NBL D2&3 recap: Magic, Kestrels, Hatters II all sitting pretty

With all teams across the WNBL and NBL now underway with their 2023/24 schedules, we take a look across the pyramid to find out who's started well, and who'd prefer a reset.

Here’s the latest story across tiers two and three as we move into November with one eye on December's mid-season break.

NBL Division Two  

The North division features a number of one loss teams, though nobody is unbeaten through the early going.

After relegation from D1M in 2022/23, Manchester Magic (5-1) are bouncing back and currently top the standings.

Bristol Hurricanes (3-1) and Worcester Wolves (3-1) are both in the chasing pack, with Bristol Basketball United (3-3) rounding out the top four.

With just a single defeat so far, Teesside Lions (2-1) and St Helens Saints (2-1) are both well placed.

With the Hurricanes set to play both Magic and Worcester in the coming weeks, that could add some spice to the title race up North.

In the South, there's a two way split at the top with plenty of other worthy contenders tucked in below.

A drop into the second tier for former D1M winners Team Solent Kestrels (5-0) hasn't slowed the South coast side, despite their transitional roster.

Former D3 winners Milton Keynes Breakers (5-1) are keeping pace however, though they're not the only ones.

NASSA (3-1) and Westminster Warriors (2-1) are both poised to join the party if they can win their games in hand, whilst Cobham Scorchers (3-2) and Richmond Knights (3-3) are also in the mix.

MK and Solent have already met this year, with an 87-80 TSK win back in early October, but there are still some choice match ups on the horizon.

The Breakers take on Westminster and NASSA in the next two weeks, whilst Solent have a game against Cobham to navigate before the month is out.

WNBL Division Two 

Pool 1 is currently ruled by defending champions Sheffield Hatters II (5-0), who won it all a year ago and haven't missed a step since, including knocking D1 outfit Loughborough Riders out of the WNBL National Cup last Sunday.

Following close behind are former D1 side Worcester Wolves (3-1), plus Nottingham Wildcats (2-1).

Bromsgrove Bears (2-2), University of East Anglia (1-1) and Stockport Lapwings (1-1) are also up and running.

Pool 2 is hotly-contested between Hemel Storm Women (4-1) and Oaklands College Wolves II (4-1).

Both of those teams lead the way, though it may not be for long once Cobham Cobras (3-0) and Plymouth City Patriots (3-0) make up their games in hand.

Hemel have to play both Plymouth and Cobham over the next four weeks, with Oaklands also facing off against the Cobras.

That'll provide plenty of opportunity for change at the top, as we head towards the rapidly-approaching mid-season break.

NBL Division Three 

As always, there's plenty to take in across D3's eight divisions.

In the North, there's a three-way tussle between Sheffield Elite Basketball Academy (4-0), Sheffield Sharks (4-0) and Charnwood Riders (3-0), who all remain unbeaten.

Liverpool (6-0) are the clear trendsetters in the North West, though Cheshire Wire (4-1) Manchester Swarm (3-1) and Tameside (3-1) are all chasing hard.

Nottingham Trent Hoods (3-0) and Loughborough Riders II (2-0) are both unbeaten in the Midlands conference, but it won't stay that way once the two sides meet on 26 November in what should be an exciting contest.

Essex Rebels (3-0), Chelmsford Charge (2-0) and University of Hertfordshire Storm (2-0) are yet to taste defeat in the East, whilst Oxford Hoops (5-0) are streaking ahead in the South division.

Islington Panthers (3-1) lead the London division as things stand, but London Sharks (1-0) and Brixton Topcats (1-0) are both spotless, whilst NCC (2-1) have also started positively.

The South East division is shaping up nicely with Portsmouth Force (4-1), Kent Crusaders (3-1) and Kent Panthers (2-1) all making good ground around undefeated duo Canterbury Academy Crusaders (2-0) and Crawley Storm (3-0).

Finally, Cardiff City (3-0), Bath Basketball (3-1) and Plymouth Raiders (2-0) are setting the pace in the South West division, with Cardiff Met Archers II (2-1) closely behind.