There were six games to get D1M back up and running in 2020, as Leicester Warriors fell short at home to Derby, Solent won, again, and Reading Rockets saw off Westminster Warriors.
In the battle of seventh vs eighth, it was the Trailblazers who came out on top to create a bit of breathing space between the sides, with a double-double from Malcolm Smith helping them on their way to the win.
The game didn’t quite produce the same fireworks as when they met in the 91-90 season opener, but it was Derby who prevailed again.
TJ Henderson continued his fine season for Leicester with a 27-point performance but it wasn’t enough on this occasion, with Smith’s 25 points with 13 rebounds putting his team on the right side of the scoreboard.
Their league positions stay the same but the win means Derby are able to start looking towards the higher end of the standings with the teams above well within reach.
Loughborough Riders produced a dominant third quarter to earn a 96-84 home win over Nottingham Hoods. Delaney Powell produced 28 points for Hoods but 44 points from the Riders' bench to Hoods’ seven saw them stay sixth in the table, ahead of Derby on points difference.
Veron Eze and Flynn Boardman-Raffet’s 23 and 22 points helped Barking Abbey to an 82-74 victory at home to Essex & Herts Leopards. Barking came flying out the blocks with a 24-15 first quarter, before dominating by an unassailable 17 points in the third to put the game beyond Leopards.
Hemel Storm continue to keep the pressure on top spot after beating bottom side Liverpool 94-85. It is three wins in a row for Storm thanks to a double-double of 30 points with 17 rebounds from Greg Poleon, with Tyme Regent-Bascombe hitting 22 for the visitors.
Solent Kestrels show no signs of letting up after a dominant 113-79 display away at Essex to make it a miserable weekend for Leopards. Prince Lartey scored 25 points for the hosts but Kestrels were relentless, with a double-double of 25 points with 14 rebounds from Jonathan Lashley and a further 23 courtesy of Luke Busumbru bringing Kestrel’s unbeaten run into the New Year.
A double-double of 32 points and 10 rebounds for Westminster Warriors’ Michael Omari wasn’t enough as they came away from Reading Rockets empty handed. Rockets started brightly in the first quarter which they followed up through the game, with 21 points from Liam Davies helping Rockets to a win that keeps them hot on the heels of second placed Hemel.
Watch Reading v Westminster back here.
3:00pm - Loughborough Riders 96-84 Nottingham Hoods STATS
3:00pm - Leicester Warriors 69-86 Derby Trailblazers STATS
4:00pm - Barking Abbey 82-74 Essex & Herts Leopards STATS
7:00pm - Hemel Storm 94-85 Liverpool STATS
Nine games brings an action packed week 15 to you, with Nottingham Hoods, Barking Abbey, Worthing Thunder and Reading Rockets facing double fixtures across the weekend.
BA take on Westminster Warriors before hosting Thunder, who also have a tricky trip to Kestrels. Hoods play Hemel Storm but will first host the Rockets, who will play Thames Valley Cavaliers at home the following day.
Elsewhere, Essex travel to Loughborough Riders, Bradford Dragons host Leicester Warriors and Derby hit the road to Liverpool.
Main image credit - Joe Pinchin/Leicester Riders