basket 51 – 48 with two minutes to play in the third quarter.  A Storm timeout halted the run. Out of the timeout Storm started to play some of their best basketball of the game. Tough defence possessions were followed by good ball and player movement as scores from Tom Axon, Stocks, Long and Jackson saw Storm finish the final two minutes of the quarter in a 12 – 0 tear. Heading into the final period Storm held a 63 – 48 lead.

Storm started the final quarter in the exact same way as they had finished the third.  Some outstanding defensive possessions which were probably outdone by Crook and Batson pinpoint passes to give Sissons, Stocks and Westlake easy scores in the opening four minutes.  By the time Plymouth registered their first point in the final quarter Storm had gone on a 28 – 0 tear.  In total Storms defence held Plymouth scoreless from the field for over eight minutes.  Storm continued to play well throughout the rest of the quarter and maintained their discipline well throughout the final few minutes.  In the end Storm somehow managed to run out winners 95 – 59.

Storm will undoubtedly be pleased with the final result, and the 44 – 11 run over the final 12 minutes left many speechless.  Coach Luke Kemish though pleased with the end result, highlighted the need for a 40 minute effort next time.

“There is no doubt that we are pleased with the result.  Looking at the scoreboard we have improved by 23 points since we last played each other, which is a testament to the progress the players are making.

Dorset Storm Basketball Club National League Under 16s versus Plymouth February 2016  - 4Defensively we were better in the second half, and we are continuing to grow and develop into a good offensive team – six players in double figures is a great sign. We saw some of the best basketball of the season in the final period and a bit today.

The challenge for the players is to make sure that we play like we did in the final 12 minutes for 40 minutes next week.  It took some energy and enthusiasm from the coaches to get the team going, which is fine, but for this team to continue to progress they must get to the point when they work hard even when nobody is on at them.”

Storm are back on the road next weekend as they make the first of two trips to Wales, with this weeks opponents being Vale Vipers.

Scorers: Stocks 15, *Westlake 14, *Batson 12, *Long 12, Sissons 12, Squires 11, *Crook 9, Jackson 5, Axon 2, *Majome 1, Webb.