Trilogy-it sponsored Hemel Storm ended their winless run in great style on Saturday night in front of a packed crowd at Sportspace when they demolished Westminster Warriors 101-69.
There was no sign of the demolition job to come in the first quarter of the match as the two sides matched each other basket for basket.
Walid Mumuni grabbed six early points for Hemel, before a three-pointer by Darren Best edged the home side in front at 15-13 halfway through.
With two minutes left in the period, and the away side in front by five, skipper Simon Kearney hit another big three to narrow the score, but the Warriors finished the quarter up by two at 28-26.
The second period was all Storm as the home team shut their visitors down almost completely.
Four early points each by Bode Adeluola and Tom Adorian got the ball rolling for Hemel as they led 34-28 after three minutes play, before a slam dunk by Adorian brought the crowd to its feet.
The Warriors had yet to score a single point in the five minutes played, due mainly to some fantastic man to man defence by Storm, and their failure to convert a single one of eight free-throw attempts.
Although the visitors finally found a few points, Hemel went in at the interval with a double digit lead at 46-35.
Adeluola and Mumuni both hit three-pointers to start the third, and by halfway through Storm had opened up a 12-point lead.
More poor shooting from the free-throw line meant that Westminster just could not reduce the deficit any further.
Another three by Kearney gave his team a 15-point lead at 67-52 with just over a minute to play, and yet another triple by Best closed out the quarter at 70-54 in Hemel’s favour.
It would need a gargantuan effort by the Warriors to get back into the game and, despite five early points, they could not get any nearer as the home side stormed towards a big win.
A three by Adeluola after four minutes opened the lead to 17, and another with less than three minutes to play iced the game as it left his side up 88-67.
There was still some fun to come for the bouncing home crowd as juniors Nick Allin and Jack Burnell got onto the court for the last 60 seconds, with Allin hitting a sweet three-pointer.
When Michael Darlow hit two free-throws just seconds from the end, to push Hemel over the 100-point mark, the noise level inside the Stormdome climbed even higher.
You could hardly hear the buzzer as it went on a magnificent 101-69 Storm victory.
After the game, a beaming head coach Steve Darlow said that the team had worked really hard on defence all week in training and, although it took some time to get going, the overall result was fantastic.
Storm’s next home game is this Saturday at Sportspace at 7pm against Bradford Dragons in a National League Division One game.
For tickets and more information, please visit www.stormbasketball.net