NBL Headlines: Thunder rally with strong finish; Dragons off the mark - Hoopsfix.com

NBL Headlines: Thunder rally with strong finish; Dragons off the mark

The third week of the 2019-20 NBL season saw a clean sweep of home victories in Division 1 with only two teams remaining unbeaten.

Thunder rally to hold off the Trailblazers

Worthing Thunder overcame a lax third quarter as they defeated Derby Trailblazers 81-77 behind a strong finish. Zaire Taylor top scored with 21 points with Alex Owumi a point behind his team-mate as the duo each collected 10 rebounds for a double-double.

Teenage guard Cam Hildreth had another big showing off the bench with 19 points, seven rebounds and five assists including a three-pointer to start the decisive 8-0 close.

Derby had surged ahead after a slow start to the fourth as a 10-0 run put them up 70-75 with 2:25 left on the clock. Malcolm Smith had 22 points in the defeat with Johde Campbell scoring 20 points on debut following his departure from Cheshire Phoenix.

Richards drops 30 to fuel Rockets

Reading Rockets improved to 2-1 on Sunday as Nick Richards fired in 30 points in a convincing 93-70 victory over Loughborough Student Riders. AJ Carr weighed in with valuable support with a 26-point outing of his own as the hosts pulled clear in the second half having trailed at half-time.

“I was really pleased with many parts including our opening quarter when we really committed to what we had agreed prior to the game,” said Rockets head coach Alan Keane.

“Overall, it was a good performance for us against one of the league’s most consistent performers in the last three years.”

Reis Pinnock finished with 21 points, 11 rebounds and three assists for the visitors as they suffered their first loss with Blaize Sagna adding 15 points from the bench.

Top two setting the pace at 3-0

Team Solent Kestrels and Hemel Storm showed no sign of slowing down after enjoying comfortable home wins on Saturday. The defending champions brushed aside Barking Abbey 95-45 with a 22-point, 10-rebound double-double from Travis Charles, while three other players hit double figures.

Storm set the tone early in their 118-94 victory over Westminster Warriors in a high-scoring encounter. They led 29-12 after 10 minutes and continued to flow on offence, though they gave up 54 points during the middle periods.

Michael Williams led seven scorers in double figures with 25 points in 17 minutes, while Lee Hodges went 10 of 10 in his 23 points along with 14 rebounds and Gregory Poleon hauled in 17 boards to go with 10 points.


Bradford Dragons got themselves up and running in D1 with a hard-fought 86-77 success over Essex & Herts Leopards. Dave Walsh starred with 20 points in the win with 15 points for Ricky Fetske, while Rihards Sulcs posted 13 points, six rebounds, nine assists and five steals.

Thames Valley Cavaliers dominated Liverpool to win 121-67 with Taylor Johnson putting up 32 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists, while Blayne Freckleton dished out 12 assists to go with his 27 points. Leicester Warriors were also victorious as TJ Henderson’s 30 points helped them see off Nottingham Hoods 105-92.

NBL Division 2

Team Newcastle University opened their league campaign with an impressive 76-64 success at home Manchester Magic in an early encounter of the two relegated sides from D1.

Myerscough College Preston moved to 2-0 with a 73-90 win on the road at Derbyshire Spartans with a 24-point haul from M Irving. Charnwood College Riders sit alongside them at the top after they picked up their second win by beating University of Chester 76-68.

Also, Bristol Academy Flyers earned local bragging rights as they claimed a 79-71 victory over Bristol Hurricanes as former BBL guard Roy Owen top scored with 15 points.

Essex Rebels became the first team in the South to register a second win as they eased past Cardiff Met Archers on the road. Rory Winter starred with 22 points, six rebounds and three assists with Thomas Child adding 19 points and seven assists in the 70-119 victory.

Sussex Bears needed overtime to overcome East London All Stars with Ian Berry’s 24 points helping his side to a 92-87 triumph. J Harrison put up 33 points for the visitors as they came up short in the extra period.

Also enjoying a winning start to the season were London BC Medelynas after defeating Greenwich Titans 61-67 away from home, despite 22 points from Arturo Noha Pascual.

NBL Division 3

North – Calderdale Explorers 99-70 Teeside Lions (R Donaldson 21 points); Lancashire Spinners 81-48 Cheshire Wire (Barry Webster 24 points); Stockport Falcons 70-71 Myerscough College II; Newcastle Eagles U23 105-76 Kingston Panthers (B Roberts 21 points – M Razma 28 points); Tees Valley Mohawks 82-50 Liverpool II (Parkinson 27 points); Myerscough College II 75-60 Barrow Thorns

Midlands – Mansfield Giants 66-80 Stoke-on-Trent Knights; Warwickshire Hawks 76-70 Derby Trailblazers II; City of Birmingham 78-72 Birmingham Mets; Derbyshire Arrows U23 80-93 Sheffield Sabres

East – University of Nottingham 112-73 Bury St Edmunds Bulldogs (Josh Smith 34 points); Essex Rebels II 95-98 County Upper Wolves; Anglia Ruskin University 20-0 Nottingham Trent University Hoods

South-East – London Warriors 55-109 Barking Abbey II; London Thunder-Lewisham 79-46 Barking & Havering RDF; Surrey Rams 59-82 Richmond Knights; Canterbury Academy Crusaders 82-68 Chelmsford Lions

South-West – Oxford Brookes University 84-63 Gloucester Saxons; Taunton Tigers 87-66 Oxford Stealers (A Potter 31 points)

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