2016 – Leopards slain by Dragons
A disjointed performance at Harlow Leisurezone saw Leopards go down 74-70 against Bradford Dragons, on Sunday.
Twenty-three turnovers proved crucial as Dragons sealed the win from the foul line. Evan Walshe had a three point effort rim out 14 seconds from time as Dragons gained revenge for Leopards’ 19 point win in Bradford earlier in the season .
England junior Walshe continued a good weekend with 13 points in 17 minutes, with Ladi Brown also adding 13. Brian Nguru and Albert Margai each added nine points with Courtney Van Beest chipping in with eight.
Tosin Oyelese opened the scoring for Leopards at the foul line, and Will Ashby drained a trey before an Oyelese dunk gave the home side their first lead of the game at 9-8 with 4:49 iremaining n the first period. The game remained tight, and Jamie Hayes hit a jump shot off Margai’s assist as Leopards led 15-14 at the first break but the second period proved to a struggle for the hosts.
The quarter started well with Brian Nguru hitting a trey before providing the assist for Van Beast to keep the Big Cats ahead. Bradford replied with an 8-1 to take the lead and although Tom Martin cut the deficit to one with a jump shot against his former club, Leopards went scoreless for the more than four minutes and it took a Van Beest basket five seconds before the horn to cut the deficit to 31-25 at half-time..
Walsh scored from the Land of Plenty to halve that lead at the start of the third period but Dragons remained ahead until Brown hit a hot patch, sinking three straight triples to tie the score at 48 heading into the final minute, only to see Dragons’ American Nick Moore hit the final four points of the quarter to give his side a 52-48 lead.
Nguru opened the fourth period scoring only to see veteran Jason Swaine hit a triple to make it a five point game. Brown cut the lead with a jump shot and Ashby made it a two point game following a technical foul on Dragons’ coach Chris Mellor, before Walshe tied the score at when he hit a pair of free-throws with 4:27 on the clock.
That was as good as it got for the hosts with Rihard Sulcs and Moore – who led Dragons with a 27 point, 14 rebound double-double – pushed Dragons’ lead out to four before Walshe and Henri Bongo exchanged baskets and after a farcical set of free-throws from Swaine Dragons held on for the win.
2015 – Leopards lose in overtime
Leopards’ title hopes took a knock as they went down 80-75 in overtime at Kent Crusaders, on Saturday. Robert Youngblood’s side failed to hang on for a key win in a game where they never trailed in normal time before trailing throughout the extra period.
With captain Albert Margai opening scoring the visitors blew into a 9-0 lead and a Will Ashby trey sent them into the first break with a 23-11 lead.
The home side narrowed that lead to 36-28 at half-time and 51-49 going into the fourth period, but the Big Cats still led 67-59 win four minutes of the game remaining. But a timeout from the hosts sparked them into life and Leopards failed to trouble the scorers again in regulation time as Crusaders hit eight unanswered points to take the game into an extra period.
Calvin Nevil-Kintu opened the overtime scoring for the hosts and Leopards never got back on level terms as Kent gained revenge for their defeat at Harlow a fortnight before.
Ashby led the Big Cats’ scoring with 21 points, with Dave Ajumobi adding 15 points and seven rebounds. Margai chipped in with nine points, with Courtney Van Beest and Winegarner adding eight apiec. Yeboha led the home side at their plush surroundings with 21 points, with Nevil-Kintu adding 19.
2010 – Leopards lose against Warriors
Leopards 84 (17,33,43) Leicester Warriors 92 (22,48,73)
LEOPARDS’ relegation worries intensified as they produced a poor performance to fall to a second straight home loss. To make matter worse for the Big Cats, Laurent Irish was ejected 23 seconds before half-time after a seemingly innocuous tangle with Warriors’ Ramiah O’Neill.
Once again it was Carl Latham-Henry who led the way for Leopards with 32 points and five assists in 36 minutes, while Leigh Greenan added 15 points, 14 rebound and four blocks and Jonny Wright hit two treys on his way to ten points.
Leopards’ general manager Dave Ryan had praise for Latham-Henry: “Carl takes a physical pounding every game” he said, “but he just gets up and gets on with it. He could barely walk when he got off the bus in the early hours of Sunday, but he patched himself up and played really well again on Sunday.”
American forward Tyler Kathan led the visitors with 26 points, with Emile Hopkins (16) and Joe Reyoso (11) completing the Warriors’ scoring.
The writing was on the wall for the hosts early in the game as Kathan drained a trey to cap a 7-0 run to open the action. Chris Michaelides broke the run, and scores from Latham-Henry, Greenan and Irish cut the margin to 11-8 at the midway stage of the period.
Four straight free-throw misses from Greenan didn’t help the home side, and eventually finished 50 percent from the line as they missed 14 of their 28 charity shots. Five straight Latham-Henry points kept Leopards in touch, but it was O’Neill who scored the final points of the periodto send Warriors into the first break with a 22-17 lead.
Reynoso extended that lead with the first four points of the second period, and poor defence from the home side allowed Warriors to increase their advantage to 39-22 at the midway stage of the quarter.
Back-to-back Wright scores stopped some of the damage, and with Marlan hitting a trey, Leopards looked to be closing the gap before Irish’s ejection, and Hopkins rubbed salt into the wounds with a buzzer-beating trey to send Warriors into half-time with a 48-33 lead.
Latham-Henry opened the third period well as he scored Leopards’ first seven points of the quarter, and with Greenan and Ignazio De Ferrari scoring they cut the deficit to 51-44 with 7:31 remaining.
The Warriors’ lead hovered around nine until a 15-6 run capped by a pair of Hopkins free-throws saw the visitors’ advantage grow to 19 points at 71-52 with a minute of the period left, and despite another Greenan basket, Leopards still trailed 73-54 at the final break.
A pair of Wright treys split by a Latham-Henry lay-up saw Leopards narrow the gap to 75-62 with 72 seconds of the fourth period gone, and a Lukas Volskis three-pointer saw Warriors lead cut to 12 at the midway stage of quarter.
However, that was as close as they got until the final minute when Henry drained a three to make it 90-82 with 43 seconds remaining. Any thoughts of a comeback were extinguished by a pair of Pearson free-throws, and although De Ferrari scored the final points of the game, it was Karl Brown’s team who went home happy.
Leopards: C Latham-Henry 32, L Greenan 15, J Wright 10, M Henry 7, L Volskis 7, I De Ferrari 7, L Irish 4, C Michaelides 2, R Baker.