Saturday 27th February: Derby Trailblazers 84-94 Hemel Storm
Sunday 28th February: Hemel Storm 59-76 Team Solent Kestrels
Greg Poleon’s record breaking performance led Vanarama-sponsored Hemel Storm to victory over Derby Trailblazers in Nottingham on Saturday and secured third place in the league for Storm.
In a truly outstanding personal effort, Greg hit a Storm points record of 46 and missed only 2 of 23 shots, an incredible 87% success rate. And, of course, as usual he took 10 rebounds to nail another double double. He also locked down former league MVP and Derby big man Malcolm Smith to just 17 points.
As brilliant as Greg was, this was a top class team effort to beat a well coached and drilled Derby team. Storm started strongly with Greg hitting 11 of the teams 20 first quarter points whilst the defensive effort limited Derby to just 12. The second quarter saw Mike Williams, Bode Adeluola and Jack Burnell hit from down town but Derby’s offence was clicking into gear and they were scoring from inside and out as they hit 26 points in the session to trail at the half 38-43.
Derby were not a top three team for nothing and they continued to set the tempo in the third quarter as Bowman hit 11 points and Derby took the quarter 24-21 to trail by just two as the game entered the final ten minutes.
Derby had won the previous two quarters and looked a good bet to sneak the win, but Storm stepped up at the right time. Poleon hit 15 last quarter points as Derby failed to find a way to stop his offensive onslaught. Bowman hit another 11 points in the session and the game was almost a personal shoot out between the two players, but Storm took the period 30-22 to win by 94-84.
As well as Greg Poleon’s efforts, Storm had Mike Williams and Bode Adeluola on 14 points and 5 rebounds each. Mike also recorded a season high 10 assists for a personal double double. Bowman finished with 30 for Derby.
Sunday’s game was a different story. It’s been two years and 52 games since Solent Kestrels last lost an NBL Division one game and Storm never looked like ending the run as the two sides met on Sunday.
Storm got off to a poor start and were 24-11 down after the first stanza. They won the second quarter 22 - 20 and so had a 11 point deficit at the half. The third period reverted to type as Kestrels big man Travis Charles was scoring freely and the guards hitting shots comfortably as 6 points were added to the lead.
The final period was tied at 15 each but Solent were never troubled as they ran out winners 76-59.
Greg Poleon again led Storm with 16 points and 9 rebounds. Mike Williams had 13 points and 8 rebounds and Bode Adeluola 10 points. Travis Charles led all scorers with 26 for Solent.
Storm welcome Bradford Dragons to the Hertfordshire Sports Village on Sunday 7th March. Tip off 5pm. Due to the current restrictions there are no spectators, but the game will be streamed live on Hemel Storm TV YouTube page.
Photo credit: Joanne Charles