Storm win in Seth’s farewell
It was the 56th and final appearance in a Storm jersey for Seth Swalve, who is heading to Australia to continue his career and was given a fine send-off as the hosts confirmed their credentials as title contenders.
A Newcastle roster containing talent all over the floor, including the league’s second highest scorer in Logan Rooney, matched up against an ever-improving Storm side missing, however, the only man to outscore Rooney so far this year in Hakeem Sylla, away on work duty.
Storm provided a ruthlessly scintillating performance, dismissing the travelling Newcastle with ease in front of a sold out StormDome full of fans fortunate to be treated to such a display of basketball.
As seen in recent weeks, this side is built around contributions from all over the floor with everyone playing their part on both ends, fighting tenaciously for each other, and it was symbolic that all nine men at Mark Clark’s disposal featured on the scoreboard.
Brayden Inger was superb, backing up his high-flying recent form with 24 points to go with a strong defensive display, standing tall to deny Newcastle time and time again and prove to his coach that despite recent changes to the squad, he will still be a key player as the campaign rolls towards the crunch period.
Storm weren’t fazed by their limited squad size, missing key man Sylla as well as captain Jack Burnell and Ade Atiba. Matt Disu continued to dazzle with his determination and explosiveness, adding to his ridiculous highlights reel with slams a plenty and standout play featuring a mesmerising steal, followed by a double spin any dancer would be proud of and capped with a fine, poised finish at the hoop to send the crowd into an early, first quarter frenzy.
New man Darien Nelson-Henry made his Storm debut, settling into life quickly as he returned to the game with a little more leg work than he may have expected, carrying the absent Sylla’s minutes.
However, the night truly belonged to one man. Swalve produced a superb performance, topping the scores with 26 to his name, and the noise was deafening as he left the court with 29 seconds remaining, to take in the well-deserved raptures and appreciation of the crowd.
Storm are away at Worthing Thunder on Saturday.