​Two more key wins for Hemel Storm

​Hemel Storm claimed a vital pair of wins over Nottingham Hoods and second-place rivals Essex Rebels, in what may prove to be an important weekend come the end of the season.
Brayden Inger was in fine form for Storm all weekend. Photo: Matt Cook.Brayden Inger was in fine form for Storm all weekend. Photo: Matt Cook.
Brayden Inger was in fine form for Storm all weekend. Photo: Matt Cook.

Storm now move into second place over the Rebels before the sides meet again this weekend in Essex.

Saturday saw the visit of Nottingham Hoods and it started poorly for Storm, with the away side 25-33 up at the end of the first quarter and Greg Skoric causing problems.

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After just 11-and-a-half minutes Storm had conceded 40 points and they knew the fortunes of their weekend relied on them addressing this quickly. Midway through the second, Storm seemed to click into gear.

The spark seen in recent weeks returned and a 15-3 run to close the period saw the deficit cleared and it was all to play for at the half: 50-50.

League veteran Taylor Johnson sensed a chance to grab control of the game and took things into his own hands at the start of the third. Ten points in five minutes for him along with trebles from Brayden Inger and Sam Newman eased the home side into a 17 point lead with one quarter to play, 87-70, ultimately Storm pushing on in the fourth for a 115-93 success.

Inger top scored with 21; Johnson and Eze had 19 apiece.

Sunday’s game with Essex Rebels saw another big crowd and an 11-point lead for Storm at the end of the first, Newman and Tez Allen in particular doing the damage.

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The Rebels began to hit back, firing themselves from behind the arc and the deficit was cut to four, but Inger continued the previous evening’s good work and grabbed another 15 points to his name alongside 11 rebounds and Storm led 50-42 at half-time.

Rebels seized control in the third, a 15-0 run edging them ahead but seven unanswered points from Storm saw them take back control and they ended the quarter two up at 67-65.

Taylor Johnson stepped up at a crucial period and helped extend Storm’s lead to a more comfortable margin. Some unsavoury scenes threatened to ruin what was a high quality basketball game as Rebels looked to foul late on and a tense game boiled over and seven were ejected in total, but when it all calmed down Storm walked out 90-81 victors. Johnson had 23, Newman 19 and Inger 15.

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