​Storm score a century in win

​Hemel Storm returned to action after the Christmas break with a 113-59 point victory in the capital against London Elite.
Birthday boy Jack Burnell was one of the top performers for Storm. Photo: TGD Visuals.Birthday boy Jack Burnell was one of the top performers for Storm. Photo: TGD Visuals.
Birthday boy Jack Burnell was one of the top performers for Storm. Photo: TGD Visuals.

​The win takes them to 8-3, and they stay in fourth with a game in hand on those above them.

Twelfth-placed Elite held their own against Storm in the early stages, as despite a strong start from Hakeem Sylla, who claimed a series of offensive rebounds, Storm failed to support their fast scoring start with any reasonable level of resistance on the defensive side of the court.

Offensive execution looked promising for the visitors, but they seemed too content to trade buckets with their hosts until Mark Clark used his rotations to great effect to establish a foothold in the tie. Birthday boy Jack Burnell combined his sharp-shooting with a hustling effort on defence, hitting a trio of early long-range efforts and claiming a number of steals to help his side edge away, and end the first quarter eight points in the ascendancy; 25-17 the score.

The gulf in quality between the sides was starting to show as Storm upped the defensive intensity to match their impressive offensive start. Storm’s shooting showed no signs of any new year hangovers and they headed into the locker room leading 59-40.

The second half started sloppily on both sides, with Storm not executing their plays as they would have discussed during the break. However, after a fiery timeout from coach Clark provided a needed wake-up call to his side who weren’t just going to ease over the finishing line, it was an inspired Brayden Inger who led his team in fine fashion, finishing effortlessly inside and out to further extend the lead and ensure a comfortable close to the game. Guard Sam Newman continued where he left off after a standout 2023, hitting important shots and controlling the tempo of the game effectively and the third quarter ended 88-48 in favour of the visitors.

Storm had no interest in allowing their opponents back into the game. An outstanding offensive display saw Storm reach three figures with five minutes still to play, eventually ending with 113 to claim a comprehensive victory.

Next up for Storm is a home game against third-placed Loughborough Riders on Saturday at 7pm.