Saturday 26th March: Hemel Storm 80-87 Team Solent Kestrels (NBL Division One)
Sunday 27th March: Nottingham Hoods 90-82 Hemel Storm (NBL Division One)
Storm had two very important games at the weekend, both of which they had to win to get a home advantage in the playoffs. Unfortunately, they could not do so, losing both of their games against league champions Solent Kestrels and playoff rivals Nottingham Hoods, meaning that they will play an away fixture in the playoff quarter finals against Derby Trailblazers.
Saturday’s game saw Storm face a very tough Solent Kestrels team, who they had beaten in December in the reverse fixture. Despite Storm winning after a battling first half, Solent managed to regroup and go on some vital scoring runs to turn the game in their favour. Storm did try to fight back, but the Kestrels defence was simply too strong for Storm, resulting in missed shots especially in the second half. The final score was 80-87.
Desperate to turn their loss into a win the day after, Storm faced Nottingham Hoods, another team who were looking to finish in the top four and gain the home advantage. Although Storm led by 20 in the second half, some costly mistakes in the third quarter made the game all to play for with Nottingham back in it. Storm only scored 7 points in the last quarter compared to Nottingham’s 22 which ultimately won Nottingham the game.
Top scorers on Saturday: Taylor Johnson 26pts, Greg Poleon 24pts, Bode Adeluola 10pts
Top scorers on Sunday: Taylor Johnson 39pts, Greg Poleon 21pts, Bode Adeluola 11pts
A disappointing end to the regular season for Storm but they face Derby Trailblazers on Saturday 2nd April in the playoff quarter finals, 7.15pm tip off at Clarence Wiggins Sports Hall, Noel Baker School, Bracknell Dr, Alvaston, Derby DE24 0BT.
Storm do have one final home game this season, when they face Great Britain Over 35s in an exhibition game on Saturday 16th April. Storm will welcome back stalwarts Simon (Spud) Kearney, Tom Adorian and Walid Mumuni as well as celebrating Bode Adeluola’s 10th year at Storm. The end of season player awards will be announced at half time in that game as well. Tickets are available at the door, on the night or in advance at www.stormbasketball.net
Photos by Joanne Charles