Around the NBL – Week 20

The latest recap of the action in the National Basketball League (NBL) from D1 down to D4.

Division One

Reading Rockets (14-3) took their winning streak in D1 to 13 games at the weekend after a successful double-header. The Rockets were led by Danny Carter’s 29 points in an 81-88 victory at Solent Kestrels (10-7) before recording an impressive 108-85 home win over Bradford Dragons (10-9).

Carter added a further 24 points to his weekend haul along with 10 assists with Chris Hooper posting 23 points and 16 rebounds to help fuel another Rockets victory with Bradford the last team to beat them in the league.

Team Northumbria (16-3) also enjoyed a double-winning weekend to maintain their lead at the top. Marc Steutel’s side withstood 30 points from Lyonell Gaines as they earned a 64-78 win at Worthing Thunder (5-13) aided by a strong third before beating Leicester Warriors (6-12) 74-81.

Lewis Champion contributed 18 points and 10 assists against Worthing, while Malcolm Smith top scored with 23 points in the second win as the visitors won the final period 15-22 with the teams having been tied at the end of the third.

Manchester Magic (13-3) continued their own winning run as they defeated London Lituanica (8-8) 61-74 as Duane Morgan netted 24 points in an early preview of the National Trophy Final. Meanwhile, Derby Trailblazers (11-5) stay in the top four following a 61-74 success at Essex Leopards (5-13) despite Darrell Bethune’s 28 points.

Elsewhere, Loughborough Student Riders (11-7) picked up their second straight road win as they defeated Lancashire Spinners (4-12) 63-77 with 20 points and 10 rebounds coming from Levi Noel as his side pulled clear in the fourth period.

Hemel Storm (7-11) boosted their playoff hopes with a 79-83 road win against Leicester Warriors as they held off a late fightback from the home side. Mike Darlow top scored with 21 points in his side’s seventh victory of the season.

Standings: Northumbria 16-3; Magic/Rockets 14-3; Trailblazers 11-5; Riders 11-7; Kestrels 10-7; Dragons 10-9; Lituanica 8-8; Storm 7-11; L Warriors 6-12; Leopards/Thunder 5-13; Spinners 4-12; W Warriors 0-15

Division Two

Team Newcastle University (16-1) extended their lead at the top of D2 with a double-winning weekend. After beating Doncaster Danum Eagles (4-11) 51-67 on the road, the Knights followed up with a 74-66 triumph over Thames Valley Cavaliers (13-3) with Richard Austin netting 24 points.

The Cavaliers had beaten Tees Valley Mohawks (6-10) 83-101 away from home the day before as 24 points from Martelle McLemore helped his side overcome Charlton Jones’ 35-point haul. Meanwhile, Kent Crusaders (14-2) recorded a convincing 109-76 success against Newham Neptunes (2-14) despite 36 points from Lukas Volskis.

Ipswich (9-8) edged out Nottingham Hoods (6-10) 73-74 in a thriller on the road with David Watts netting 27 points in the loss for the hosts. Leigh Greenan led the way with 23 points and 12 rebounds with three other players also hitting double figures in the win.

Also, London Greenhouse Pioneers (6-9) also earned a one-point win as 25 points from Dean Prosenica helped his side defeat Derbyshire Arrows (7-9) 91-90, while London Westside (9-7) picked up another win as they beat Liverpool (4-12) 63-59 with Kayne Henry-McCalla and Theo Deleligne scoring 14 points apiece.

Standings: Knights 16-1; Crusaders 14-2; Cavaliers 13-3; Westside 9-7; Ipswich 9-8; Arrows 7-9; Pioneers 6-9; Hoods/Mohawks 6-10; Eagles 4-11; Liverpool 4-12; Neptunes 2-14

Division Three

University of Chester (13-2) recorded a resounding 64-94 win away at Coventry Tornadoes (5-10) to remain top of D3 North, while Team Birmingham Elite (12-3) eased to a 93-50 victory over Mansfield Giants (2-14).

Charnwood Riders (11-4) overcame Stoke-on-Trent Knights (9-4) 84-87 on the road with 18 points apiece for Johde Campbell and Kyle Jiminez. Elsewhere, Daniel Belgrave poured in 43 points to guide Birmingham Mets to a 69-113 rout of Sefton Stars (0-15), while Myerscough College Spinners (8-7) defeated Sheffield Hallam Sharks (7-9) despite 26 points from Marko Backovic.

In D3 South action, Middlesex LTBC (12-3) overcame a combined 62 points from Abdoulaye Sylla and Lorenzo Monticelli as they defeated Oxford Brookes University (2-8) 84-90 away from home.

Adam Thoseby exploded for 44 points to lead Brunel University Ducks (6-6) to a 110-105 success over second-placed Sussex Bears (10-2) as the visitors battled back from a 34-point half-time deficit.

Solent Kestrels II (8-3) claimed an 80-64 win at home to Greenwich Titans (8-8) with Northants Thunder (5-8) beaten 63-75 by Cardiff Met Archers (7-7) and Southwark Pride (6-6) earning a 67-63 success against Thames Valley Cavaliers II (0-13) as Gedi Juozapaitis netting 18 points.

Division Four

Manchester Giants II (11-1) recorded a 93-69 victory over Calderdale Explorers (6-6) in D4 North action, despite 30 points from Nathaniel Akins, while Team Sunderland (10-2) defeated Kendal Warriors (4-11) 68-98 on the road.

Leeds Force Academy (8-3) eased past Sefton Stars II (2-10) 66-91 behind Micah Savery-Richards’ 23 points and Tameside (8-2) defeated Kingston Panthers (6-8) 89-61.

In D4 Midlands, leaders Northants Taurus (13-1) edged out bottom-placed Birmingham Mets II (2-10) 81-78, while Team Wolverhampton (10-1) remain in prime position following a 75-57 success against Nottingham Hoods II (4-9).

Shropshire Warriors (11-4) defeated City of Birmingham (6-7) 60-67 on the road to stay second with Warwickshire Hawks (9-6) beating Derby Trailblazers II (5-8) 54-79 as Ashley Dickson netted 27 points.

Barking Abbey Crusaders (11-4) moved to the top of D4 South-East after overcoming Chelmsford Lions (8-6) 81-80 in double-overtime with Josh Ogundele scoring 19 points, while Middlesex Saxons (10-4) were beaten 68-62 away at Folkestone Saints (8-7).

Also, Kent Crusaders II (9-6) needed overtime to get past London Lewisham-Thunder (9-5) 71-73 on the road despite 24 points from Josh Edwards, while Cambridge Cats (3-10) eased to a 101-69 win at home to Oaklands College (4-11) with J Daley netting 28 points.

In the D4 South-West, Cardiff City (9-2) inflicted a second straight defeat on RCT Gladiators (8-2) with Lewis Tucker pouring in 42 points in the 89-78 triumph. Swindon Shock (9-3) were led by Spencer Wells’ 28 points in a 100-60 victory over Plymouth Rebels (4-8) to move into second.

Bristol Storm (7-6) recorded a 64-87 win away at Oxford Stealers (2-9), while Reading Rockets II (7-7) claimed a 51-56 win on the road against Southampton University Sharks (3-8) to move to .500.

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