On this day – Jan 15th

2012Leopards quieten Thunder

Leopards 84 (24,41,66) Worthing Thunder 74 (14,29,55)

LEOPARDS will travel to Bristol Academy Flyers in the semi-final of the National Trophy after a comfortable win against Worthing Thunder on Sunday afternoon.

In front of another big crowd at Brentwood, Dejan Mihevc’s team picked up their sixth win in seven games to reach the semi-final for the second straight year and the third time in four seasons. Vernon Teel was again on form as he collected his fourth triple-double of the season with 24 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds in 32 minutes. Fellow American Ousman Krubally added a 22 point, 15 rebound double-double, also in 32 minutes as the side occupying second spot in Division One were beaten.

Hank Rivers scored one of two free-throws to open the scoring for Thunder, but Teel grabbed the rebound off his own miss and scored with a minute gone – and the Big Cats led for the remaining 39 minutes.

Lukas Volskis hi his first of three three-pointers off Krubally’s assist to cap a 7-0 run in the first period, and the young guard finished with 11 points, five rebounds and three steals. David Buchberger also scored from downtown to put the hosts 24-10 up with just over two minutes remaining in the period, and although they failed to trouble the scorers again in the first period, the home side still led 24-14 at the first break.

Buchberger opened the second period scoring ,and a three point play from Teel put Leopards up by 15 with three second period minutes remaining. Krubally and Teel kept the score ticking over and the Big Cats went into the locker room with a 41-29 lead.

The lead peaked at 20 midway through the third period as John Lister hit a trey. But Leopards noticeably relaxed, and allowed Worthing to pull it back to 66-55 at the final break. The malaise continued as the visitors opened the fourth period with a 10-4 run capped by Rivers to make it a five point game with seven minutes remaining.

That was as close as the visitors came as Lister – who finished with 11 points – hit another three-pointer and the lead never dipped into single figures again during the last five minutes as Leopards closed out the win.

Buchberger was the fifth Leopard to finish in double figures, with Marcus Tullis leading the visitors with 25 points, and Rivers grabbing a 21 point, 11 rebound double-double.

Coach Mihevc was pleased with Sunday’s result: “It was expected to be a hard game, but with right attitude and maximum effort we controlled the game from the beginning and all players deserve congratulations. I would also like to thank to all fans that come to watch and support us in a very decent number and I hope that they enjoyed the game.”

Leopards: V Teel (24), O Krubally (22), L Volskis (11), J Lister (11), D Buchberger (10),Z Wells (4), D Norton (2), J Lockwood, B Wilkinson, R Addison, J Steele (DNP).


2016 – Raiders win Trophy tie

CVB v plymouthA fiery game at the Brentwood Centre saw Leopards exit the BBL Trophy as they were hammered 102-60 by Plymouth Raiders in the BBL Trophy 

The full-time side’s path to the quarter-finals did not appear so smooth early on, however, as Courtney Van Beest drained a jump shot to give Leopards a 15-14 edge. But Raiders guards Josh Wilcher and classless player-coach Daryl Corletto responded immediately with drives to the basket to earn free shots from the line  

Despite trailing, Steve Ogunjimi’s men stuck with their visitors until midway through the third quarter when a 10-0 run stretched the lead to 26 points and all-but ended the game as a contest.

Essex Leopards v Plymouth Raiders (BBL Trophy) 15 Jan 2016; Ladi Brown;With the game effectively over, Ogunjimi took the opportunity to run his bench with all 12 players logging at least eight minutes, and with the next day’s game in mind, no player played as many as 26 minutes.

Ladi Brown got his side off the mark after Raiders had scored the first five points, before Will Ashby scored their only field goal of the first five minutes  

A 6-0 tear saw Raiders take a ten point, but Brian Nguru scored from the Land of Plenty to launch the 10-1 run that saw the Big Cats take their only lead of the game, with Ashby hitting another triple and both Nguru and Justin Hitchman scoring inside the paint  That was as good as it got for the home side as Raiders replied with six unanswered points to lead 21-16 at the first break.

A Hitchman trey two minutes into the second period made it a one point game, but that was as close as the Big Cats came in the rest of the game and they missed their final seven field goal attempts of the half to trail 49-32 going into the locker room.Essex Leopards v Plymouth Raiders (BBL Trophy) 15 Jan 2016; Connor Stuart;

Scores from Ashby and Brown cut the deficit to 13 early in the second half but Leopards never threatened to cause an upset after that and went into the final break 71-43 down before being outscored 31-17 in the fourth period

Ashby and Hitchman scored 11 points each for the home side, with Dougie Bennett adding ten. Connor Stuart, making his first start for the Big Cats, led his side’s rebounding with seven but the home side were beaten 56-32 in the battle of the boards .

Duane Bailey led Raiders with 25 points and nine rebounds in 36 minutes.

2010 – Encouraging performance in loss

Leopards 82 (17,40,63) Marshall MK Lions 103 (32,56,83)

LEOPARDS found high-flying BBL side Lions too strong on Friday evening as the visitors lifted the Kerland Pitman Trophy at the Brentwood Centre.

Former Leopard and England international Yorick Williams was the difference between the teams as his hit four three-pointers in a 22 point haul. Marlan Henry led the Big Cats’ scoring for the first time this season, finishing with 22 points, while Lukas Volskis made a welcome return with 17 points – including four straight treys – and Carl Latham-Henry added 12.

Both teams were without their starting point guard and one of their big men, with Leopards missing Ronnie Baker and Ignazio De Ferrari due to illness.

While the game was effectively a friendly, both teams were certainly fired up for it, with Lions’ coach Vince Macauley being ejected early in the fourth quarter and some physical play between Williams and Leopards’ centre Leigh Greenan resulting in a double foul moments beforehand.

Lions’ veteran Mike New opened the scoring, but baskets from Latham-Henry and Henry gave Leopards the lead and Laurent Irish marked his return to the club with a three-pointer to put the home side 7-4 ahead.

That was as good as it got for the home side as they struggled to cope with the size of Williams and Dupay as the both fired in a pair of treys as a 15-2 run put the visitors firmly in charge before Irish scored the final basket of the period to cut the deficit to 30-17.

A blow-out looked on the cards as Williams capped an 8-0 start to the second period with a three-pointer to put his side 40-17 ahead, but back-to-back treys from Latham-Henry launched a comeback, and Henry did likewise as Leopards cut the visitors’ lead to 49-37 with two first half minutes remaining.

Guy Dupay and Greenan exchanged baskets to open the third period before Lions hit eight unanswered points to lead 66-42 at the midway stage of the quarter.

Greenan broke the run before Volskis took over – scoring the final 12 points of the period, all from downtown – to cut the Lions’ lead to 85-58 at the final break.

Lions continued to struggle the 19-year-old in the opening minute of the fourth period, sending him to the line with a foul as he took another trey, and he drained all three shots.

The double foul on Greenan and Williams saw Macauley ejected after picking up a pair of technical fouls, but Henry wasted the opportunity as he hit only one of the four free-throws, and Leopards also failed on the inbound as Maximillion Simon stole the ball and scored for Lions.

There was no way back for the Big Cats, but to their credit they continued to battle despite having a league game at Manchester next day, and Henry wrapped up their scoring with a three-pointer before Ishmael Fontaine dunked home for the final basket of the game.

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