On this day – Feb 5

2011 – Leopards end Flyers’ record

Bristol Academy Flyers 51 (12,28,37) Leopards 80 (24,39,65)

A dominant second half performance saw Leopards end Bristol Academy Flyers’ perfect start to the season, on Saturday.The Big Cats outscored the Division One leaders 41-23 after the interval, and crucially now have the head-to-head decider against the Flyers if the teams finish level at the season’s end.
Ousman Krubally led the scoring for Mark Clark’s team for a seventh straight game with 23 points and 16 rebounds in a season-high 32 minutes. But it was the first half performance from Barking Abbey pair Simeon Esprit and Keelan Cairns which laid the foundations for the win. They each only scored two points in the second half, but Esprit had 15 in the first half and Cairns eight to keep the visitors in front.
The Flyers, who were without Tyrone Treasure and Doug McLaughlin-Williams, never led and were out-rebounded 54-30 by the visiting side who have now won five straight games.
Leigh Greenan opened the scoring for Leopards, and they opened a 5-0 lead before Flyers scored five unanswered points – their biggest run of the night – to tie the game for the only time. Back-to-back treys from Esprit saw the Big Cats open a 13 point lead with three minutes of the period remaining, and despite a straight travelling call on Borja Pintor Henningsen, Clark’s team went into the first break 24-12 ahead.
The second period was a turgid affair with neither side getting into rhythm, but Leopards held a’ double-digit for most of the quarter, with Esprit answering Flyers’ four point burst with a trey, and they went into the locker room 39-28 ahead.
Clark’s half-time team-talk had the desired effect, and after Josh Sharlow had hit a pair at the line following a technical foul on Flyers’ coach Andreas Kapoulas, Krubally finally got going as he scored from inside to make it 49-33 and force a Bristol timeout with 5:14 on the clock. The move made little difference as Krubally converted an and-one and Sharlow scored on the break after a steal from Greenan as the Big Cats poured in the final 14 points of the quarter to go into the fourth period with a commanding 65-37 lead.
That lead grew to 30 as Marlan Henry scored two at the foul stripe after Davis Bown picked up a technical foul, and the lead peaked at 36 when Esprit dunked on the break with 5:53 on the clock. Both coaches ran their bench after that, with Ryan Alexis and Lucky Olaniyi both getting some valuable court time as Leopards wrapped up their biggest win of the season.
Leopards: O Krubally (23), S Esprit (18), K Cairns (10), M Henry (7), B Pintor Henningsen (6), J Johnson (5), J Sharlow (5), L Greenan (4), L Olaniyi (2), R Alexis

2017 – Heartbreaker in Manchester

Essex Leopards v Plymouth Raiders 22 Jan 2017; Darrell Bethune;Levett Leopards went agonisingly close to recording a much-needed victory at reigning champions Manchester Magic before going down 91-90, on Sunday

After going down in overtime at Hemel on Saturday night  – losing centre Alex Scotland-Williamson with a season-ending injury in the process – a depleted a clearly tired Leopards team match their high-flying opponents throughout the game and had a chance to take the win in the dying seconds with Justin Hitchman’s shot rimming out and AJ Roberts’ attempted tip-in being blocked. Ultimately the Big Cats were beaten by an incredible performance from Magic guard Stefan Gill who hit six threes on the way to a 24-point game and proved to be unguardable at time before scoring the winning basket with 21 seconds on the clock.
Jamie Hayes opened the scoring with a dunk, and Leopards led throughout the first period before Caleb Tabiner sent them into the first break with a 25-18 lead. A pair of Tabiner baskets saw that lead grow to nine early in the second period and Leopards’ lead peaked at ten with 81 seconds of the half remaining on a Shaq Lewis lay-up.
Magic finished the half strongly to cut Leopards’ to 48-43 and the hosts continued that run as they hit the first five points of the second half to tie the game and their was little to choose between the sides as they went into the final break tied at 62.
Bethune opened the fourth period with a long jump shot, but the lead continued to repeatedly change hands before a three-point play from Hayes put his side 85-83 ahead going into the final 100 seconds.
But a massive trey from Gill put his side ahead, only to see Hitchman hit a pair at foul line and Roberts put them 89-86 ahead with 50 seconds remaining.
However it was clearly Gill’s night as he hit a seemingly impossible three off the dribble, and although Roberts put his side ahead by one with a free-throw with 30 seconds remaining only to see Gill drive from the left to hit the game winner.
Bethune finished with 19 points, with Roberts hitting 14 points and added seven assists and six rebounds. Hitchman recorded a season-high 13 points, with Bennett adding ten points and Perry Lawson eight as all nine Leopards’ players got on the scoresheet.

