Team Solent Kestrels 79 – 74 Hemel Storm
First played third on Saturday night as Vanarama sponsored Hemel Storm travelled to Southampton to take on runaway league leaders Solent Kestrels. Solent are unbeaten with a 10-0 record, winning every game by double digits and handing out one 70 point beating. A tough task!
An even start to the game saw Sam Newman tie the game at 8, but Charles sparked an 11-3 run as Kestrels went into the first break 22-14 ahead. Scores from Will Ashby and Adeluola made it a five point game early in the second period but the rest of the quarter belonged to Solent as Chris Scarlett’s triple made it a double digit game and Smith’s lay up gave the hosts a 14 point lead at the half.
Greg Poleon opened the scoring in the second half and when he scored again he made it a six point game before Dadds made the score 61-53 at the final break. Solent's 13 point third quarter was their lowest of the season.
Travis and Charles took the lead back to 12 points early in the fourth quarter but Mike Williams lay up launched a 14-2 run to make the score 69-67 with 5 minutes to play. That proved as close as Storm would come as a 7-2 run capped a victory 79-74, but it was the first time Solent had not won by double figures. Storm had shown they are fallible, and the teams meet again in the National Cup this Sunday at Hemel.
It was English pair Elliot Sentence and Brendon Okoronkwo who did the damage for Kestrels as Storm did a great job on the two Americans. Sentence finished with 22 points and 8 boards while Okoronkwo also had 8 boards to go with his 17 points. American Travis Charles was held to a season low 11 points while fellow American had just 8 points.
Storm's Mike Williams led all scorers with 23, 9 boards and 5 assists. Greg Poleon had 15 points and 14 boards while Bode Adeluola hit 15 points and 5 assists.
Storm have a double header this weekend. Saturday sees them travel to Leicester Warriors in an important league game. Tip off, 3pm at Braunstone Leisure Centre. Away travel with our sponsors Arriva is available for this game. Booking required.
Sunday sees Team Solent Kestrels arrive at the StormDome for the National Cup Quarter Final action. Tip off is 5pm at Hemel Hempstead Leisure Centre. Tickets available at www.stormbasketball.net