Storm thrive in last minutes to defeat the Hoods


Sunday 18th September
KingKing Trophy
Hemel Storm 105  Nottingham Hoods 95

Sunday’s game saw Vanarama-sponsored Hemel Storm face Nottingham Hoods in the KitKing Trophy, what was sure to be a game of excitement. It did not disappoint with Storm winning 105-95 in a pulsating, high-scoring fixture.

The Storm community once again came together along with both teams to observe a minute’s silence in honour of the Queen before the game, as well as joining in the minute’s silence at 8pm.

Storm were keen to start scoring as they did last week against USA Select, building a 6-0 lead and showing signs of their high-intensity pressure to force turnovers, leading to points being scored. Nottingham showed from the start that they could shoot the ball with great accuracy, so it looked like it was going to be a game of high quality and many points being scored. Storm built up a game-high lead of 11 points which was immediately answered by the Hoods, applying pressure to the player carrying the ball. This quarter saw players like Seth Swalve, Taylor Johnson and Aaryn Rai shoot with precision to put the game in Storm’s control. The first quarter set the tone for the whole game with Storm leading 35-31; an incredible start from both teams.

It was a slow start to the second quarter for Storm, who gave away some avoidable fouls which turned the game in Hoods’ favour 35-36 with 1:39 gone. Storm struggled to get the ball in the bucket this quarter, which was frustrating for the players seeing many attempts hit the rim and not fall in. Nottingham constantly applied pressure and guarded Taylor Johnson and Aaryn Rai tightly, attempting to reduce the chance of Storm scoring. It worked for them and as a result, they played with more freedom, and still managed to score the ball reasonably well. It was a tight quarter which could have gone either way but the teams went into the locker room with Storm leading 52-50.

Storm needed to put a stamp on the game as quick as they could after half time, but with Hoods continuously scoring especially through guard Seth Hall who registered 25 points, shooting impressively from around the three point line. Storm were lifted by the roar of the sold out StormDome, spurring them onto a potential victory. The scoreboard was ticking back and forth as to who was leading the game. But with an and-one from Sam Newman, making the free throw, Storm went into the last quarter leading 77-75.

The last quarter saw a great deal of action, with both teams approaching it with the mentality to take the victory. However, a three pointer from Hoods’ sharp shooter Johde Campbell forced Storm coach Dru Spinks into a vital timeout to lift the team to hopefully boost the atmosphere in the already electric StormDome. A three pointer this time from Sam Newman turned the tables and put Storm in the lead with 5:44 left to play. This was quickly responded to by an impressive dunk from Diogo Soares.

The atmosphere was tangible, and the players definitely felt it, boosting Storm’s performance, which therefore limited Hoods’ joy inside and outside the three point arc, which they showed for three quarters. Taylor Johnson sent the crowd into pandemonium with a made three pointer, putting Storm in the lead by 7 followed by the chant of “Taylor Johnson” ringing around the StormDome. When Aaryn Rai scored a powerful dunk with 13 seconds left, Sam Newman made sure the victory was confirmed with a three pointer to end the game with a double-digit lead. Storm won this game 105-95, with both teams showing great quality basketball.

It was a closer game than the final score suggests. Storm showed the fighting spirit to come away with the win. There were some great individual performances that came along with this win, impressing the crowd in attendance. The crowd were the key to Storm’s success, constantly urging them to keep going until the end. Storm now face Charnwood on Saturday 24th September at home with a 7pm tip off. They then travel away to Loughborough Riders on Sunday 25th September, concluding the group stage of the KitKing Trophy. Tickets for Saturday’s game are available at

Top Scorers: Taylor Johnson- 29pts, Sam Newman- 28pts, Aaryn Rai- 27pts

Report by Ollie Heathcote
Photos by Joanne Charles

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