Double delight for Hemel Storm in winning week

Storm's joint top-scorer Michael Darlow drives to basket against Tees Valley. Picture (c) Lin Titmuss
Storm's joint top-scorer Michael Darlow drives to basket against Tees Valley. Picture (c) Lin Titmuss
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Hemel Storm had a wonderful weekend at Sportspace as they beat Tees Valley Mohawks 107-74 on Saturday before producing one of their best performances of the season to down the highly-rated Lancashire Spinners 90-76 the following day.

Firing on all cylinders on Saturday evening, Storm led from start to finish against the team from the north-east who had arrived late after suffering transport problems.

Walid Mumuni lays the ball in against Lancashire for two of his 18 points. Picture (c) Lin Titmuss

Walid Mumuni lays the ball in against Lancashire for two of his 18 points. Picture (c) Lin Titmuss

Hemel flew out of the gate and an early three from Simon Kearney helped them to a lead of 9-3 just a few minutes into the first quarter. Two minutes later they were up 17-5 and cruised to the first interval to lead 24-14.

The second period started much the same, with contributions to the Storm total coming from all around the court. Halfway through the quarter Hemel led by 14 at 38-24 and it seemed as if a record breaking total was in sight.

However, the hosts dropped off the pace slightly, allowing the Mohawks to clamber back from 18 down at one point to trail by just eight at the half-time interval, 47-39.

There was no doubting Hemel’s ambitions in the second half, however, as they produced some lovely passing basketball to up the lead to 16 three minutes in on a 10-2 run.

A Carl Josey three pointer after six minutes gave the home side a 19-point advantage and a Damian Edwards lay-up soon after gave Storm their first 20-plus lead of the game. A three-pointer by Nik Rhodes closed out the quarter with his side 76-52 in front.

When Walid Mumuni opened the final period with a three-pointer followed by a flying block under his own basket, the fight seemed to drain away from visitors and another triple, this time from Kenroy Wood, put the home team over the 100-point mark as they ended up winning by 33 points.

On Sunday the newly promoted, multi-talented and high-flying Lancashire Spinners made their first ever bow at Sportspace.

Hemel were without the injured Josey and the first half was very even throughout, with Hemel maintaining a small lead for most of it.

Five points up after the first quarter at 21-16, the away side pulled it back to just a three-point Storm advantage at 41-38 by the time the half-time hooter went.

In a decisive third period it was the Spinners that started the brighter, briefly taking the lead early on before Hemel’s tenacious defence and passing offence helped them take control halfway through the quarter – with co-captain Mumuni hitting three triples to give his team a 67-53 lead with just one period to play.

A wonderful full-court, defence splitting pass by Rhodes to Bode Adeluola opened the final quarter to push the lead to 16 points, leaving the visitors a mountain to climb that proved beyond them.

Hemel co-coach Dave Titmuss said: “This was an important weekend for the growth of our team. We still have concentration lapses at both ends of the court but they’re getting fewer and fewer.”

Titmuss’ coaching partner Dave Allin added: “It’s very encouraging that we had six players on double-figure scoring in both games which means we’re playing unselfish team basketball.”

Storm’s next home game is at Sportspace on Saturday at 7pm against Worthing Thunder in a National League Division One fixture. Tickets and more information can be found at www.stormbasketball.net