Hemel Storm secure KitKing Trophy by beating Worthing Thunder

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​Hemel Storm secured their second trophy of the season by beating Worthing Thunder 99-92 to win the Kitking Trophy on Saturday.

​The first quarter started with Storm immediately looking to build a sustainable lead, scoring six three pointers. However, Worthing stayed in the game as their full court press forced errors and they continued to respond with their shooting package.

Worthing were looking mainly to stop the threat of Storm players Taylor Johnson and Aaryn Rai, which left open players like Sam Newman and Seth Swalve who shot the ball with incredible accuracy. The valiant team effort from Storm was rewarded with a 28-22 lead going into the second quarter.

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In the third, the lead had stretched to double figures which Thunder were keen to reduce as quickly as possible. They did so, using the quality of their squad, and the lead swung in Worthing’s favour after a three pointer by Arissol but a combination of Hakeem Sylla and Johnson put Storm in the lead going into half time. The score was 49-47; a game which was far from over.

Hemel celebrate their KitKing Trophy success at Surrey Sports Park. Photo: Luke Simcock.Hemel celebrate their KitKing Trophy success at Surrey Sports Park. Photo: Luke Simcock.
Hemel celebrate their KitKing Trophy success at Surrey Sports Park. Photo: Luke Simcock.

The opening stages of the third quarter remained close, with both teams looking to build momentum. It was Storm, however, who took advantage of Thunder’s missed shots, building a lead to nine points, 73-64.

Storm’s main priority in the fourth quarter was to stay disciplined, limit the Thunder to tough shots and to extend the lead further. Both teams cancelled each other out in terms of scoring to start the last period. But Thunder were gaining momentum through Moya as his six points in quick succession reduced the lead to five with 7:05 left to play.

A Swalve three pointer extended the lead to seven, immediately responded to by Ward.

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A pivotal moment saw Thunder player Blain foul out of the game, which left Storm to play out the remainder of the game and secure the 99-92 victory.

Taylor Johnson was deservedly named MVP, but the whole team contributed to the victory.

Storm are now 33-0 for the season in all competitions.

Storm continue their league campaign on Saturday when they travel to Westminster Warriors.

If Worthing were to lose in their game earlier that day, Storm could potentially become League champions if they were to win at Westminster.

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Top Scorers: Taylor Johnson: 38 points, Aaryn Rai: 24 points, Hakeem Sylla: 15 points​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​.