2020 – Leopards snap losing streak
Leopards ended a run of seven straight losses as Westminster Warriors were beaten 81-77 at Oaklands on Saturday. New signing Orlan Jackman had an impressive debut as he played all 40 minutes and finished with 13 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists in he front of the Big Cats biggest crowd of the season at Oaklands.
While England international Jackman’s decision to has grabbed the headlines in British basketball, it was Oaklands junior Tony Gastaldi-Davies who coolly stepped up sink the two free-throws that sealed the Big Cats’ second league victory of the campaign.
Thomas Baker’s side were led by captain Chuck Duru’s 17 points and four rebounds, while Prince Lartey had 13 points and six assists. Gastaldi-Davies finished with 11 points and four rebounds, while James Cummings also had 11 points, adding eight boards and three assists, and Teni Mongo added ten points.
Warriors were led by player-coach Jon Johnson who survived early foul trouble to finish with 21 points and three rebounds while former Leopard Justin Hitchman added 15 points and Kai Walker had 11 points and seven boards.
Duru opened the scoring, but five quick points from former Leopard Tosin Oyelese put Warriors into an early lead. An 8-0 run capped by a Tenis Mongo triple put Leopards 8-5 ahead, and they never trailed again in the period as triples from Ray Akpofure, Jackman and Duru helped send the hosts into the first break with a 26-19 lead. .
Scores from Walker and Hitchman cut the lead at the start of the second period before Cummings converted a lay-up and Mongo’s triple made it a six point game at the midway stage in the quarter Akpofure converted from the Land of Plenty for the second time to take Leopards’ lead out to what proved to be a game-high 11 points with four minutes of the half remaining but Hitchman’s trey launched a 14-4 run as Johnson’s free-throws reduced Leopards’ lead to 44-43 at half-time,.
Khalil opened the third period with a triple to extend that run and although Jackman levelled, Hitchman hit a free-throw to put Warriors back into the lead and they stayed ahead throughout the quarter with Greg Rundle making it 60-52 with 2:30 on the clock..
Lartey cut the deficit with straight points for the home side as they went into the final break 62-58 down.
Gastaldi-Davies sunk a triple to open the last stanza but it wasn’t until the 7:32 mark that they home side regained the lead as Cummings drove to the basket and converted. Another trey from Gastaldi-Davies levelled the score at 68, and triples from Duru and Gastaldi-Davies saw Leopards open a 75-70 lead with three minutes on the clock.
Johnson and Jackman exchanged baskets before a single Hitchman free-throw made it a four point game heading into the final minute. Cummings split a pair at the line before Johnson cut the lead to three with 30 seconds left.
Akpofure sent Khalil to the foul line where he made it a one-point game before Warriors fouled Larty with ten second on the clock. The Londoner hit his first free-throw before the second one only for Akpofure to grab the rebound and pass to Gastaldi-Davies. The youngster was fouled and coolly sunk both free-throws to seal the win.
2009 – Surreal double in Bristol
Bristol Academy Flyers 57 London Leopards 71
After being Cardiff on Saturday evening, the following day at Bristol started in somewhat surreal fashion as the two sides played out the final 24 seconds of the game abandoned in November.
The clubs were making history as the first game in England to finish at a different venue , in a different year but the Big Cats were unable to pull of a surprise win.
Going into the final 24 seconds, Leopards were 92-86 down, and although a Gareth Laws three pointer cut the deficit by one, the game finished 95-89.
That defeat didn’t seem to affect the Big Cats confidence as they started the Trophy game against Flyers strongly as an 8-0 run put them in the driving seat as they reached the first break 27-17 ahead.
Bristol battled back, scoring the first six points of the second period, and with Leigh Greenan blowing a chance to send Leopards into the locker room with an eight point lead, and Watson netted on the buzzer to cut the visitors’ lead to 40-36 at half-time.
Flyers took their first lead since the opening minutes as they outscored Leopards 10-5 in the opening five minutes of the second half. Four straight H Pervan points broke the run, and launched a tear of eight unanswered points for the Big Cats, and a late Russell Jordan basket sent the Big Cats into the final break 57-48 ahead.
Leopards remained comfortably ahead in the first five minutes of the fourth quarter, and four Carl Latham-Henry points in a 6-0 run took the lead out to 71-57 as the Big Cats sealed their first Trophy semi-final spot.
Pervan led the scoring with 27 points, while Jordan added 17 and Latham-Henry 12.
2014 – Durant starts with a bang
Shaun Durant made a winning start to his Leopards’ career as his 15 point, ten rebound double-double helped them to a 72-61 victory at Westminster Warriors, on Saturday,
Durant came off the bench after eight minutes, and scored his first points in a Leopards’ vest at the foul line to open the second period. He also scored a pair of key free-throws down the stretch when Warriors made a late run.
