Around the NBL - Week 17 Recap -

Around the NBL – Week 17 Recap

Check out our latest round-up of all the action across the four divisions of the NBL with just two unbeaten teams remaining, while the title race in D1 heats up.

Division One

Kent Crusaders (12-5) lost their lead at the top of D1 after suffering two defeats at the weekend. They fell to a 67-59 loss at beaten National Trophy finalists, Leicester Warriors (9-9), before losing 68-57 at home to Cup and Trophy winners, Manchester Giants (9-7). Leome Francis led the Warriors with 26 points, while Ellis Cooper had 25 for the Magic in their respective wins.

Essex Leopards (13-4) have taken over as the front-runners as they claimed back-to-back victories. Will Ashby shot 5-9 from 3-point range in his 27 points, while David Ajumobi matched his points tally and added 14 rebounds in a 73-66 win against Hemel Storm (6-13). The leaders then followed that with a 75-63 success at Bradford Dragons (7-12).

Team Northumbria (12-5) also enjoyed a successful double-header to move into a three-way share of second place. Marc Steutel’s side defeated NASSA (4-13) 79-62 behind a big double-double of 23 points and 16 rebounds from Chris Hatch. They won on again on the road, 24 hours later after another double-double from Hatch – 24 points, 13 rebounds – and 21 points from Mick Di Stasio helped their side to a 92-84 win at Worthing Thunder (7-11). Milton Chavis had a game-high 30 for the hosts.

It was a second home loss for Worthing, having also been beaten 79-64 by title-chasing Reading Rockets (12-6). Deion Turman produced a 30-point haul and had 13 boards to lead the visitors, while Danny Carter added 20 points. The two-time defending league champions spurned the chance to move level on points at the top after losing 75-72 at Hemel, on Sunday. Bode Adeluola top scored with 20 points to move Storm within two points off the top 8 places.

Derby Trailblazers (12-5) re-ignited their title charge with a 91-72 victory at home to Tees Valley Mohawks (6-10). Alex Dorr led the hosts with 20 points, with Dan Watts finishing with 11 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists. Bryan Hockaday returned from injury to put up 26 points and 14 rebounds. On Sunday, Romonn Nelson ensured the Mohawks bounced back with a 96-89 win against NASSA, after scoring 29 points. Charles Rhodes added 23 and Hockaday had another double-double with 20/13.

Leicester also made it two out of two this weekend after claiming a 71-68 win at Westminster Warriors (4-13) with Derek Knutty top scoring with 17 points. There were ten ejections in Westminster’s game on Saturday as a fight broke out towards the end of their 94-74 defeat at Bradford.

Division Two

London Lituanica (16-1) have moved to the top of D2 with two wins this week; securing a guaranteed top-two finish alongside title rivals Lancashire Spinners (16-2). They defeated London United (2-11) 103-72 on the road in mid-week before beating London Westside (3-13) 86-61, on Sunday.

The Spinners defeated Loughborough Student Riders (11-7) 95-72 behind 30 points from Josh Houghton as they avenged a loss against the Student Riders earlier in the season. Ipswich Basketball (12-6) claimed an 86-81 victory over London Greenhouse Pioneers (7-7) as Leigh Greenan top scored with a game-high 33 points. Elsewhere, Worcester Wolves II (4-12) defeated Eastside Eagles (4-13) 82-79 on the road, and Birmingham Mets (6-12) upset Derbyshire Arrows (11-6) 72-69.

Division Three

Nottingham Hoods (18-2) are in top spot in the North after a convincing 112-76 win over Team Birmingham (10-10), while Liverpool (17-1) beat Sefton Stars (10-10) 79-54 on the road on Sunday. There were home wins across the board on Saturday as Hull Wasps (5-13) defeated basement side Sheffield Sabres (3-17) 74-66. Newcastle Under Lyme College Knights (13-6) had 31 points from Kieran Jones to come from behind to beat Derby Trailblazers II (12-7) 83-79. Also, Leeds Allerton High Force (3-15) enjoyed an 88-79 win against Mansfield Giants (9-11), and City of Sheffield Saints (12-8) saw off Tees Valley Mohawks II (4-16) 87-71. On Sunday, Derby bounced back from their loss to beat the Sabres 75-59.

In the South, Thames Valley Cavaliers (14-3) earned a share of top spot after beating Solent Kestrels (14-3) 85-68. The previous leaders bounced back the following day with a 75-68 win at Hackney White Heat (7-7), while the Cavaliers defeated Cardiff Met Archers (5-11) 98-70 with Baptiste scoring 29. Cardiff had beaten Oxford City Hoops (2-12) 93-89 the previous day, while Barking Abbey (5-12) claimed a 75-70 win away at Team Solent (8-8).

Division Four

In the East Midlands, Brentwood Fire (11-2) moved into a tie for the lead after beating Northants Taurus (7-6) 97-76. Elsewhere, College of West Anglia Fury (8-5) beat Cambridge Cats (9-5) 93-59 and Anglia Ruskin University (2-12) were awarded the win against Oaklands College Wolves (2-11).

Doncaster Danum Eagles (13-1) saw their perfect record ended by Loughborough Student Riders II (14-1), who now lead the Midlands group. Also, Nottingham Hoods II (5-10) squeezed past Birmingham Mets II (4-9) 51-49.

In the North, Team Newcastle University (17-0) all but secured top spot after defeating nearest challengers Myerscough College Giants (16-2) 75-60 to keep their unbeaten record in tact. Sunderland City Predators (5-12) were beaten 84-74 by Tameside (14-3) at home, before thrashing Liverpool II (0-15) 115-46. Gateshead Phoenix (11-7) claimed an 84-64 road win at Lancashire Spinners II (6-10), and Prestons College (10-6) won 85-61 at Leeds Tigers (6-11). Kendal Warriors (3-15) won their third game of the season with a 76-68 victory at Sefton Stars II (4-11).

Brunel Ducks (16-3) moved to take an outright lead at the top of the South-East after back-to-back victories over the weekend. First, they crushed London United II (3-14) 112-78 with 28 points from Benji Lawmann, before edging a close-fought encounter 74-71 on the road at Kent Crusaders II (9-9). BC Crawley United (15-3) are a game behind in second after they too beat Kent, 83-63. Folkestone Saints (9-9) defeated Twickenham Tigers (6-12), while Brighton Cougars (11-7) eased past London Greenhouse Pioneers II (0-17).

Oxford Brookes University (16-0) are the other perfect team in the national leagues after they beat Reading Rockets II (3-13) 103-69. Swindon Shock (13-3) cruised to a 98-59 win against Woking Blackhawk Flyers (10-6). Thames Valley Cavaliers II (9-7) claimed an 81-76 victory against Southampton University Sharks (3-13), while Bristol Storm (5-12) edged past Oxford Sealers (6-10) 62-60 and Bristol Academy Flyers II (9-7) were given a 20-0 win over Cardiff City (6-9).

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