MK Breakers pushed NBL Division 1 outfit Hemel Storm to the wire on Sunday evening as they fell to a 94-91 defeat in the KitKing Trophy Quarter-Finals.
The two sides renewed their rivalry after last seasons National Cup Semi-Final saw Breakers and Storm play out one of the most entertaining games of the season.
Hemel enjoyed a successful start to their season having won all three of their KitKing Trophy Group Stage fixtures, meanwhile, Breakers finished second in their group, beating two NBL Division 1 sides in the process.
The two sides battled back and forth in the opening quarter with Jordan Spencer, Luke Gregory, Mike New Jr and Dante Langley all getting points on the board within the opening four minutes.
A successful 3 pointer from Blayne Freckleton followed by Spencer’s lay up ensured Breakers held a three point lead midway through the opening quarter. Spencer then hit his own three pointer, while Chris Tawiah’s lay up extended Breakers lead to eight points.
Breakers continued to score well and at one stage led the first quarter by 10 points, before closing out the first quarter leading 36-28.
The break between quarters stunted the momentum of Breakers and played into the hands of the hosts as they cut down the lead to just two points, before eventually levelling the scoring with three minutes left in the second quarter.
The two sides then traded blows, with Breakers once again taking the lead before Storm drew back level. The Breakers did, however, lose their lead in the closing stages of the first-half with Storm boasting a 46-43 lead at the break.
The high-scoring affair continued in a similar fashion in the third quarter with Andre Arissol scoring 6 points in two minutes to keep Breakers in touching distance of the NBL Division 1 outfit.
Storm would’ve been the happier with three minutes left in the third as their lead extended to 11 points. Breakers, however, refused to be beaten and rallied scoring 11 points without reply to ensure the scores were level 66-66 with one quarter remaining.
Storm would regain the lead on a number of occasions in the final quarter, but Billy Beddow’s side would reduce the advantage to just one on a number of occasions, before Chris Tawiah levelled the score 82-82 with three-minutes left.
Mike New Jr and Andre Arissol ensured Breakers would push their opponents right down to the wire, with the difference just two points with 30 seconds left.
Storm, however, would come out on top with just a three point difference between the Breakers and Storm. Beddow’s side can be more than proud of their efforts against the side that were named NBL Division 1 Champions last year.
The Breakers are in action again next weekend with two home games. First taking on Solent Kestrels on Saturday at 5pm, followed by a National Cup second round game vs Essex Charge. Tickets for both games available here.