The game saw Leopards coached by Ronnie Baker in the absence of suspended coach Robert Younblood and assistant Roger Malpass, and England’s most capped player recorded his second victory as acting coach – the last coming four years ago – in a good performance from the visitors, although he sat out the playing action. The Big Cats had a balanced scoring effort, with Carl Josey, Kris Clark and Courtney Van Beest all finishing with 12 and Taner Adu adding ten.
Howard Crawford – who had a quiet night offensively with seven points and suffered with foul trouble all game – opened the scoring, but Laken Popoola replied with a trey and there was little to choose between the sides as the Big Cats went into the first break with a 13-12 lead as Josey drained a three .
Popoola drained another trey to open the second period, and Bakercalled a time-out with his side leading 28-24 with 5:26 on the clock. The break worked as Josey’s assist to Durant put the visitors up by ten, and they controlled the rest of the half to lead 40-26 going into the locker room.
With Clark also hitting a three, Leopards’ lead never dipped into single figures in the third period and Van Beest – who had an excellent game for the visitors – sent them into the final break with a 55-40 lead.
Clark opened the fourth period scoring, but a 7-0 run capped by another Popoola trey saw the home side close the gap to seven points before Josey stopped the tear, and two three-point plays from Van Beest wrapped up the win.
2013 – Leopards win battle of the cats
A strong fourth quarter saw Leopards pick up their sixth vcars.co.uk Division One victory of the season as they returned from Brixton Topcats with an 84-63 victory on Saturday.
Robert Youngblood’s side outscored their hosts 30-14 in the final period to move up to seventh in the table. Taner Adu led the Big Cats with 23 points, with Greg Hernandez adding 22, Simon Cummings 15 and Carl Josey 11 in a game that Youngblood sat out of due to a hamstring injury.
A poor start to the game saw Adu and Cummings provide the points as Topcats took an 11-4 lead after four minutes, but three-pointers from Adu and Josey saw them stay in touch as they went into the first break trailing 22-17.
That lead was stretched to seven points as Brixton opened the second period scoring, but a Tom Martin three followed by a Hernandez (put-back got the visitors moving and five straight points from Adu gave them their first lead of the game at 31-28.
Some good defensive work held the hosts to just ten points in the period and a long jump shot from Cummings followed by Josey’s second trey of the game sent Leopards into the locker room with a 39-32 lead.
Topcats opened the second half strongly with eight straight points to take the lead, but a massive block from Rowell Graham led to a transition three from Adu as Leopards regained the initiative.
Cummings made it a seven point game with the first score of the fourth period and back-to-back scores from Hernandez saw the visitors’ lead stretched to nine.
Leopards’ fitness showed in the final eight minutes as they put on a display of dunking on the break with Ishmael Fontaine, Graham (below), Cummings and Dan Dunscombe all slammed the ball home.The lead never dipped in single figures again, and Josey effectively wrapped things up with another trey to put the visitors 81-63 ahead going into the final minute, and Hernandez also drained from long range to wrap up the scoring.
Leopards: T Adu (23), G Hernandez (22), S Cummings (15), C Josey (11), R Graham (6), T Martin (3), I Fontaine (2), D Dunscombe (2)L Brown, J Davis, R Youngblood (DNP)
2002 – BBL Championship
DG Kool Kat Leopards 80 Brighton Bears 81
2002 – Heartbreaker for Big Cats
DG London Leopards Kool Kats 80 (23,54,69)
Rod Brown 18, Jason Kimbrough 17, Rico Alderson 15
Brighton Bears 81 (20,30,58)
Sterling Davis 26, Randy Duck 17, Albert White 14, Michael Brown 14
BBL Championship @ Brentwood Centre
Brighton Bears leap-frogged the DG London Leopards Kool Kats into third position in the BBL Championship Southern Conference thanks to an 81-80 success on the road on Friday evening.
The Bears came from behind to claim the victory – after trailing 74-62 early in the fourth quarter, Bears bagged nine unanswered points to cut the deficit to three points at 74-71. Leopards then hit six of the next nine points to lead 80-74, but Albert White responded with a three pointer and Sterling Davis put the Bears ahead with two successful foul shots.
Earlier, Leopards had led 54-30 at the midway point, after Bears bagged just ten second quarter points.
Sterling Davis was the game’s top scorer with 26 personal points.
With the National Cup final tradionally being stage on the final weekend of January, Leopards didn’t play a game on January 26th 27th and 28th during their final decade.