#1 HTS Storm 100 – 70 #16 County Upper School

Top-seeded HTS Storm were comfortable victors in the Sweet 16 of the ABL Playoffs at home against #16 seed County Upper.

The home side took their time to get into any sort of rhythm as the visitors started well, leading 13-8. Coach Daniel Hildreth called a time out to settle his side, and whatever was said clearly worked as the hosts went on a 17-5 tear to end the quarter; giving them a 25-18 advantage at the first break.

Credit to County Upper as they were not done yet, keeping the game in reach at 32-28. Brandon Laryea, who led all scorers with 19 points, went on a scoring spree – netting 12 points personal as part of a 22-4 run that ultimately sealed the game by half time, HTS leading 54-32.

The lead ballooned to 37 midway through the fourth quarter as the #1 seed cruised to their first ABL Playoff victory in school history.

Class of 2022 guard Bence Szilvagyi said after the game, “We played with a high intensity from start to finish, which showed in the pace of the game and helped us earn this result.”

Brandon Laryea had another impressive game for Storm with 19 points, nine rebounds and four assists, while Bako Saxton was a real game-changer with 16 points, three assists and three steals, with Matt Aziamale also chipping in 16 points, three rebounds and two steals. Findlay Mitchell came off the bench to add 13 points, six rebounds and two assists, while big man Abdou Gaye was the final double-digit contributor with 12 points and four rebounds.

County Upper were led by Nicolo Del Maestro’s 18 points and five rebounds, alongside Leon Wedderburn’s impressive effort of 15 points and three rebounds, while adding a steal and a block. Tom Revell chipped in 12 points and three rebounds from the back-court, while much of the heavy lifting on the boards was done by Cameron Poolton who had seven points to go with 10 rebounds, six assists and four steals.

HTS Storm play host to the #8 seeded Stoke on Trent College in the Elite 8, after the Staffordshire-based side cruised past Essex Rebels Academy in the Sweet 16. The highly anticipated matchup set for Wednesday 26th February, with a place in the Final 4 on offer.