Saturday 3rd December, NBL Division One: Nottingham Hoods 81-101 Hemel Storm
Sunday 4th December, National Cup: Hemel Storm 106-77 Reading Rockets
Last weekend saw Vanarama-sponsored Hemel Storm face Nottingham Hoods away in the league and Reading Rockets at home in the cup. Storm managed to secure both victories as they progressed to the quarter final of the National Cup.
Saturday’s match against Nottingham Hoods was always going to be a tough game, with Storm previously winning 105-95 in what was a narrow victory and both sides showing that they are capable of winning. However, a third quarter of high intensity helped Storm to pull away to a convincing margin after going into half time with a 7 point lead. Storm’s ability to press Hoods players such as Guddemi helped Storm to take advantage of the Hoods frustration and score a lot of points on the fast break.
Once Storm extended the lead to a fine margin, there was no way back for the Hoods as Storm continued to pass the ball well and shoot with a high degree of accuracy. It was a spread-out performance in terms of scoring with 5 players scoring in double figures. It was overall an impressive performance which needed to be repeated the next day in Sunday’s cup match.
Sunday’s game saw Storm face Reading Rockets in the National Cup with a place in the Quarter Final at stake. Dominating throughout the game, Storm raced off to an early lead, capitalising on Reading’s high foul count and punishing them with steals and points on the fast break. Highlight play of the game saw Romario Spence score a poster dunk against former Storm player Jordan Jackson.
It was a depleted Reading roster who lined up against Storm with star player Cracknell on the bench with Ben Dixon. Lewis Champion was also missing which gave Storm an advantage due to the number of points they contribute to the Rockets. However, new signing Zackary Powell impressed for the Rockets registering 26 points.
Overall, another solid display means that Storm progress into the Quarter Finals to face London Sharks.
It was a successful weekend for Storm making tough games look comfortable with some outstanding high intensity basketball, allowing them to pull away to a convincing margin. Storm must rest up now as next week they travel away to top of the table Worthing Thunder in the battle of the two undefeated teams in the division. Storm’s next home game is Team Newcastle University on Saturday 17th December, 7pm tip. Tickets are available at www.stormbasketball.net.
Top Scorers vs Hoods: Taylor Johnson: 23 points, Aaryn Rai: 17 points, Jack Burnell: 13 points
Top Scorers vs Rockets: Taylor Johnson: 18 points, Romario Spence: 17 points, Seth Swalve: 16 points
Report by Ollie Heathcote