2013 – Winning debut in Basildon

Sadly I’ve been unable to find a report, but 2013 saw Leopards make their debut at Basildon Sporting Village against Brixton Topcats.
An overnight deluge of snow didn’t help, and BA London Leopards – as we were known – made a cold start as they trailed 20-19 at the first break and went into the locker room 33-27 down. But a big third period saw the visitors outscored 24-17 as the Big Cats took a 51-50 lead into the final break before dominating in the fourth quarter to wrap up a 78-66 victory.
David Buchberger led Leopards’ scoring with 18 points, Ousman Krubally adding 16 and John Lister 13.

2006 – Leopards show bouncebackability

Essex & Herts Leopards 107 (30,55,82)  Solent Stars 64 (14,30,47)

Leopards set a new club record as they hammered Solent Stars by 43 points, at Brentwood on Sunday. The gap between the top and bottom halves of the EBL Division One was clearly seen at Brentwood on Sunday as the Big Cats steamrollered the Hampshire side.
Demetrice Williams was again in scintillating form, scoring 23 points, eight rebounds, eight assists and five steals as the home side led throughout the game. Despite being without guard injured guard Steve Ogunjimi, there never looked any chance of an upset as Jon Burnell’s side scored the first ten points of the game.
Errol Seaman opened the scoring for the hosts off a Williams assist, and with Williams, Troy Selvey and Sam Salter all getting on the scoresheet, Stars coach Steve Chant was forced to call a time out after just 2:16 with his side trailing 10-0. The break made little difference as three-pointers from Williams and Brian Moore took the margin to 16-2. Sam Salter and Dave Jones also drained efforts from the Land of Plenty, and with James Warwick converting an “and-one” opportunity, Leopards led 30-16 at the first break.
Three straight baskets from Williams, two of which came off Roger Lloyd assists, extended the lead to 38-19 as coach Burnell ran his bench for most of the period. Williams scored a total of ten points during the quarter, and with Salter adding six, the Big Cats reached half-time with a virtually unassailable 55-30 lead.A pair of Salter threes, taking his tally to five for the game, saw Leopards open the second half in style, and with Williams and Moore also scoring long range shots, the home side steadily built their lead to go into the final period ahead by 35. Only Williams of the Big Cats’ starting line-up played any part in the fourth quarter as he went close to becoming the first Leopards to post a triple-double before sitting down with four minutes remaining.
Despite Solent keeping most of their starting players in the action, the Leopards bench still managed to outscore them 25-17, with Roger Lloyd playing a staring role. The veteran big man collected nine rebounds in the final period alone, as he finished with an impressive 15 rebounds, six points, five steals, four blocks and three assists as he rolled back the years in style.
There was also time for Burnell to give a debut to new signing, Pole Michal Wrzosek as Leopards rounded off a excellent all-round performance to move back into fifth place.
Leopards: D Williams 23, S Salter 20, J Warwick 20, T Selvey 17, B Moore 8, M Eames 6, R Lloyd 6, D Jones 3, E Seaman 2, E Gregory 2, T Christie, M Wrzosek.


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