Hemel Storm’s Vice-Captain Tom Adorian (pictured right) has put out a rallying call to fans ahead of Saturday’s National League Division One home game against Thames Valley Cavaliers.
Tom appealed to the Storm-Troopers to “come out in force” and help his side defeat a big and talented fifth placed TVC side who knocked off League Leaders Solent Kestrels 84 - 82 last weekend.
The Cavaliers feature in their line-up former Storm favourite and captain Walid Mumuni who will return to Hemel Leisure Centre for the first time since his move last summer. Hemel lost 86 – 82 to TVC in the reverse fixture back in October.
With no game last weekend Vanarama-sponsored Hemel have slipped into one of the two relegation spots in thirteenth place but still have 15 games to try and turn their season around.
The squad held a team meeting last week to study their performances to date and set challenging goals for the remainder of the season.
Storm’s all-British squad has struggled at times this season against opponents with imports from America and Europe but are currently on a good run of form having won their last three games.
Hemel beat Derby Trailblazers and Manchester Magic in the League and secured a thrilling National Trophy pool game victory last weekend at home against Essex Leopards when the fans at Hemel Leisure Centre played a big role in the win.
Storm were ahead by a point when with .6 of a second left the visitors’ standout American import Asante Sandiford who’d scored 37 points in the game was awarded two free-throws to potentially tie or win the game.
“I think our fans played a big part in that victory,” said Tom, a 6’9” forward in his seventh year with the Club.
“Their support was fantastic throughout but when they stood and made so much noise at the end I’m sure it had an impact. We love playing at home; we’ve got the best fans in the land.”
Both free-throws were missed and it was Adorian who secured the rebound for a nail-biting 96 – 95 victory.
The Club is offering a pre-game coaching session, 4.30pm – 5.30pm for Primary School children on the game court this Saturday with instruction from Storm players Jack Burnell and Michael Darlow. The session includes tickets for the game and an opportunity to run out with the team during the player introductions. To book go to www.stormbasketball.net/mne
Hemel are in their seventh season in the NBL’s top flight and have qualified for the end of season Play-offs five times twice finishing in the top four, and last season bringing the National Cup home to the town.
Saturday’s game tips-off at 7pm. For tickets go to the "tickets & shop" menu above
Anglia Ruskin University 61 – 53 Hemel Storm II
(National League Division Four)
DESPERATION THREE-POINTERS SINK STORM II
Hemel Storm’s second team were in action on Sunday but suffered a second straight league loss away to Anglia Ruskin University.
Hemel managed only 5 first quarter points against a robust ARU defence to leave them trailing by 8 points at 13-5 but the home team struggled against Storm’s defensive changes in the second period and the visitors clawed back to trail by only three points at half time.
Storm ll, sponsored by Certa Group Ltd., remained strong defensively throughout the second half. ARU’s offence stuttered against the visitors’ pressure while the rebounding was dominated by Hemel’s forward line with veteran Rafe Abrook, grabbing an impressive 15 rebounds.
Mid-way through the final period Hemel’s comeback was complete and they edged into a five point lead. But it was short-lived when on consecutive offences ARU connected on desperation 3-pointers as the shot clock expired each time.
Head Coach David Allin said: “It was incredibly frustrating not to get the win. I felt we were on the wrong end of some tough calls at critical points in the game but still did a fantastic job to drag ourselves back into it.
“Our away form continues to be disappointing but I’m confident we can make amends next week at Westminster.”
Storm ll team and scorers: Nick Allin 16, Lewis Castro 9, Rafe Abrook 8, Mike Coumas 6, Shaun Allin 5, Craig Percival 5, Daryl Craine 4, Dominic Charles.
FAMILY QUIZ FUN FOR THE FANS
The Hemel players joined fans for their annual Family Quiz Night on Friday held at Watford Football Club’s The View suite in The Graham Taylor Stand.
The venue was packed for the fund-raiser and Storm’s popular forward Leome Francis led his team, ‘Hogwarts School of Quizadry’ (below left) to a close victory and secure the 2018/19 trophy.
“It was a great event,” said Leome, “and an opportunity to get together with our fantastic supporters away from the tension of a game. It was superbly organised as ever.”
Leome’s teammate Leon Henry and his group, ‘Leegetsnobuckets’ (below right), had the dubious honour of collecting the wooden spoon!