Hemel Storm defend NBL D1 Playoff title in thriller - Hoopsfix.com

Hemel Storm defend NBL D1 Playoff title in thriller

Hemel Storm NBL D1 Playoff Champions 2024

Hemel Storm defended their NBL Division 1 Playoff title with an 87-84 win over Reading Rockets on Sunday at the NBPC in Manchester.

Elijah Maynard’s three-point attempt to force overtime rimmed out as the buzzer sounded and the Hemel celebrations started as they claimed a second straight playoff victory, coming from behind after trailing by as many as nine.

Sam Newman was named MVP, finishing with 18 points, five rebounds, eight assists and five steals, Taylor Johnson finished with 26 points, five rebounds and four assists, while Darien Nelson-Henry added 17 points and 11 rebounds.

Reading were up through the first three quarters, holding off every Hemel run until a quick 5-0 burst to open the fourth gave Storm their first lead of the game to set up a thrilling finish.

“That was crazy, Reading pushed us,” Newman said.

“Through three quarters, they had our number, they shot the ball really well but our principles were that they couldn’t keep it up for four quarters and we just had to stick with our guns.”

Hemel Head Coach Mark Clark added:

“Every time Reading made a shot deep in the shot clock from increasing distance, it maybe looked like it was their day but we’ve been resilient all year.

“We finally got the lead and I thought we were ok, but then they came back. It’s a shame the arena wasn’t full because Division 1 basketball is a really good level.”

Lewis Champion and Mitch Clark led Reading with 16 each, while Maynard added 15.

Box score.

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