Saturday 4th March, NBL Division One: Hemel Storm 110-87 Nottingham Hoods
Sunday 5th March, NBL Division One: Derby Trailblazers 77-100 Hemel Storm
Last weekend saw Vanarama-sponsored Hemel Storm host the Nottingham Hoods and travel to Derby Trailblazers in what was a pivotal two games for Storm in their quest for the league title. It was an exceptional display from Storm who won both games.
First was a home game against the Nottingham Hoods, who Storm beat in the reverse fixture by 30 points after running rampant in the third quarter. Storm were without Taylor Johnson this weekend due to injury which gave the team an opportunity to make a statement to the rest of the league. It was a fantastic display by Storm, showing some great play on offence and limited the Hoods to tough shots on defence. It gave the opportunity for many players to contribute to the scoreboard and show determination, hustling to regain possession. Storm won this game convincingly 110-87.
Sunday’s game was the repeat of the National Cup final against high-flyers Derby Trailblazers. After scoring 15 points in the first 2 minutes of the first quarter, the game remained close until an outstanding second quarter put Storm in the lead by 19 going into the half time break. However, the Trailblazers came out in the third quarter with nothing to lose as they reduced the deficit to a catchable 13 points as they looked to mount a comeback. However, Hemel managed to weather the storm as they increased the intensity which capitalised on the fatiguing Derby defence playing their third game in five days. This gave Storm the chance to take advantage in the closing stages of the game, deservedly winning the game 77-100.
It was an amazing weekend for Storm, solidifying their status at the top of the league in sensational fashion. Their squad depth definitely helped them to finish the weekend strong. This leaves Storm needing two more wins to be named League champions, and are currently unbeaten with a 22-0 record.
Top Scorers vs Hoods: Hakeem Sylla and Seth Swalve: 22 points, Aaryn Rai: 20 points, Jack Burnell: 16 points
Top Scorers vs Trailblazers: Aaryn Rai: 33 points, Hakeem Sylla: 26 points, Sam Newman: 15 points
Report by Ollie Heathcote
Photo by Joanne Charles