Storm slayed in late Gladiators fightback

Drew Spinks. Picture by Andy Brain

Drew Spinks. Picture by Andy Brain

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Basketball

Hemel Storm 88 Glamorgan Gladiators 93

HEMEL Storm suffered their second successive defeat as they were edged out late on by Glamorgan.

Two consecutive deep three-pointers from brothers Rhys and Owen Williams gave Glamorgan their first lead of the game going into the last two minutes of a pulsating National League clash – and the league’s second-placed team was able to hold to claim the win.

Storm surrendered a 16-point third quarter lead as defensive mistakes and a misfiring offence allowed Gladiators back into the game.

“We really got ourselves in an excellent position to win but our guys looked like they were treading water in the fourth quarter,” said Hemel coach Dave Titmuss. “We just ran out of steam.”

“We showed some poor judgement at both ends of the court late in the game that we’ll learn from.

“That’s something that’s a real positive for us – our attitude is when you lose, don’t lose the lesson.”

Titmuss added: “We did enough to convince me that when we can get our full roster back after Christmas we’ll really benefit from the experience that our back-up guys have had over the past few months. We’ll be deeper and definitely good enough to contend for honours.”

Titmuss was impressed with his side’s efforts in restricting the league’s leading scorer and rebounder, 6ft 8ins American Gregg Hernandez, to two thirds of his usual production.

“He had 40, 37 and 44 points in the last three games and we were able to hold him to 28,” said Titmuss.

Storm were without the injured Bode Adeluola, Tom Frederick, Michael Darlow and Joe Perera but welcomed back Drew Spinks for only his second game this season.

Although not fully match fit, Spinks top-scored with 26 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and threw four assists in an impressive return.

From the tip-off Hemel signalled their intent to compete with a Glamorgan team that has a reputation for physical play.

Their defence restricted the Gladiators to outside shots and denied Hernandez the ball close to basket.

Spinks, Simon Kearney and Rich Wellings were on target at the offensive end and by half-time Storm took a narrow 50-46 lead into the locker room.

The third quarter saw Hemel take control of the game as unsung heroes James Dawe and Tolu Adebekum combined with Kearney, Spinks and Wellings to good effect.

Hemel’s offence dried-up in the fourth period, however, and they trailed by a point going into the last minute.

Free throws by Owen Williams sealed the win for the visitors.