D2M title battle back on after win for Thames Valley, losses for Kent and Newcastle

Kent Crusaders 90 v 93 Thames Valley Cavaliers

Thames Valley claimed a must win clash away to Kent this weekend, securing a hard fought 93-90 victory thanks to 35 points from Martelle McLemore.

An even game from the outset between two well matched sides, both Amin Adamu and John Shodipo kept the scoreboard ticking over for Kent as Thames Valley continued to press. At 42-40 to the hosts at the half, it really was anyone’s game in the final 20 minutes. McLemore saw to that though, stamping his authority on a strong 3rd quarter for the Cavs that ultimately led to the win. Scoring 17 of his game-high 35 points in a 6-minute span of the 3rd, that output swung the game in Thames Valley’s favour and they held on the rest of the way.

When the margins are thin, three-point game, a mistake here and a mistake there and that’s the result,” Head Coach Lloyd Gardner said after the game. “We let McLemore get going, it’s the first time this year that he hurt us, he had a great game and was probably the difference.

McLemore’s dominant 35 points overshadowed a solid effort from Philip Perre, who added 23. Kent’s Adamu and Shodipo both finished on 23 as well.

A huge 3rd quarter from Cavs star Martelle McLemore helped his side sneak past rivals Kent last weekend - Mansoor Ahmed/AhmedPhotos

London Greenhouse Pioneers 73 v 66 Team Newcastle University

After defeating Kent, Thames Valley’s weekend improved even further on Sunday with the news of Team Newcastle defeat by London Greenhouse Pioneers.

A team on a mission on this one, the Pioneers proved that their victory over the current league leaders back in November was no accident. Though that result was defaulted as a 20-0, this result will stand and shows why the Pioneers will be a team to avoid if they can make it into the playoffs.

After a lacklustre 2nd quarter left the London side trailing 40-34 at the half, Dean Prosenica led a 2nd half comeback, dropping 26 total points as the Pioneers moved ahead with 10 minutes to go before holding on to grab the win and split the D2M title race wide open.

Prosenica’s heroics were supported by Piccini, who had 22, whilst Reynolds had 8. For Newcastle, Nelson and Austin were restricted to 18 and 17 respectively and Urli added 9.

Doncaster Danum Eagles 98 v 96 Ipswich

Doncaster showed that sometimes the form book can be thrown out when the late season pressure is on. Scrapping for their lives, the Eagles overcame a 7-point 4th quarter deficit to secure a valuable 2 points in their fight for survival. 

Led by 24 points from George Colwill, the plucky Eagles refused to give up in this one, claiming a come from behind victory they richly deserved. A high scoring 1st ended 30-27 to the hosts, before the pace slowed considerably in the 2nd to give a half time score line of 48-45 Ipswich. Further stretching that lead to 77-70 as Leigh Greenan began to dominate inside, that advantage would prove to be insufficient once Doncaster grabbed the momentum and came roaring back in the 4th.

Colwill’s exploits were supported by Walsh who had 22, and Matt Martin who finished with 18. Greenan’s 27 wasn’t enough for Ipswich who also had Caleb Fuller on 18 and veteran Tom Sadler on 13.

Tees Valley Mohawks 96 v 76 Liverpool

Last week, it was Liverpool’s turn to create some breathing room at the bottom of the league as they claimed a win and Doncaster lost to Thames Valley. Fast forward a week and the roles are reversed, tying both teams back up in the standings once more and setting the stage perfectly for a clash between the 2 sides in Liverpool next Saturday.

A strong 1st and 4th quarter allowed the Mohawks to pull away in this one behind 34 points from Charlton Jones and 27 from Ben Seipt. Chiz Onuora managed 27 for Liverpool as they tied the 2nd and 3rd quarter but ultimately couldn’t make any inroads into Tees Valley’s lead.

Tees Valley's Charlton Jones has been a standout player this season - Karen Brown

Newham Neptunes 75 v 54 Killamarsh Derbyshire Arrows

A 4th win of the season for Newham means that D2M survival is still a possibility with 4 games to go. It would take a pretty specific set of circumstances to keep the Neptunes in the division, but those chances are at least still alive after a 75-54 win.

Powered by a solid effort from Lukas Volskis, who dropped 36 points in the game, strong performance at the end of each half saw the Neptunes home in this one. Trailing 21-18 after 1, the London side limited the Arrows to just 8 2nd quarter points on the way to a 36-29 half time lead. Never looking back, the Neptunes pulled further away in the 3rd and 4th for a comfortable victory.

Dias had 13 and Foulds 9 for Newham to go with the effort from Volskis, whereas Nembhard led the way for the Arrows with 17. Scott had 11 and Baugh rounded out the scoring with 10. The loss drops the Arrows out of the playoffs though 6th to 9th in the table all sit on 14 points at present.

London Westside 55 v 70 Nottingham Hoods

Nottingham used a quality road performance to vault themselves into the mix of 4 teams placed 6th to 9th as they defeated London Westside 70-55 on Saturday.

With Westside looking solid this season and a good bet to finish 4th, the Hoods restricted the London side to just 25 1st half points as they established a 36-25 lead after 20 minutes of play. Sensing the danger, Westside stepped up and closed the gap to 8 with 10 minutes to go thanks to points from Paul Yegba and former Hemel Storm player Chuck Duru. But it proved to be too little too late as Westside’s attempts to close the gap further led to Nottingham picking off the hosts and keeping their lead intact to the final buzzer.

Delaney Powell top scored for the visitors, he had 21. David Watts added 18 as he continued to work his way back from injury and Lukasz Siczek had 16. For Westside, the lack of usual production from starlet Kayne Henry-McCalla hurt. Paul Yegba attempted to fill the void and finished with 14, whilst Duru had 11 and Deliligne 7.