- National Teams
Hemel Storm claimed the 2023 KitKing Trophy after escaping with a 99-92 thriller against the Worthing Thunder on Saturday afternoon at Surrey Sports Park.
They add the trophy to their National Cup win from January, with year another MVP performance from Taylor Johnson who finished with 35 points, seven rebounds and five assists, with 14 of those in a clutch fourth quarter where they held off a late rally from Worthing.
“It’s a collective effort, most of my points early on were not me creating, I was catching a pass from my teammate who as making a play,” Johnson said after the game.
“We knew Worthing pick up full court and try to mix things up and get some steals, so early on we scored a bit off that, then in the second quarter they made their little push and it went back and forth a little bit; they’re a good team.
“…(The fans) bring it every game, home or away, they bring the noise.”
Aaryn Rai had 24 points, 12 rebounds and four assist to back up Johnson, with Hakeem Sylla adding 15 and Sam Newman 8 assists to go with his 12 points.
Hemel remain undefeated on the season at 33-0 overall (22-0 in NBL Division 1, 5-0 in National Cup, 6-0 KitKing Trophy), as they went 14-of-21 from downtown.
Orlan Jackman had 12 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Worthing charge, while Andre Arissol had 20.
Orlan Jackman led the Worthing fight with 12 points in the fourth. He finished with a team-high 23 points, dominating inside to go 8-12 from two. He was backed by Andre Arissol’s 20 points, and 18 from Tom Ward.