Storm return after a week’s break against a tough Bradford Dragons side

23/02/2024

Saturday sees Hemel Storm match up against Bradford Dragons in a highly anticipated encounter. It will be eagerly awaited with Storm playing their first home game in 4 weeks, as the StormDome will be filled to the brim.

Storm come into the fixture carrying a seven game win streak, with the players full of confidence having being bolstered with British Basketball League talent. However, Bradford will prove to be no strangers having halted Storm hopes of retaining the KitKing Trophy. It is sure to be a game of fantastic quality as both sides contain outstanding individual talent, who if not monitored, could prove to make a difference to the result.

Looking at the opposition the Dragons come equipped with talent in all areas of the court. One of their talents is former Manchester Giant Jordan Whelan, who has shown his excellent ability over the season and a half of his tenure at the Dragons. Having averaged 20.7 points in the 22/23 campaign whilst showing excellent leadership qualities, Whelan never fails to make an impact when on court, which should be monitored in the Storm scout. His three point accuracy and his ability to finish under immense pressure makes him one of the toughest players in the league to guard. He suits up with American guard Justin Williams, who Storm have been at the wrong end of his work this season. A 33 point display from Williams shooting 59% from three pointers spurred the Dragons onto a 80-70 victory, however, Storm managed to reduce his danger in the the last game limiting him to 16 points. Both will provide a threat in Saturday’s game.

Whilst Storm announced their additions in January, Bradford announced the signing of a player who is familiar to Storm. American Ronald Blain has been quick to make his statement on his return to NBL Division One. Having previously starred in the rosters of Team Newcastle University and Worthing Thunder last season, Blain will be seeking revenge from last season’s playoff final defeat.  In his most recent fixture in a 85-74 victory over London Elite, Blain registered an impressive 29 points and 9 rebounds. Storm will be keen to limit his joy and control the inside of the paint.

As for Hemel Storm, they would have used last weekend’s break to refresh themselves and strive towards taking the top position, which is currently being occupied by Derby Trailblazers.  They simply cannot afford to slip up in front of a vociferous home support, as head to heads could prove pivotal in the final league standings. Storm will welcome home Taylor Johnson in his second spell at Storm, who enjoyed one of the greatest performances in Hemel Storm history against the Dragons, contributing towards a team total of 29 three pointers made in last season’s visit to Calderdale College, the home of Bradford Dragons.

This is an eagerly-awaited affair between two high quality teams, who have both shown their talent over the course of this season. Storm fans welcome home Taylor Johnson and let’s cheer on the home side to what would be an eighth straight victory. Tickets are selling fast for this game so make sure to get yours at www.stormbasketball.net.

Written by Ollie Heathcote

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