Vanarama-sponsored Hemel Storm started their NBL Division One campaign with a win at Reading Rockets on Saturday in a game which saw over 200 points scored.
Hemel, without the injured point guard Bode Adeloula, started like a house on fire, racing out to score an incredible 38 points in the first quarter with deadly long range shooting from Mike Williams and Jack Burnell.
The second period continued in much the same way as Hemel took a 67-46 lead at the half. Reading responded well in the third period led by ex Storm player Leome Francis who was scoring regularly from inside as the interior defence of the visitors was found wanting. The lead was reduced to 9 points as the last quarter started and all the momentum with the home side, but American Williams was on unstoppable form, hitting 15 last quarter points as Hemel saw the game through 112-103.
So, a good start to the league season for Storm with contributions across the team: Mike Williams hit a game high 37 points, shooting 65% success rate and an amazing 63% from long range. Jack Burnell hit 20 points bettering Williams with an incredible 75% from downtown; Greg Poleon got a double double of 20 points and 10 boards; Levi Noel had 15 points and 7 assists; Tayo Oyefusi made 11 points and 8 rebounds.
Mike William's performance saw him awarded the NBL Division One Player of the Week.
The coaching team and Captain Walid Mumuni were delighted by the team spirit and singled out Bode Adeluola who despite being out through injury showed excellent leadership from the side lines
The positives of a great opening result against a powerful and well coached Reading side were not lost on Assistant Coach Mike Darlow who added “I thought our offensive display and togetherness was excellent today, but we can improve even further and defensively we acknowledge that we conceded over 100 points and that is clearly something we will reflect on. We will be looking to continue our positive momentum when we visit Oakland Wolves next weekend.
We would like to thank Reading Rockets for all their hard work behind the scenes enabling us to play in a Covid safe environment and for the livestream meaning Storm fans got to watch a great game of basketball.”
Storm make the short journey to Oaklands Wolves (formerly Essex & Herts Leopards) this Saturday.