Basketball:Storm clouds over Sentinels

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Division I – Sentinels 48, Storm 55: Sentinels started the game in a robust fashion, employing strong defence to deny the free running Storm guards.

They found a lucrative source of points early in the first quarter with Shaun Maloret and John Small scoring at will.

Rick Blakemore was also imposing his authority on the game.Vital points from Byron Hatton and Sam D’Avoine kept the Storm within reach but the low post power of Maloret seemed to be too much for them.

The first period closed with Sentinels leading 20-12.The introduction of star guard Isidro Da Mata (returning from injury) in the second period saw the balance of the game change as his fast breaks and quick dribbles racked up some early baskets.

Sentinels continued to lead with points from James Walker and Ruari Allan, but by the end of the half the score was tighter, 33-24 to the Sentinels.In the third period Storm made a great deal of outside shots as the Sentinels’ defence began to tire.Some superb shooting from Kevin Bicknell and Marc Le Cornu made sure that points dropped despite Da Mata being expertly guarded by Blakemore which kept his threat to a minimum.The final quarter proved decisive as the fitter Storm players punished weak defence and lazy passing.Da Mata, Hatton and Le Cornu combined well to take well selected shots for which Sentinels had no answer.

A tiring defence and a toothless offence saw only three baskets scored in reply as the game ended 55-48 to Storm.So, with this win, Storm’s championship hopes are kept alive – although Sentinels will undoubtedly rise to the challenge again.FJ Carter Celtics 76, Warriors 52: Victory for FJ Carter Celtics took them to the top of the table.For Celtics, Mark Wilson was on fire, scoring 16 points in the first quarter including two important ‘three pointers’.As early as the ninth minute Warriors were 22-6 behind, although they did score two baskets of their own to end the quarter 22-10 down.Although the second quarter was closer, with the two sides trading baskets, it ended 38-29 to Celtics.Chris Byrne and Unnar Eliasson then stepped up the pace in the third quarter to give their winning team a 14-point lead, ably helped in the final stages of the game by Rob Honey, Ross Youngs and Mike O’Neill.

The score reflected the overall dominance Celtics had throughout the game.

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