2000 Leopards ride to easy win
Dairylea Dunkers Championship
adidas London Leopards 112 (30,51,75) Kimbrough 31, Johnson 26, Brantley 24
Renault Leicester Riders 99 (26,44,67) St Kitts 24 Perry 22 Wilson 18
Brentwood Leisure Centre
Former Leopards coach Billy Mims and his Leicester Riders team were comfortably beaten at the Brentwood Centre, tonight.
Led by 31 points from Jason Kimbrough, the Big Cats outscored the visitors in all four periods as Bob Donewald’s side continued their push for the Southen Conference title.
2004 – Big Cats tighten grip on play-off spot
Essex & Herts Leopards 77 (16,38,55) Solent Stars 74 (11,28,58)
Leopards took a firm grip on eighth place in the EBL Division One as they defeated their nearest rivals in the race for a play-off spot.
Recent signing Troy Selvey again led the Big Cats with 25 points, six blocks, nine rebounds and a pair of steals. Only Selvey’s free-throw shooting let him down, but his five-from-fifteen at the foul line was forgotten as he grabbed the steal with three seconds to go which clinched Leopards’ sixth league victory of the season. Selvey’s fellow American, Brandon Kephart, also impressed for the home side hitting six three-pointers in his 23 points.
However it was at the defensive end where Leopards impressed, limiting Marlin Capers, the league’s second highest scorer to just 12 points – 14 below his season’s average.
The Big Cats opened strongly, Laurent Irish and Kephart both draining threes as they scored the first eight points. Phil Long reduced Solent’s deficit to three with a minute of the opening quarter remaining, but that was as close as the visitors came during the first half. Kephart drained three straight treys during a two minutes period during the second quarter, and a Matt Eames put-back saw the home side open a 36-21 lead with 2:30 of the half remaining. However five points from the impressive Larry Parker helped cut Leopards’ lead to 10 at the break before what seems to be the inevitable third period collapse for Jon Burnell’s team.
Parker hit the opening seven second half Solent points, as the visitors put together a 12-4 run to open the period, and a Mark Jackson three gave Solent their first lead with 4:27 of the period remaining. Only Selvey was able to score with any regularity for the home side, hitting ten in the period, and another Jackson trey helped the visitors reach the final break with a 58-55 lead.
Kephart opened the final period with eight points for the home side, but a successful “and-one” from Parker saw Stars still lead by three at the midway point in the quarter, and the first five minutes saw six lead changes. A block from Selvey following by a basket from the same player put Leopards back into the lead with 2:41 remaining, and the Big Cats never trailed again. A single free-throw from Steve Ogunjimi put Leopards three up with 11 seconds to go, and Selvey stole the ball in a melee under the hosts’ basket to wrap up the win.
Leopards: T Selvey 25, B Kephart 23, L Irish 12, S Ogunjimi 8, M Eames 4, M Quashie 3, B Moore 2, R Lloyd, R Alexander.
2011 – Leopards edged out by Rockets
Leopards 68 (19,33,47) Reading Rockets 77 (24,34,47)
A poor final five minutes saw Leopards lose the battle of the second placed teams on Sunday afternoon.
The Big Cats had led 56-55 with five minutes left before the visitors reeled off 11 straight points to take control and consign the Leopards to their fourth league defeat of the season.
Simeon Esprit continued his good form from the weekend with 16 points, with Josh Johnson also adding 16 and Leigh Greenan 13. Ousman Krubally, who played despite having spent the morning having his knee x-rayed, saw his seven game run as Leopards’ top scorer end and he struggled with foul trouble and was limited to seven points and eight rebounds in 21 minutes.
Niko Scott led all scorers with 24 points for Rockets, Ryan Lohfink added 16 with Will Hall and Harrison Gamble chipping in with 12 apiece.
Johnson opened the scoring, but Rockets replied with an 8-0 run capped by a Lohfink and-one, and the closest the home side go in the first period was when Krubally made it 14-12 with a free-throw before Lohfink sent Rockets into the first break with a 24-19 lead.
Krubally cut that lead to three with the first points of the second period, and Greenan gave Leopards their first lead of the game with 5:27 on the clock off Krubally’s assist. The game remained tight, and Rockets looked likely to take a four point lead into the locker room following a Hall basket, but Johnson sunk a buzzer-beating trey to make it 34-33 at half-time.
Gamble tripled that lead at the start of the third period, but Leopards remained in touch and a Johnson trey put them 42-39 ahead going into the last three minutes of the quarter.
Rockets replied with an 8-1 run capped by a Matt Guymon basket, but an unsportsmanlike foul call on Hall saw Esprit and Johnson each hit a pair of free-throws as the teams went into the final break tied at 47.
Josh Sharlow opened the fourth period with a pair from the line but Jon May hit a trey to put Rockets back in charge. It remained tight, with Leopards winning 56-55 at the midway stage of the fourth period following a Borja Pintor Henningsen basket but that was as good as it got for the home side. Hall hit a jumper to launch a 11-0 run for the visitors capped by a pair of Guymon foul shots to pu the visitors 67-57 ahead going into the final three minutes.
The run was broken by an Esprit trey, but with the game lost Leopards were left protecting the head-to-head record, and it was 18-year-old Esprit who scored the basket that ensured the home side had the consolation of owning the tiebreakers against both of their title rivals
Leopards: S Esprit (16), J Johnson (16), L Greenan (13), O Krubally (7), B Pintor-Henningsen (7), K Cairns (5), J Sharlow (4), M Henry, D Norton, R Alexis (DNP), L Olaniyi (DNP), Z Wells (DNP)
Birmingham Bullets 94
Budweiser British Basketball League @ London Arena
Manchester Giants 80
Greater London Leopards 78
BBL Championship @ MEN Arena