Team Northumbria were crowned champions as the Division 2 Men's league wrapped up this weekend.
Imports Kevin Wollbrinck (USA) and Ivan Emanuely (France) led Team Northumbria to their first Division 2 league title after an 81-63
win over second-placed Hemel Storm.
Wollbrinck had 22 points, 9 rebounds and 7 assists while Emanuely had 23 points (71% shooting) and 9 boards as Northumbria made their key run in the third quarter to seal the title.
Hemel's Tom Frederick scored midway through the third giving his club a 49-46 lead, but the hosts closed out the period with a 14-5 run and established a lead they wouldn't lose.
'We are completey overjoyed with the league win,' said head coach Marc Steutel. 'I am so proud of everyone who is involved within this squad. Our defensive consistency has been outstanding all year and the platform for our success; this was the case against a very talented Hemel side, holding them to 63 points. We got an unbelievable game from Kev Wollbrinck who was supported very well from Ivan Emmanuely and also Ross Wilson
(198-F-93) [16 points]. However the strength in our squad has also been how unselfish the guys are on the offensive end knowing that any one of our players can end up being in the top three scorers.'
Steutel continued, 'From a personal standpoint I have loved every second of this season and coaching at this level for the first time. This is mainly due to the way that every one of my players has bought into the team philosophy. It is also pleasing as the likes of Jamie Glen, Ross Wilson
and Lamar Morrison have come through the player development pathway at Tyne Met College & Newcastle Eagles and this is the first national trophy that they have won.
'We really enjoyed the game on Saturday in front of our biggest crowd of the season. We got some fantastic support from the Eagles fans and are hoping that they come down again for the playoff quarter final on Sunday.'
A disappointed Hemel coach Dave Titmuss said: 'We were sluggish and out of sync for most of the game. I think our efforts over the past three weekends and the injuries really caught up with us. That's not to take anything away from how Northumbria guarded us, they played hard and took us out of what we wanted to do. It was tough to break them down because they were able to switch defensively at every position without creating mismatches.
'I was disappointed that we didn't handle their two imports, Wollbrink and Emanuely, very well. Between them they had more than half of their team's points and were also their leading rebounders.
'But we'll not let this loss take anything away from the successes we've had in the regular season. This is only our second year as a club and we've retained the Patrons Cup and won the right to automatic promotion, we're pretty happy with that.'
Photo courtesy Dave Moore
Birmingham Mets secured a home playoff berth after a big 106-88 win over London United, backed by Franck Kamdoum's game-high 31 points.
Mets' lead kept growing after a 34-24 first quarter as they disposed of one of Division 2's weaker sides this season.
Andy Tamayo led United with 26 points.
Mansfield Giants recorded a big win over third-paced Glamorgan Gladiators, 111-104, in their first of two games at Oaktree Leisure Centre this weekend.
In an old-fashioned shoot-out, Giants couldn't do much about Division 2 scoring champion Greg Hernandez pouring in 46 points so they simply outran Glamorgan, averaging just under 28 points per quarter.
Player-coach Dan Richards top-scored for Mansfield with 24 followed closely by Dan Watts' 23.
Rhys Williams trailed Hernandez with 18 points.
London Westside's first of two weekend losses was against Killamarsh Derbyshire Arrows, 80-69.
The win secured sixth place for Arrows as they moved ahead of Westside and Eastside in the table.
Robert Clyburn led all scorers with 30 Arrows points as they outscored the hosts 48-41 in the second half.
Ola Ogidan led Westside with 17 points.
Team Solent finish fifth in Division 2 after beating Eastside Eagles 71-57 in Southampton.
Veteran Mark Jackson led Solent with 15 points in a game where the south coast club's big fourth quarter sealed the win. Leading 50-48 heading into the fourth, coach Sylvain Donneaud's Solent outscored Eastside 21-9 to take the win.
Craig Pringle led all scorers with 19 for Eastside.
Greg Hernandez brought his weekend total to 76 points as his 30 helped Glamorgan to a 69-56 win over London Westside.
A big second quarter for Gladiators put them in control as they went onto record their third-best 14th win of the season.
(208-C, college: Georgia Coll.
) had 13 to lead Westside, who finish in seventh place due to having the head-to-head over fellow Londoners, Eastside.
Mansfield Giants couldn't make it two for two to see out their season after losing 97-91 to Eastside Eagles.
Backed by Craig Pringle's game-high 38 points, Eagles dismantled Giants with a 30-15 fourth quarter.
Although the win put Eastside level with London Westside on 9-11 records, the latter club will finish seventh due to owning the head-to-head.
JP Marcellus and Dan Watts had 21 apiece for Mansfield.
The Division 2 Men's playoff quarter finals are outlined below. All games will be played on the weekend of 31 March/1 April, but exact dates and times to be confirmed later this week.
Team Northumbria (1) v Eastside Eagles London (8)
Hemel Storm (2) v London Westside (7)
Glamorgan Gladiators (3) v Killamarsh Derbyshire Arrows (6)
Birmingham Mets (4) v Team Solent (5)http://www.englandbasketball.co.uk