Playoff dreams come to an end for gutsy Storm as Northumbria go through

Walid Mumuni scored 17 points and added 10 rebounds to his personal tally against Northumbria. Picture (c) Lin Titmuss
Walid Mumuni scored 17 points and added 10 rebounds to his personal tally against Northumbria. Picture (c) Lin Titmuss

Hemel Storm fought to the final buzzer but came up short 95-85 against a sharpshooting Northumbria side in the quarter-finals of the National Championship playoffs at Sportspace on Saturday.

Storm had earned the right to a home draw after a surprising season when their all-British team finished fourth in Division One of the National League despite playing against many sides that were strengthened with foreign professional imports.

Although they got off to a bright start on Saturday in front of yet another packed and noisy crowd - and led 26-22 after the first quarter - a run of deadly accurate shooting by the visitors put them in control and gave them a commanding 52-44 half-time lead.

Northumbria extended their lead in the third quarter before Hemel mounted a final rally, led by co-captain Walid Mumuni’s three-pointer and consecutive unanswered two-pointers from Nik Rhodes - but time ran out.

“We’ve had a pretty amazing season,” said Storm co-coach Dave Titmuss. “We won’t let this one result spoil how we feel about it. I certainly don’t think anyone would have predicted a top-four finish for us or some of the big wins that we’ve pulled off.

“The guys played with a lot of heart tonight - as usual - and in the end Northumbria just shot better than us. Sometimes that’s how it goes.”

Storm team and scorers: Adorian 24, Mumuni 17, Rhodes 15, Adeluola 12, Kearney 10, Wood 5, Darlow 2, Allin, Rodwell.