Derby Trailblazers 97 – 71 Hemel Storm
Vanarama sponsored Hemel Storm suffered their first defeat of the season away at Derby Trailblazers on Saturday. Derby had a 2-1 start to the season losing last week to Worthing Thunder from a position of victory and lined up with last year’s MVP Malcolm Smith in their starting line up.
Hemel got off to the better start, leading 15-6 after 4 minutes prompting a time out from the Blazers. It prompted exactly the response Coach Shaw was looking for, as a basket from Smith was followed by a dunk from Campbell and a breakaway single handed slam from Bowman after Wilford had stolen the ball. Derby had switched to a zone defence and Hemel could not break it down. All that reduced the arrears to a single point and the remainder of the first quarter was close with Hemel taking a 28-27 lead at the break. Derby took the lead midway through the second period with a three pointer from Campbell and it proved to be a lead they would not relinquish, leading 46-43 at the break.
The Blazers made a dominant start to the third stanza but Hemel fought back and cut the gap to 62-60 but that was as close as they would get, trailing 69-60 at the end of the third.
Suddenly it was showtime for the home team. After Hemel missed their opening shot, Derby opened up a sixteen point lead. Such was the disarray in the Hemel ranks, they called a timeout less than two minutes into the quarter. It did little to help their cause as Derby went on a 17-0 spurt to open up a large lead and a final score of 97-71.
Derby led Hemel in all statistical categories, holding Hemel to just 37.2% from the floor and a paltry 16% from long range. By contract, Derby converted 49.4% and 35.3% from downtown.
Hemel were led by Mike Williams with 19 points, Lee Hodges on 17 while Bode Adeluola had 13 points and Greg Poleon 12.
For Derby, Malcolm Smith and Oli Stanley hit 17 and had double doubles, collecting 12 and 11 rebounds, Jess Wesselingh had 16, Tre Wilford 14. Blake Bowman and Johdre Campbell made 11 points each.
Storm travel to local rivals Essex and Herts Leopards on Sunday, 4pm tip off at The Brentwood Centre.
Photo acknowledgement – Sol Tomlinson