Team Solent 67 Hemel Storm 92
HEMEL Storm started their National League campaign with a resounding 92-67 win in Southampton – thanks to an explosive fourth quarter performance which saw them outscore their opponents 27-10.
Storm had gone into the last period with a slim eight- point lead against a deep and talented home team.
But some inspired defence resulted in steals and breakaway baskets, as well as some slick half-court work against Solent’s changing defence.
Head Coach Dave Titmuss, delighted at his team’s steely focus, said: “That’s the third game this season when our guys have just sensed the right time to make defensive plays to win the game.
“We seemed to spend the first three quarters scouting them but in the fourth we did an excellent job of anticipating and taking away what they wanted to do, and we were more efficient on offence too.
“Although our players who are coming back from injury – Drew Spinks, Rich Wellings, and Joe Perera – are not firing on all cylinders yet, it was good to get them on court.”
An intense and no-holds-barred opening saw Storm edge the first quarter 27-22 as Tom Fredericks and Spinks drew fouls in the last minute to put their team ahead.
By half-time the lead was pushed out to nine points, although both defences were putting in effective displays.
The teams traded baskets throughout the third period, but Solent chipped the deficit back to eight points as Storm’s shooting touch deserted them.
However, the fourth quarter was all Storm as their balanced scoring kept the scoreboard ticking over and their defensive intensity choked the supply to Solent’s inside players – resulting in just ten points between two Southampton players, Rutter and Payne.
That was enough to secure the deserved victory for Storm, who will now be looking to build on the win as the season progresses.
Storm’s leading scorers in the game were Andy Harper (21), Spinks (19) and Bode Adeluola 15.
Next up for the Storm side is an away fixture against Eastside Eagles on Saturday, October 30
Elsewhere, Hemel’s newly-formed U16 team were in action for the first time on Sunday and they produced a dominant 80-27 victory over Reading Rockets.
And the U18 side ensured it a winning weekend all-round for Storm as they swooped past Baddow Eagles 72-48.