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.