Storm destroy Leicester Warriors in a comfortable win


Saturday 12th February: Leicester Warriors 73-101 Hemel Storm (NBL Division One)

Saturday’s game saw Vanarama-sponsored Hemel Storm face Leicester Warriors in what was a must win game for Storm. They needed to win to retain their place in the top 4 of the league standings. They certainly delivered with a comfortable, dominant win 73-101.

In terms of the scoring, former Leicester Warriors player Taylor Johnson led the way with 25 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists, closely followed by Tayo Oyefusi with 17 points, Greg Poleon with 16 points and 7 rebounds and Jack Burnell scoring 13 points.

Before the first quarter started, coach Dru Spinks wanted energy from both the defensive and offensive ends of the court as the Warriors had lined up with a tall team. The pre-match team talk had worked as Storm got off to a flying start with a 2-11 lead. This was immediately responded to by the Warriors but Storm showed why they were the dominant team. The grit on both the defence and offence gave storm the advantage which helped them score open three pointers and get some good percentage shots to end the first quarter with a 14-26 lead.

After such a brilliant first quarter performance from Storm, they backed this up by starting the second quarter very well. Eventually after two three pointers from Jack Burnell and one from Shaq Lewis, Warriors coach Karl Brown had no choice but to call a timeout with the scores at 18-37 with 7:03 left to go in the quarter. This was a good timeout as it stopped the game from getting too far away from Leicester before the end of the half. The scores from then kept going back and forth with Storm scoring and Leicester immediately replying at the other end of the court. After the Warriors pulled the game back to a 14 point lead for Storm, Storm managed to pull away once again ending the half with a 35-55 lead.

The start to the third quarter saw Leicester outscoring Storm who were getting into foul trouble and committing many turnovers. Leicester pulled the game back to 13 points in favour of Storm. Hemel managed to regain control at the end of the quarter with Taylor Johnson making 2 of his 2 free throws, a Jack Burnell three pointer and immediately after Storm regained possession after a Warriors inbound with a Taylor Johnson dunk to end the quarter with the scores at 62-82. A quarter which saw some promising moments offensively but turnovers that helped Leicester gain some hope of potentially getting back into the game against the odds.

Storm got off to an amazing start in the final quarter getting a game high lead of 33 points, the game was practically over with 3:04 left of the game. This meant that Storm could experiment with their squad to see a contribution from all members of the team, including the two University of Hertfordshire Storm players Temitayo Fatusin and Toby Gastaldi-Davies. It was a comfortable last few minutes from Storm who were willing to relax with their offence and defence as both teams accepted the result that was going to conclude the match. The game ended with Storm running out comfortable winners 73-101.

This performance was a great game in terms of a confidence boost for the team. They managed to get off to a brilliant start and did not look back. But not all games will be as comfortable and with all due respect to Leicester Warriors for sticking at the game, Storm simply were too good and were able to control the game.

Storm now play away to a strong Worthing Thunder on Saturday 19th February, 7:30pm and return back home for a double header weekend to Nottingham Hoods on Saturday 26th February 7pm tip and Bradford Dragons on Sunday 27th February 5pm tip. Tickets for the next home games are available to order in advance at

Photos by Joanne Charles

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