Storm leave it late as Leicester are sunk in over-time drama

Nik Rhodes top scored against Leicester with 29 points. Picture (c) Lin Titmuss
Nik Rhodes top scored against Leicester with 29 points. Picture (c) Lin Titmuss

Hemel Storm had a magnificent pair of wins at the weekend, although they left it very late to get the better of both Leicester Warriors and Essex Leopards.

On Saturday evening, Storm somehow found a way to come back from an almost impossible position and win in overtime against Leicester Warriors 80-76 in a National League Division One clash at Sportspace.

The first quarter was not good a good one for the home side as they scored only six points in the first five minutes.

Fortunately their opponents were not having the best of times either - halfway through, Leicester led 7-6 with all six Hemel points coming from big Tom Adorian underneath the basket.

Hemel’s Walid Mumuni dislocated his finger and, although it was treated and strapped and he bravely went back into the thick of things, it was looking bleak for Storm as Leicester pulled away to lead 25-12 at the end of the period.

A Nik Rhodes three-pointer early in the second helped Storm pull back to within eight and, five minutes into the quarter, they trailed by just five points at 23-28.

The Warriors then went on a 7-0 run of their own and at half-time it was the away side who led by fourteen at 42-28.

Poor shooting and careless turnovers were the order of the day for Hemel after the break, but defensively they were doing much better and they finished the third period down by just two at 51-53.

A lay-up by Rhodes early in the fourth tied the score, and another by Damian Edwards gave Hemel their first lead of the evening.

It all seemed to be to no avail though as, with Storm still shooting poorly, the Warriors held a six-point lead inside the final minute.

With 40 seconds left, co-captain Simon Kearney hit a vital three-pointer, before Nik Rhodes nailed another three with just six seconds left to tie the score at 67-67 and send the game into overtime.

For the third home game running an extra period was needed to separate the two teams, and this time Storm got off to a flying start with the first four points.

Leicester kept getting close but not close enough as a masterly piece of ball control by Bode Adeluola ran the clock down and two free-throws by the same man iced the game in the home side’s favour at 80-76.

With Storm’s head coach Dave Titmuss recovering at home from surgery, a very relieved acting head coach Dave Allin said: “We didn’t play well, but we were helped by the bench. They sparked some great defence and in the end the offence game alive at just the right time.

Rhodes top scored for Hemel with 29 points, followed by Adeluola with 18 and Adorian with 12. Kearney grabbed nine, Michael Darlow six, Edwards four and Nick Allin two to round off Storm’s scorers.