NBL1 recap: Week 23 (19/20 March 2022) - live streams, stats and more

D1M moves into the final week of the regular season following some stunning games over the past few days.

Top of the list may have been the 245-point offensive explosion between Hemel and Essex, with Storm coming out as 127-118 winners after a period of OT.

There were plenty of key results elsewhere, including a nail biter between Reading and Oaklands plus a pair of wins for Thames Valley to seal second spot.

There's a recap of all the action below, and each result is also clickable if you wish to view the live stats.

Hemel Storm (16-8) 127-118 Essex Rebels (3-21) (After 1OT)

The scoreboard operator at Hemel deserves a raise after putting in a serious shift during the Storm's high-scoring contest against Essex yesterday.

The tie went the way of the hosts following a period of OT, 127-118, though Hemel left it to the final second of regulation to force an extra frame.

Essex's Rory Winter went to the line with seven ticks remaining, but hit just one of two to put the Rebels up 105-103.

American Taylor Johnson would then be fouled by centre Lee Hodges on the final possession of the game, holding his nerve to sink both shots from the stripe to send the game to OT.

Hemel would eventually prevail thanks to a 22-13 extra period, keeping their hopes of a top-four spot alive.

Johnson was unstoppable in the contest, dropping a stunning 43 points (including six triples) to go with 12 rebounds and eight assists. Sam Newman (19pts, 8ast) and Greg Poleon (21pts, 9reb) played well in support.

A 25 point, 16 rebound double-double from Hodges led the way for the Rebels, with Rory Winter (24pts), Jake Eynon (21pts) and Tom Child (8pts, 14ast, 6reb) all chipping in.

Essex will no doubt be devastated to have come so close to what could have been a huge win in their fight for D1M survival.  They'll now pin their hopes on a pair of games against bottom side Oaklands, with one win potentially being enough to move them out of the bottom two.

Elsewhere this weekend

There was no movement elsewhere at the bottom of the standings as Oaklands Wolves (2-22) lost a close one against Reading Rockets (14-11), going down 95-93 as Reading wrapped up their playoff spot behind a Tyler Cartaino double-double (29pts, 13reb).

Likewise, Leicester Warriors (4-21) also came up short, losing 84-77 to a David Moya inspired Team Newcastle University (14-9). The talented guard closed with 32 points,  nine assists, eight boards and five steals, cancelling out Lewis Diankulu's 26 points and 11 rebounds.

London Lions II's (9-15) slide continues as they picked up another pair of L's this weekend, starting with a 112-75 defeat by Thames Valley Cavaliers (19-6). The Cavs sealed second spot and the #2 seed for the post season this weekend, with Jakobi Bonner (24pts, 6reb) once again impressing.

Top dogs Team Solent Kestrels (23-2) just keep reeling off the wins, this time beating Bradford Dragons (9-16) 105-81. Cole Gentry was the pick of the bunch for the visitors, he closed with 28 points.

Derby Trailblazers (17-7) took the battle of the Midlands against Nottingham Hoods (16-8), with Leighton Elliott-Sewell's 29 point, 11 rebound double-double pushing the Trailblazers to a 102-88 victory.

Saturday closed with a 91-75 win for Worthing Thunder (17-8) against Loughborough Riders (8-17) in Zaire Taylor's final home game of the regular season.

The veteran has earmarked his retirement for the end of the current campaign and marked the occasion with 10 points, four rebounds and three assists, as team mate Hafeez Abdul top scored on 27 points. The Thunder faithful will no doubt be hoping to see Taylor at least once more though, if their team can secure a home tie in the playoffs.

Moving into Sunday, the rematch of the 2022 National Cup final ended the same way as the showpiece itself as Solent pulled off a 106-77 win against Newcastle.

Cole Gentry put on a show for the second day in a row, this time dropping 26 points to go with nine assists and six rebounds.

Reading ended their weekend in style, beating London Lions II 99-72. Leading almost from tip to buzzer, the Rockets are hitting their stride ahead of the post season and are now 7-2 in their last nine game.

American forward Meshack Lufile was the standout in this one, he had 23 points and seven rebounds. A young Lions side got 22 points off the bench from Elijah Maynard as their parent club enjoyed a mixed weekend in Glasgow.

The final game of the weekend saw Oaklands confirmed as one of the bottom two sides in D1M following a 106-68 defeat by Thames Valley.

Even if they win their remaining two games, the Wolves can finish no higher than thirteenth as they don't own the head-to-head tiebreaker with Leicester.

Hakeem Sylla (29pts, 14pts) paced the win for TVC, with Tola Okiki top scoring for the hosts, he had 17.

This weekend's results:

Saturday 19 March

3pm - Oaklands Wolves 93-95 Reading Rockets - LIVE STATS

3pm - Team Newcastle University 84-77 Leicester Warriors - LIVE STATS

4pm - London Lions II 75-112 Thames Valley Cavaliers - LIVE STATS

6:15pm - Bradford Dragons 81-105 Team Solent Kestrels - LIVE STATS

7pm - Derby Trailblazers 102-88 Nottingham Hoods - LIVE STATS

7:30pm - Worthing Thunder 91-75 Loughborough Riders - LIVE STATS/LIVE STREAM

Sunday 20 March

1pm - Team Newcastle University 77-106 Team Solent Kestrels - LIVE STATS

5pm - Reading Rockets 99-72 London Lions II - LIVE STATS/LIVE STREAM

5pm - Hemel Storm 127-118 Essex Rebels (After 1OT) - LIVE STATS

6pm - Oaklands Wolves 68-106 Thames Valley Cavaliers - LIVE STATS


Main image credit - Joanne Charles