Storm bounce back with win at Newcastle
They sealed a 16-point victory behind a determined defensive display, where they showed glimmers of promise as they look to work their way into the long season ahead.
Hakeem Sylla scored six of Storm’s first nine points as an early three point lead was enough to spark Newcastle coach Elderkin to call his first timeout. Storm worked hard on defence to establish their initial control of the game, with Mark Clark’s substitutions working effectively as the Storm bench added a total of 35 points.
Tez Allen hit 11 first-half points as he continues to settle into his new side and Storm hit three late threes to win the first quarter 24-11.
Logan Rooney hit back-to-back threes of his own to begin the second, making 13 in a four-minute spell for the hosts, but Seth Swalve responded with his own hat-trick from behind the arc to push the lead up to 12.
Bernard Hehetro added good physicality in his valuable minutes from the bench and Matt Disu was impressive with his hustle and energy, propelling Storm into the locker room ten points up, the happier side.
Sylla again came out hot with six early points as Storm’s offence began to fire with trebles from Allen and Newman increasing the lead.
But some sloppy defence and five last-minute Newcastle points pulled it back to 18 at the third quarter break, the game not quite over yet.
Storm were scoreless in the first two minutes of the last quarter, but back-to-back Sylla scores took the lead back to 20.
An Eze maximum stretched it out to 25 with only six minutes on the clock, then Disu scored from both inside and out to kill any Newcastle hopes of a miracle, but a rotated Storm side struggled to take command and find any rhythm as the hosts finished with eight unanswered points to minimise the damage to 16 points.
The side continue to work hard to gel and establish their key principles as a new look group of players, but come away feeling positive after a good performance put them on the board for the league campaign. Hakeem Sylla led the scoring for the visitors with 23 points to go alongside his four rebounds and American Swalve added 19. Newman had 15 and Tez Allen 14 in a well-rounded team display from the squad.
Storm are at home next Saturday with a big clash against rivals Worthing Thunder.