2018 – Arrows shot down
Levett Essex Leopards made it five wins on the bounce on Sunday as they travelled to Derbyshire Arrows and returned with an 81-69 victory .
Captain Dougie Bennett led the way for the visitors with 27 points in 24 minutes before limping out of the action with a knee injury in the fourth period .
Jerrell Layne came off the bench for the Big Cats to finish with 21 points while James Hayes finished with ten points and Shaq Lewis nine as Leopards survived being out-rebounded 32-25 to record their seventh win in nine games..
Coach Thomas Baker was delighted with the win: “It was another strong performance from us” he said “We battled hard throughout and earned this victory. .
“Credit to Derbyshire they responded well in the second quarter. However the guys showed great discipline and determination to play the second half with our style throughout. Some big shots from Jerrel and Dougie allowed us to extend our lead along with some strong offensive rebounding by Shaq and Korry Callum”.
In a first half where Leopards never trailed, Will Ashby opened the scoring before Jamie Hayes hit a trey and Kevin Moyo scored from close range to put them 7-2 ahead.
A Lewis layup made the score 16-7 with four minutes of the quarter before Bennett hit five straight points, and Layne’s trey sent the visitors into the first break with a 24-13 lead.
Callum hit a jump shot to extend that lead to 26-13 with the opening score of the second period but Baker rotating his side the visitors struggled to trouble the scorers.
Although Layne’s pair of free-throws put his side 33-26 up heading into the final 40 seconds of the half, Arrows scored the final five points of the period to make it a one-point game heading into the locker room .
Baugh gave Arrows their only lead of the game with the first score of the second half but Ashby and Bennett replied for the Big Cats and Callum gave his side a double digit lead before Bennett sent Leopards into the final break leading 60-51
Young guard Wes Moore made it a ten point game again with the free-throw to open the final period, but Lycoudis converted a three-point play to keep his side in the game.
Arrows never got closer than within six points when Dennison hit a jump shot, but Hayes drained from the Land of Plenty and the Big Cats led by seven at the mid-stage of period.
But it was the Big Cats three point shooting as Layne scored from downtown before Bennett hit a pair from outside the arc to make it a 14 point game heading into the final three minutes, and Leopards closed out their seventh win of the league season.