Storm fall to second league loss as Derby prevail
Storm constantly struggled to cope with the hosts’ high-intensity transition plays and clinical shooting, and failed to take command of the game.
Storm started the game well, racing out to a 9-2 lead with a three from Jack Burnell, but the warning signs were immediate with Dietrich hitting back-to-back threes as Derby hit 13 unanswered points to move six ahead, before Inger responded with a triple of his own.
Storm ended the first down by eight with another late Dieterich three, who ended up with 37 on the night.
Tez Allen started the second period with a converted and-one play, but Storm frustratingly failed to spot the hot-hand and afforded guards Dietrich and Masten several open looks from distance.
Disu added energy and valuable points from the bench, but Blaze stretched the lead to double digits. Brayden Inger and Hakeem Sylla added a combined total of 38 to keep Storm hopes intact but they headed to the half-time break 11 behind, that being 21 after the third.
Back-to-back Disu and Burnell threes looked to spark Storm into life in the fourth but Dieterich and Derby took control to see out the win by eight points despite Seth Swalve hitting consecutive threes later on.
For Storm, Inger had 20, Sylla 18 and guards Newman and Swalve chipped in with 15 and 16 respectively.
Storm host Barking Abbey on Saturday and then travel to Bradford for KitKing trophy semi-final action on Sunday.