Teenager Jack drives Hemel to two ton weekend

Jack Burnell in action. PNL-161018-113528002Jack Burnell in action. PNL-161018-113528002
Jack Burnell in action. PNL-161018-113528002
Hemel Storm scored more than 100 points twice this weekend to clinch impressive National Cup and National League victories.

The Vanarama-sponsored Storm advanced to the fourth round of the National Cup at Sportspace on Friday night by beating Northants Tauras 111-81.

Then in London on Saturday they demolished Westminster Warriors 104-69 in a National League Division One clash.

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“That was a fantastic weekend for us,” said a delighted Storm coach Dave Allin. “Having lost our last two games I was a little concerned that our confidence was down but our focus and commitment couldn’t have been better”.

Friday’s win was triggered by an incredible individual scoring burst from 19 year-old Jack Burnell who sank seven three-pointers, six two-pointers and a free-throw for 34 points to top score in just 17 minutes on court.

With the scores at 29-24 after five minutes of the second period Storm’s free-flowing offence began to gel and their swarming style of defence disrupted their opponents and pushed Hemel into a commanding 55-35 half-time lead.

Everyone got into the act in the second half as six Hemel players eventually scored in double figures to wrap up the win.

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Storm Head Coach Dave Allin said: “As is typical in games like this it took us a little while to open up a lead against Northants. They deserve great credit for their performance. They played hard for 40 minutes and made things difficult for us.​

“We took the opportunity to try some different combinations of players and work on some adjustments to our defence which was useful preparation for the game against Westminster.”

And Allin had special praise for former Storm junior Burnell, saying: “The highlight of this game has to be Jack’s contribution, simply outstanding!”

And on Saturday Hemel faced a team they had edged by two points in a Trophy game a couple of weeks ago. A much improved team performance at both ends of the court saw Storm steadily build an impressive winning margin right from the tip-off.

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Aggressive defence and unselfish offence powered them to a 55-31 half-time lead and although they took their foot off the pedal in the second half they still outscored the home side 25-24 in the third quarter and 24-15 in the fourth.

The recent re-signing of former Club Player of the Year Carl Josey was a “massive boost” for the team, said the coach. “Carl improves the team at both ends of the floor but most importantly he gives us additional defence and rebounding.

“A few weeks ago we struggled to get a two point win over Westminster in the Trophy. To beat them by 35 shows that we are clearly heading in the right direction.

“Once again, everyone who took to the floor gave us quality and contributed to a very satisfying win.

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“The squad has a good level of depth now and I have absolute confidence in all our players. And we still have so much we can improve on. The Westminster result has kick-started our league season, now we must build on that performance.”

Storm team and scorers v Northants: Burnell 34, Allin (N) 14, Henry 13, Duru 12, Adorian 10, Josey 7, Yeboah 7, Darlow 6, Mumuni 4, Williams 2, Wood 2, Rodwell.

Storm team and scorers v Westminster: Yeboah 21, Henry 20, Burnell 15, Darlow 14, Josey 11, Mumuni 11, Duru 6, Adorian 4, Allin (N) 2, Williams, Wood.

Storm’s next home game is on Sunday, October 30, tip-off at 5pm against Reading Rockets in the fourth round of the National Cup. For tickets and information visit www.stormbasketball.net

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