Sunday 30th October, NBL Division One: Reading Rockets 79 – 103 Hemel Storm
Sunday’s game saw Vanarama-sponsored Hemel Storm faced the Reading Rockets in an important game for both teams. After a tight first half, Storm’s quality managed to secure them a convincing 79-103 win.
The first quarter saw Reading start with a high tempo, preventing Storm from breaking away to a high lead. Their shooting was accurate and saw much joy in the paint with Jordan Jackson scoring multiple hook shots. However, Storm replied with a highlight play; an alley oop to Aaryn Rai who slammed the ball vigorously. Storm thrived off fast breaks and managed to score some three pointers to set the tone for the game. The first quarter ended 22-22.
Reading started the second quarter the more dominant, taking the lead by 4 points before Storm swiftly responded to retake the lead. Once Storm took the lead, they controlled the majority of the quarter limiting the Rockets to tough shots and scoring from in and around the rim. A buzzer beater from Jermiah Jenkins saw both teams go into half time with Storm leading 44-50.
The third quarter was by far Storm’s best quarter as they managed to show their strength on both offence and defence, scoring an outstanding 36 and conceding 16. Storm used many key assets of Taylor Johnson’s shooting and Aaryn Rai’s strength in the paint to score these vital baskets and managed to stop the threat of Jackson for Reading. Unfortunately for Reading, star player Troy Cracknell could not carry on playing after an injury sustained in the first half, which definitely did affect the confidence on offence. As for Storm, they carried on playing at their highest level and went into the final quarter winning 63-86.
Storm had to take the sting out of the game in the final quarter to prevent any hope from Reading for a miraculous comeback. It was a low scoring affair, which suited Storm who were then able to rest their starting five, to recover for their game next week. Storm once again controlled the final quarter as the final buzzer sounded with Storm victorious 79-103.
It was a game of two halves where Reading were competitive in the first but Storm managed to find ways to break the Rocket’s defence. There were some highlight plays and a good all round display for the Storm faithful to enjoy whether they were watching the stream or there in person.
Storm next face Manchester Magic on Saturday 5th November at Hemel Hempstead Leisure Centre, 7pm tip. Tickets available online via www.stormbasketball.net.
Top Scorers: Taylor Johnson: 27 points, Aaryn Rai: 25 points, Sam Newman: 15 points
Report by Ollie Heathcote