Hemel Storm were just edged in each quarter against National League Division One’s second-placed team, Derby Trailblazers, away on Saturday as once again their shooting touch deserted them in a 77-66 defeat.
A much improved defensive performance from Hemel held the home team to 77 points which was 35 less than in the home fixture back in September.
But despite creating excellent scoring opportunities close to the basket and from three-point range, Storm’s shots just wouldn’t fall on a consistent basis.
They lost the first, second and fourth quarters by three points each, the third by two.
Storm’s leading scorer Nik Rhodes was hampered by a shoulder injury and star guard Bode Adeluola is nursing a back strain.
Although Hemel co-coach Dave Titmuss acknowledged the impact of the injuries, he felt the team was deep enough to compensate. “It’s really frustrating,” said Titmuss. “We executed pretty well but just didn’t finish the way we had been doing earlier in the year. Hopefully we can return to form, starting this coming weekend.”
Storm’s top three scorers against Derby were co-captain Simon Kearney with 15, Adeluola with 14 and Tom Adorian with 12.
Hemel are home at Sportspace on Saturday against Kent Crusaders in a Division One clash, tip-off 7pm. Tickets and more information at www.stormbasketball.net