Surrey Storm defeat Severn Stars 68-52 to put themselves into the play-off places after a strong second half at the Surrey Sports Park on Sunday, April 3.
Severn Stars started strong, ending the first quarter ahead by three at 16-13 but it wasn’t long before Storm came into the game and led by one goal heading into half time at 31-30.
Mikki Austin’s side turned up the pressure heading into the second half as they looked to increase their lead through player of the match Proscovia Peace as they drew a 10-goal lead.
With just 15 minutes left to play, Stars looked to overturn the deficit in hope of securing their second win of the season, but it was Storm who came out firing as Peace continued to stretch their lead to 68-52 at the final buzzer.
Stars came out of the blocks firing as the strong partnership between Cat Tuivaiti and Paige Reed proved to be too much for the Storm defence. It was not long before Tuivaiti produced her signature no look passes and found Reed who converted her shot to draw a four-goal lead.
Despite being down, Peace ended the first quarter with a great last-minute goal as she picked up the ball in space to convert a quick buzzer beater shot.
The away side started the game brightly and carried a three-goal lead heading into the second quarter and continued their positive performance as they began to increase their lead by five goals through Reed, bringing the score to 24-19.
The star signing of Tuivaiti was demonstrating her class continuously as she battled off Leah Middleton and held her space under the post where captain Leota found her and capitalised with a goal.
Despite a rather slow start from her team, Peace remained a shining light for Storm as they began to thread the attack through the Ugandan goal shooter. Peace continued to be a problem for Lucy Herdman and Dee Bolakoro as she netted four consecutive goals to put her side ahead at the break.
Stars made an abundance of changes at half time as Tuivaiti, Katie Harris, Iman Thomas and Bolakoro dropped to the bench for Issy Eaton, Reed, Nicole Humphrys and Summer Artman. However, a few early goals consecutively for Storm provided a five-goal lead as they began to run away with the game.
It proved to just not be Stars’ day after a couple of miss-placed passes and shots from the side with Storm growing even more in confidence and putting the game out of reach through Peace who secured their 46th goal.
Heading into the final 15 minutes, Stars continued to push with a fast passage of play between the midcourt which eventually found its way to Tuivaiti who converted her shot with ease. However, Storm didn’t take their foot off the accelerator as Yasmin Parsons found Peace in aches of space who netted another goal.
Continuing to battle, Tuivaiti produced another no look looping pass who found Leota in space and reclaimed the ball to dispatch her shot, netting their 47th. Storm looked to instantly react, but Frankie Wells’ shot only circled the rim with Herdman first to react and overturn the play.
With just five minutes left, there was a last roll of the dice for Melissa Bessell’s side as Reed, Michelle Drayne and Eaton entered the court for Tuivaiti, Harris and Bolakoro. Storm also looked to freshen things up as Peace, who received player of the match, left the court to a round of applause, making way for Ellie Kelk.
Within no time, Kelk made an instant impact and carried on from where Peace left off to score two consecutive goals and stretched Storm’s lead by 16.
Despite a great start, Bessell’s side fall to a ninth consecutive defeat as Storm continue their fine form, securing four wins in a row.