Hemel Storm stun leaders Solent on the road
A fine display helped Storm pick up an impressive win
Hemel Storm produced an excellent team performance as they claimed a fine 86-77 victory at NBL Division One leaders Solent Kestrels.
It was a highly-anticipated clash with Vanarama-sponsored Storm sitting in third place going into the game and they bounced back from their loss to BA London Lions a week earlier in superb fashion.
Greg Poleon and Taylor Johnson put up their usual numbers of 26 and 25 points respectively and nine rebounds each while Shaq Lewis rose to the occasion with a brilliant 16 points, shooting 100 per cent from the field. But, overall, Storm showed passion and determination as a team.
Kestrels got off to a good start, going up 12-5 early before Storm replied with points of their own, including a Poleon three-pointer and dunk.
Storm took advantage of the Kestrels' tiring defence to finish with a 9-0 run to give them a 27-20 lead going into the second quarter.
Storm started the second brightly as Johnson extended the lead to double digits.
But Solent were quick to respond. Both teams were forced to call timeouts, with Storm calling one after a Solent lay-up was made and the hosts calling one after a Johnson three-pointer.
Kestrels were able to certify their dominance as they finished the period trailing by just one going into half-time.
The third quarter was a matter of both teams using the possessions wisely, ensuring they would not give up any turnovers which may lead to points.
Defence was key and Solent clawed themselves back into the game and the scoreboard continued to show a change of lead.
But a Lewis three-pointer with one second to go broke the tied game and sent Storm into the final quarter with a narrow 59-56 advantage.
This was going to be one of those games that went down to the wire in the fourth when Elliot Dadds immediately scored a three pointer to tie the game before Lewis once again replied with another three of his own.
Storm used the American presence of Johnson and Poleon well as they shot accurately to keep the score in their favour.
The game looked to swing in Storm’s favour with Poleon scoring a three pointer with 5:50 left on the game clock.
Solent acted swiftly to cut that lead back down to three before Storm responded again and secured a deserved win.
Storm’s final game of 2021 takes place this weekend as they host Bradford Dragons on Saturday (7pm tip off). Tickets to the game are available online at www.stormbasketball.net or can be purchased at the door on the night.