It was the little and large show at Sportspace on Saturday as Hemel Storm continued their unbeaten start to the league campaign in an entertaining game against Leicester Warriors.
Speedy point guard Bode Adeluola notched 23 points while giant centre Zak Wells contributed 19 to see Storm home after Leicester dragged themselves back into a game they seemed to have already lost with an inspired second half.
None of the drama to come was evident in the first half as the home side overcame a slow start to lead 24-16 at the end of the first quarter – with Adeluola and Wells having already contributed 18 points between them.
The second quarter carried on with almost complete dominance by the home side, their only real blemish being poor shooting from beyond the three-point line.
Skipper Simon Kearney finally drained a Storm’s first three-pointer six minutes into the second quarter and the home team went into the locker room at half-time leading 50-28.
However, a disastrous third quarter for the home side looked to have let Leicester right back into the contest as Hemel could only add two points through the first seven minutes of the period.
The away side gradually pulled the score back until a 22-point lead for Hemel was whittled down to just eight with a minute left of the third quarter.
Adeluola and Kearney were both called for their fourth fouls late on in the period before Storm scored a couple of late baskets to lead by 10 points at the end of three quarters.
There was great relief all round Sportspace as the home team’s very first shot of the final quarter dropped for two points and the team seemed to settle back into their rhythm.
A feisty Leicester side were in no mood to give up, however, and the visitors managed to cut the Storm lead down to just six points three minutes in.
Kearney fouled out with 6.46 seconds left in the contest having drained both of Storm’s successful three-point shots of the game and fans’ favourite Adeluola joined him on the bench having fouled out himself with 1.26s to go.
The job was effectively done by then, though, as Storm had pulled their lead back out to 15 points and they ran the clock out following a huge Tom Adorian dunk inside the final 30 seconds to secure a 79-68 victory.