Storm straight off the back of a big win last week were full of confidence as they faced West Bromwich Albion at home. The first quarter was super tight with Storm starting really well. Oli scored the first basket only to have it disallowed as a travel, but Will followed up with a good lay – up and making one of his free throws. Ben scored next to take the lead to 5-2 as the five minute mark came and both teams put on a new 5. Both teams started scoring more freely with Ben adding two more baskets and then a three pointer, backed up by a nice basket by George. Storm trailed at the quarter 16-14 but were fully in the game and playing well.
The second quarter started positively. Rhys opened the scoring with a smart lay-up, of a good screen from Oli on an end line play. Zach added a point from the free throw line and Will added another basket to go on a 5-1 run. Defensive wise Storm were locking up West Brom who had quite a few 24 second violations and were really struggling to beat out half court man to man defence. WBA managed to use their height to pick up some rebounds to score three quick baskets and they had the lead again by 2 when the fives changed. The next five minutes were to prove pivotal as West Brom went on a scoring rampage adding 16 points to Storms 4. Alex scored 4 points as he cut through the defense at will. A little bit of tiredness reduced our defence as we stopped running back at top speed. However after a time out the players came out more determined and to their credit showed much greater intensity. Storm lost the quarter 23-9, but the boys did not let the heads drop and remained up beat about closing the gap.
The third quarter started really well with Storm going on a 8-2 run. Oli and Will both scored and Ben added 4 points. WBA hit a rather lucky three and then Zach scored a great fast break lay – up to be up 10 – 5 for the quarter. The fives changed and the boys continued to work really hard Tomayo was using his speed to be the first one up and back on defence. He was also trying to box out one of WBA’s two 6’5 players and was doing a great job but he had his work cut out and WBA picked up lots of rebounds which led to easy baskets. Charlie was continually breaking down the wing and just needed to receive the ball more. George was shooting really nice balanced shots from mid range but frustratingly they would rattle in then out.
Storm went into the last quarter trailing by 20 but determined to cut the deficit. Storm started energetically with a full court press going on a 5-0 run keeping WBA in the own half for the first three minutes. Ben added 4 and WIll added the 1 from the line. The pressure was really making life difficult for West Brom but unfortunately we missed quite a few point blank chances that could have easily made it a 10 – 0 run not a 5-0 run. WBA again hit another lucky three pointer, mainly because they had to rely on outside shooting as they couldn’t get near our basket. Pressing can lead to steals but it also is a gamble because it gives more space for the opposition to exploit and WBA managed to crawl their way back into the quarter. Ben added a quarter high 10 points, Will added 3, Zach 2, Tomoya 2 and Oli 2 scoring both his free throws. Although Storm won the quarter 19-17 it wasn’t enough and WBA won 75 – 56. This was a determined performance and without the five minute spell in the second quarter the game was really tight losing the other 3 quarters by only 4 points!!
Will 14, Alex 4, Zach 5, Rhys 2, George 2, Ben 23, Oli 4 and Tomoya 2.
Free throws Storm scored a weaker than usual 5 from 16 and WBA only managed 1 from just 4 attempts. Next week a return match against Ilkeston Warriors a team we beat well in early September.