Essex Leopards Have Double-Winning Weekend - NBL Round Up, Week 17 -

Essex Leopards Have Double-Winning Weekend – NBL Round Up, Week 17

Tom Baker Essex Leopards

Whilst Loughborough were shocking Solent to claim the National Cup title, NBL Division 1 league play continued as Essex moved into the playoff positions with a double-win.

Here’s a round up of all the action:

NBL Division 1

Nottingham McDonalds Hoods 90 – 94 Essex Leopards
Essex Leopards registered a remarkable 90-94 come from behind victory over Nottingham on the road.

Having trailed by as many as 22, there were little sign of Leopards grabbing a win at Nottingham as they trailed throughout the first half, going into the opening break 35-25 down and trailing 60-49 at half-time. 

Asante Sandiford started the comeback with a three-pointer followed by a lay-up and with Rory Winter scoring twice from long range the deficit was cut to 79-75 heading into the fourth. A big triple from Sam Newman and a dunk from Lee Hodges saw momentum swing in the game as Essex took the lead for the first time.

It was neck and neck for the remainder of the game but Leopards held onto the lead to see the game out. A huge performance from Sandiford saw him lead the team with 28 points accompanied by 5 assists with Newman adding 20 and 4 alongside him. Lee Hodges had 18 and Luke Mascall-Wright added 12 points and 7 rebounds.

Essex Head Coach Thomas Baker commented, saying:

“We showed a different side to our game to add to what has been an excellent couple of weeks for us. To come back from 22 points down against a talented Hoods team was massive for our confidence and also our togetherness”

Home team Hoods saw Cole Welle drop 31 and 11 rebounds, with Delaney Powell having 19 and 8 assists and Andrej Slavic also added 12 points.

Box Score.

Hemel Storm 79 – 93 Thames Valley Cavaliers
Thames Valley Cavaliers registered a 93-79 win over Hemel Storm on Saturday in Hemel, to improve to 9-4 in fourth place in the table.

Thames Valley poured in 29 points in the first quarter to take a 14 point lead and never looked back. Despite Leome Francis scoring 14 of his 25 points in the second period, Thames Valley thwarted any attempts at a comeback.

Cavaliers were led by Abdoullaye Sylla with 24 points and 13 rebounds, Martelle McLemore with 18, 6 rebounds and 4 assists, whilst Elliot Defreitas and Prince Lartey added 16, the latter also having 6 rebounds and 8 assists. A

Francis aded 14 rebounds with his 25 points, Bode Adeluola had 14 points and Levi Noel had 12 for Hemel, who fell to 3-9 in thirteenth place.

Hemel’s Head Coach Robert Youngblood commented on the game; “The crowd was fantastic and behind us on every possession; we were only down ten at half-time and everyone in the locker room knew we hadn’t done ourselves justice. You can credit Cavaliers too for taking us out of what we wanted to do on offence, but we should have adjusted better. We focus now on improving our position and heading to a playoff spot”

Box Score

Leicester Warriors 79 – 92 Derby Trailblazers
Derby Traiblazers registered 31 assists on their way to a 79-92 victory over Leicester Warriors.

Derby held the Warriors scoreless for almost 10 minutes from the end of the first leading into the second quarter, allowing a score of 6-6 to grow to 25-6, and never looking back.

Malcom Smith was once again unstoppable on his way to 29 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 steals and 2 blocks, Isa Brandon had 20 points and 9 rebounds, whilst Kayne King had 12 assists to go with his 8 points and 8 rebounds.

Trailblazers Head Coach Matt Shaw stated: “We certainly needed that after our run of recent results. Leicester are always tough and although we started really well we knew it would be a battle to the end. The good start really set the tone for the game. We played excellent team basketball for the most part.”

Warriors were led by Raphell Thomas-Edwards 26 points and 15 rebounds, Lamin Willan’s 18 and 11 from Martyn Gayle.

Box Score

Team Newcastle 83 – 58 Manchester Magic
Team Newcastle came away with an 83-58 win over Manchester Magic, improving to 5-8 in 10th place, whilst Manchester fell to 1-13 at the bottom of the able.

