The Playoff dream for Nottingham Hoods is over but what a fabulous year it’s been for a team who in 2020/21 finished bottom of the NBL Division One table.
Resurged with vengeance the Hoods class of 2021/22 has been inspiring for those lucky enough to witness them in action and it took table topping regular season winners of the last four seasons, Team Solent Kestrels, to stop Nottingham in a semi-final that in the end was won by 24 points.
The Kestrels will now play Hemel Storm in the final but for Nottingham they will look back on a season where they over-achieved, after finishing the regular campaign fourth with a record of 18 wins and 8 losses.
On the South Coast on Saturday Solent booked a spot in their third straight playoff final following a comfortable 104-80 win.
An even opening quarter gave way to a 31-18 second that pushed the Kestrels’ lead to 20 by the half, eventually topping out at a high of 29 points.
Both teams shot well in the contest, with Solent going at 57% from the floor and Nottingham at 50%, but an impressive 11/21 (52%) from long-range helped push the hosts over the line.
Max Richardson (13pts) and Cole Gentry (17pts, 3reb) both splashed a trio of threes, with guard Brendan Okoronkwo (16pts, 7ast) also playing well. Orlan Jackman top-scored off the bench with 18 points.
Forward Morakinyo Williams played the full 40 for Nottingham, closing with a 27 point, 10 rebound double-double as guard Andrew Vickers (17pts, 6ast, 4reb) also did well.
In the WBBL Nottingham Wildcats had a weekend of defeats as they lost to Leicester Riders 78-91 on Saturday before another loss at home on Sunday this time 73-81 to Cardiff Met Archers.
The Wildcats who are 9th in the table next face title challenging Sevenoaks Suns at home on Wednesday.
*Main image @SolentKestrels the home team were impressive against the Hoods.