A packed Sportspace crowd roared on Hemel Storm as they romped to one of their best results of the season on Saturday, demolishing a Bristol Academy Flyers team by 32 points to win 82-50.
Storm struggled early on to put points on the board but were outstanding in defence, putting up the shutters and denying Bristol any points at all until there were nearly five minutes on the clock.
By that time Zak Wells had scored the first six Hemel points and they had a lead that they would not relinquish for the entire match.
Rodney Bryn-Hussey brought the huge crowd to their feet for the first time with a big three to ease Storm’s lead out to eight points and at the end of the first quarter the home team led 17-8.
A steal followed by a lay-up by Bode Adeluola got Storm going early in the second quarter, but some accurate three-point shooting by the away side kept them in the contest.
Another three-pointer by Bryn-Hussey stretched Hemel’s lead into double figures and two more Adeluola lay-ups stretched the lead, but another Bristol three-pointer right on the half time buzzer reduced the home team’s lead to just nine at 38-29 as both teams headed for the dressing room.
A long three-pointer by Dru Spinks broke a sequence of nine missed shots by both teams to start the third but by half way through the quarter the teams had only managed nine points between them.
The home side then clicked into gear and with Spinks and Adeluola running riot, they pushed their lead out to 16 points after three quarters.
Hemel hit their scoring stride early in the final period to pulverise a bewildered Bristol team and rattle in shot after shot to create a party atmosphere among the standing room only crowd.
Captain Simon ‘Spud’ Kearney joined the party with two three-pointers as the away side struggled to contain the rampant home team.
With the lead now over thirty points, coach Steve Darlow was able to give his bench players some useful court time and Tolu Adebekun nearly brought the house down with a steal and a rebound in quick succession.
Shell-shocked Bristol let time run out and seemed relieved it was all over as the final hooter went.
After the game, with the crowd swarming onto the court to celebrate with the team, Darlow paid tribute to his players and the defensive work they had put in during training.
Dru Spinks and Bode Adeluola scored 17 points each, Spud Kearney weighed in with 13, Zak Wells got 10 and Rodney Bryn-Hussey (9), Walid Mumuni (7), Tom Adorian (6), Matt Hanson (2) and Tolu Adebekun completed the scoring.
Storm will be back in Sportspace action on Saturday, February 15 to take on Tees Valley Mohawks and if Saturday’s attendance is anything to go by fans need to make sure of their seats early – visit www.stormbasketball.net for details.