Storm through to semi final after ruthless fourth quarter


Saturday 8th April, NBL Division One Playoff Quarter Final: Hemel Storm Team 117-76 Solent Kestrels

Saturday’s game saw Vanarama-sponsored Hemel Storm face Team Solent Kestrels in the Quarter Finals of the NBL Division One Playoffs. Kestrels proved to be a tough test throughout the two games during the regular season with Storm winning by single figures on both occasions. However, an outstanding shooting display in the fourth quarter meant that Storm took the victory.

The first quarter started with Storm looking to dominate swiftly as a Newman three pointer started, what was to be, an entertaining game. Despite the early momentum, Solent were able to keep within a reachable distance. Whenever Storm scored, Kestrels were able to reply with shots of their own which frustrated Storm who could not get into an early double digit lead by the end of the first quarter. Storm went into the second quarter winning 25-19.

The second quarter was much like the first with Storm showing signs of stretching the lead out but relaxing too much, which lead to Solent continuing to come back. The frustration was growing as Storm knew that they should have extended their lead further but Solent still had hope of a comeback by the end of the first half as Storm went into the half time break, winning 49-39.

After an intense first half, Storm were keen to up the intensity to put the game out of sight. They used the domination of Rai, who was the driving force behind the team’s offence, and the outside presence of Newman who shot exceptionally well from three point range. Unlike the last time Storm played Kestrels, Storm managed to dominate on the rebounds securing vital possessions. To conclude the third quarter, a turnover with 4 seconds left gave Newman the opportunity to score the buzzer beater for three points. This gave Storm a 77-61 lead going into the final quarter.

The final quarter was one of the best shooting displays in a quarter this season, with Storm shooting outstandingly from three point range. As well as this, their defence was also amazing only conceding 15 points. The ruthless display capped off what was a fantastic game and a great performance from Storm. It also gave the opportunity to give game time to more players. Storm scored a total of 40 points in the final quarter which gave them a convincing victory, winning 117-76.

Overall, it was a good start to the most important period of the season with a comfortable win. Although being made to work, Storm capitalised on Solent‘s mistakes in order to secure as many points as they did. This means Storm will face Reading Rockets on Saturday 15th April at Hemel Hempstead Leisure Centre, 7pm tip in the Playoff Semi Final. This game will undoubtedly be a sell out so make sure you purchase your tickets online at

Top Scorers:  Aaryn Rai: 40 points, Sam Newman: 25 points, Hakeem Sylla: 20 points

Report by Ollie Heathcote
Photo by Joanne Charles


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