NBL1 recap: 01/02 April 2023 - live streams, stats and more

Hemel Storm have added a perfect regular-season record to their 2022/23 league title following two wins this past weekend.

Storm went a spotless 26-0 across the campaign, including a 126-73 win over second place Worthing yesterday, to enter the post-season as huge favourites.

That game formed part of a 10-game schedule over the last few days, bringing the regular season to a close.

We take a look at all the weekend's games below, with links to live stats and live streams at the bottom of the page, and we'll have a full playoff preview available a little later today.

Hemel Storm (26-0) 126-73 Worthing Thunder (22-4)

Hemel closed out their perfect regular season with a blowout of second place Worthing Thunder.

Despite handing 30+ minutes to the likes of David Moya and Andre Arissol, plus significant roles to other regular starters Ronald Blain and Tom Ward, Worthing just couldn't keep up with the #1 seeds, and in particular Aaryn Rai.

The American did all he could to erase any doubt as to who this year's Player of the Season should be, recording one last electric performance during the regular season to close on 51 efficiency following a 30-point, 16-rebound, seven assist effort.

Team-mate Sam Newman hit a stunning 10/13 from beyond the arc to finish on 32 points, adding nine rebounds for good measure, whilst Taylor Johnson (19pts, 6reb, 6ast) and Hakeem Sylla (16pts, 9reb) both somehow managed to look pedestrian in comparison despite strong performances.

With the game looking ominously one sided after a 36-16 opening frame, even Moya (14pts, 5reb) and Veron Eze (16pts, 4reb) struggled to keep the visitors in touch, with Brendan Okoronkwo adding 15 more off the bench.

Hemel can now look forward to a #1 vs #8 match up with Solent next weekend, whilst Worthing need to pick themselves up as they host #7 seeds Bradford Dragons.

Elsewhere this weekend

Team Newcastle University (12-14) used a 32-17 fourth quarter to roar back and beat Westminster Warriors (4-22) 83-75, with Newcastle's  Jordan May (26pts, 8reb) ending his season on a high.

Essex Rebels (8-18) send Lee Linton-Hodges off to a happy retirement with a 93-85 victory over Manchester Magic (4-22). The instantly recognisable 7'0" forward enjoyed a lengthy NBL career dating back to the late 2000s with the likes of London Leopards, Ipswich, Hemel and Essex, and Linton-Hodges signed off in typical fashion, dropping an efficient 20 points to go with 18 rebounds plus a career-high six assists.

Thames Valley Cavaliers (13-13) couldn't end their regular season with a win as they went down 94-81 at home against Reading Rockets (17-9), with Rockets' standout Troy Cracknell (24pts, 12reb) doing the damage in that one.

Hemel started their weekend with an 88-80 win over Team Solent Kestrels (12-14), a tie that will be repeated next weekend to open to playoffs. Interestingly the Kestrels led that game 66-59 heading into the fourth before Storm came from behind to win, led by 32 points by Taylor Johnson.

Derby Trailblazers (19-7) are somewhat stumbling into the playoffs after a pair of losses against local rivals Loughborough Riders (15-11) this weekend.

Playing a back-to-back, Saturday's home leg in Derby finished 93-89 to the Riders, who were led by 21 points from Elijah Bailey.

Loughborough would win on the buzzer on Sunday as well, coming through 90-89 thanks to a last gasp second chance effort from CJ Hayden and another 28 points from Bailey.

Worthing did manage to pick up one win this weekend, knocking off Bradford Dragons (13-13) 99-89 on Saturday thanks to 22 points from Ronald Blain.

Westminster ended their one season return to D1M with a narrow 79-75 road win against London Lions II (6-20) yesterday, with Jon Johnson top scoring on 23 points.

Reading and Solent played out the only other game yesterday that's not yet been mentioned, with the Rockets prevailing 89-69 following another standout effort from Troy Cracknell.

The American sent the Berkshire side into the playoffs on the back of a five game winning streak after a 26 point, eight rebound performance.

This weekend's results:

Saturday 1 April

5:30pm - Westminster Warriors 75-83 Team Newcastle University - LIVE STATS

6:30pm - Essex Rebels 93-85 Manchester Magic - LIVE STATS

6:30pm - Thames Valley Cavaliers 81-94 Reading Rockets - LIVE STATS

7pm - Hemel Storm 88-80 Team Solent Kestrels - LIVE STATS

7:30pm - Derby Trailblazers 89-93 Loughborough Riders - LIVE STATS

7:30pm - Worthing Thunder 99-89 Bradford Dragons - LIVE STATS

Sunday 2 April

4pm - London Lions II 75-79 Westminster Warriors

4pm - Reading Rockets 89-69 Team Solent Kestrels - LIVE STATS/LIVE STREAM

5pm - Hemel Storm 126-73 Worthing Thunder - LIVE STATS

6pm - Loughborough Riders 90-89 Derby Trailblazers - LIVE STATS/LIVE STREAM



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