Eight games took place in D1M this weekend with plenty of entertaining action to coincide with Solent Kestrels' triumph in the BBL Trophy semi-finals. There was some ground lost at both ends of the standings as double-headers didn't go to plan for some, which only makes things more interesting as we move into the final rounds of the season.
It was Cavaliers who came out on top in the second-versus-third clash in D1M, producing a big road win to prevent Hemel grasping a firm hold on second spot in the standings.
A strong opening quarter set the visitors up well for the rest of the game, as they won every quarter on their way to a comfortable win.
Taylor Johnson got Cavaliers ticking over nicely with a strong 36-point performance, along with Hakeem Sylla's 20-point, 24-rebound double-double.
Storm did see Michael Williams Jr hit 34 points and Gregory Poleon register a 19-point, 11-rebound double-double but Cavaliers were more effective in taking their chances, cleaning up 25 second-chance points to Storm's 12.
Sunday's defeat marked a miserable weekend for Hemel after also losing their opening game on the road to Loughbrough, 105-91. Jonas Dieterich hit 26 points for the hosts and despite double-doubles from Adeniyi Adeluola (24 points, 10 assists) and Poleon (23 points, 12 rebounds) Storm once again found themselves on the losing side.
It was a bittersweet weekend for Riders, though, as they narrowly lost 83-81 at home to Derby Trailblazers after a poor showing in the second half. Malcolm Smith (22 points) and Oliver Stanley (20 points, 13 rebounds) impressed for the visitors as they snatched an impressive road win.
Cavaliers, on the other hand, enjoyed a much more satisfying weekend. They also produced the goods on the road to Essex & Herts Leopards, as did Taylor Johnson as his 31 points sealed the 72-102 win to sit level in second with Storm.
Liverpool came out on top in their showdown at the bottom of the standings, sealing a 101-91 win at home to Westminster Warriors. Warriors will be looking nervously over their shoulder after week 20 also saw them suffer a 116-106 defeat on the road to Nottingham Hoods. Hoods' Delaney Powell and Warriors' Arif Sempala both registered 22 points for their sides but the visitors endured a difficult third quarter which left too much ground to make up.
Barking Abbey couldn't make home advantage count as they lost out to Bradford Dragons 72-76. David Walsh hit 20 points as Dragons came out firing in the final quarter to inflict a defeat on Barking that leaves them dangerously close to the dogfight.
Finally, Leicester Warriors bounced back from last week's defeat to Cavaliers with an 83-71 home win over Reading Rockets. Warriors made a slow start but TJ Henderson's 40 points combined with a dominat third quarter turned the game on its head and got them back to winning ways.
2:00pm - Loughborough Riders 105-91 Hemel Storm - LIVE STATS
3:00pm - Leicester Warriors 83-71 Reading Rockets - LIVE STATS
4:00pm - Barking Abbey 72-76 Bradford Dragons - LIVE STATS
5:00pm - Liverpool 101-91 Westminster Warriors - LIVE STATS
5:45pm - Essex & Herts Leopards 72-102 Thames Valley Cavaliers - LIVE STATS
4:30pm - Loughborough Riders 81-83 Derby Trailblazers - LIVE STATS
5:00pm - Hemel Storm 84-102 Thames Valley Cavaliers - LIVE STATS
5:00pm - Nottingham McDonald's Hoods 115-106 Westminster Warriors - LIVE STATS
Eight more games take us through week 21, as Loughborough Riders host Westminster Warriors, Liverpool travel to Leicester and Thames Valley Cavaliers face Barking Abbey.
Essex & Herts Leopards look for a win to ease their relegation fears against Derby Trailblazers, Solent Kestrels travel to Bradford Dragons and Worthing Thunder host Hemel Storm.
Dragons will also host Nottingham Hoods on Sunday 23rd February and Kestrels will be on the road again, this time to Reading Rockets.