With the game close at the intermission, Newcastle dominated the second half to pull away for good.

Ben Seipt led  the Newcastle side with 24 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists, he was joined by Tosan Evbuomwan who had a near double double with 17, 9 and 4, whilst Nikola Urli added 12 points.

Newcastle Coach Ian Hewitt said: “It was great to see us put a strong team performance together. We moved the ball well, made better decisions and looked mature throughout. Hopefully we can gel on the offensive end now we are buying in to the philosophy and playing together. We have Kachi and Fran to add to that group so hopefully we can keep performing at that level.”

Magic were led by Jonathan Barnes with 18, Ryan Lewis’ 13 and Richard Bell’s 9 points.

Box Score.

Essex Leopards 91 – 79 Bradford Dragons
Essex Leopards made it a double-winning weekend, securing a 91-79 win over Bradford Dragons to move into the playoff positions.

Six unanswered points late in the second quarter helped Essex edge in front to a 36-32 lead going into halftime. However, Bradford were far from done. A Ricky Fetske inspired 7-0 run in the third before triples from Luke Mascall-Wright, Sam Newman and Asante Sandiford all hitting triples to regain an advantage and seven is as close as Bradford would get the rest of the way, as Mascall-Wright reeled off 10 straight to wrap up the win.

Essex Leopards were led by both Sandiford and Mascall-Wright with 20 apiece, as Sandiford added 7 rebounds and 10 assists, Newman had 17 and Lee Hodges had 16 points.

Essex Head Coach Thomas Baker said:

“It was great to earn a win against a physical and aggressive Dragons team was just as crucial. It demonstrates that we can make adjustments in game and also shows our ability to fight through adversity. We have come a long way in recent weeks but we are focused on just getting better one game at a time”

Rihards Sulcs had a game-high 24 points, 10 rebounds and 7 assists for the visitors and was joined by Fetske who had 19 along with 20 rebounds, whilst Allie Fullah tallied 17 points for the game, but it wouldn’t prevent Bradford from falling to 6-8.

Box Score

Division 2

London United 79 – 80 Greenwich Titans
Greenwich Titans got an 80-79 upset win over London United in a thrilling come-from-behind victory.

Louis Annan split knocked down a free throw with 8 seconds remaining to give Greenwich the win, after they had trailed by as many as 21. Jake Murphy went off for 36 points for Greenwich, coming up with some big plays down the stretch, whilst Arturo Noah Pascual added 17 points.

London United were led by Tomas Butrimas who had a big double double of 19 points and 18 rebounds, whilst Marius Talijunas had 15, 9 and 4, but they fell to 4-5 in sixth place.

Box Score.

London Greenhouse Pioneers 79 – 90 Liverpool
Liverpool kept their perfect record intact with a 79-90 win over London Greenhouse Pioneers, ending the London side’s seven game winning streak in the process.

A 7-0 run in the final minutes, sparked by Kaphel Ulett-Waul, who scored a quick four, befor a three pointer from Uche Umekwe, sealed the outcome.

Ulett-Waul had 27 to lead Liverpool, whilst Mark Rangeley had 25 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists.

London were led by 20 from Max Hufschlag and 19 from Khyle-Andres Diaz.

Box Score.

Division 3

Team Sunderland 78 – 106 Stoke-on-Trent Knights
Charnwood College Riders 74 – 70 WLV Albion
Sheffield Hallam Sharks 94 – 101 Team Derby Sharks
Barking Abbey 70 – 49 Cardiff Met Archers
Bristol UWE Flyers II 79 – 63 Team Solent Kestrels
Team Birmingham 80 – 86 University of Chester
Cardiff City 80 – 87 Essex Blades

Division 4

Northants Thunder 87 – 85 City of Birmingham Rockets
Westminster Dragons 60 – 94 Anglia Ruskin University
Huish Taunton Tigers 88 – 38 Gloucester Saxons
Westminster Dragons 74 – 60 Hemel Storm II
Cardiff Met Archers II 57 – 106 RCT Gladiators

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