On this day – Feb 25

1994 – Chester Jets 72 Leopards 87

2006 – Top chances improve

Essex & Herts Leopards 88 (26,49,63) Kingston Wildcats 75 (25,40,57)

The Big Cats kept up their chase for a top four spot with an 88-75 victory against Kingston Wildcats at Goresbrook on Saturday evening. Demetrice Williams agait led the scoring for Jon Burnell’s side with 19 points in a game they led from late in the first quarter, but never managed to seal until the final period.
Troy Selvey added 17 for the home side, but it was captain Matt Eames (pictured) who made the biggest impression as his hit a season-high 16 points to lead the Big Cats to their 13th league victory of the season.
Selvey opened the scoring with a put-back, and went on to score nine in the quarter, but the two teams were neck-and-neck for all the first period.
Seven straight points from Mike Williams helped Kinston open up a three point lead, but despite Selvey being forced to sit down on two foul with 93 seconds of the period remaining, four points in the final minute from Eames sent his team into the first break 26-25 ahead.
The visitors scored the first four points of the second period, and although former Kingston player Sam Salter levelled the score with his second three pointer of the night, it took until the sixth minute of the quarter for Leopards to regain the lead with a James Warwick basket off Demetrice Williams assists for Leopards to regain a slender lead.
That was the start of a seven point burst for Warwick, and he added an assist Dave Jones before Errol Seaman scored from close range to send the Big Cats into half-time on the back of a 9-1 run with a 49-40 lead Warwick opened the second half scoring to take his tally to 13 points, but the third period saw neither side able to put together any kind of run. The defences remaining on top as Leopards saw their lead cut by three to 63-57 at the final break.
eopards noticeably stepped up at the start of the fourth period, and four points from Eames helped the Big Cats take that lead out to 12 by the midway point in the fourth period. However a silly foul from Williams on Wildcats’ Mike Williamson in the act of shooting a three, gave the visitors a way back. With coach Burnell picking up a technical foul for shouting at his own players, the visitors cut the lead to nine with a six-point play.
That proved to be as close as the visitors got, as Selvey scored four points, and as the visitors were forced to foul to stop the clock, the Big Cats wrapped up the victory from the charity stripe.


2017 – Warriors woe for Leopards

A dismal display at Harlow Leisurezone on Saturday saw Levett Leopards lose 64-58 against basement side Westminster Warriors. The London side arrived in Harlow bottom of the table with an 0-17 record and had lost all 21 games against Division One opposition this season, but the Big Cats managed to let a double-digit lead in the third period slip as they crashed to an embarrassing defeat.

It took more than two minutes for Warriors to get the scoreboard moving, and although AJ Roberts tied the game, the tone was set as Warriors opened a 7-2 lead. Scored from Dougie Bennett and Darrell Bethune saw gap narrowed but the hosts finished the period strongly and despite a free-throw from Dominic Scott-Robinson, Warriors led 13-9 at the first break.
Leopards opened the second period strongly with Justin Hitchman hitting a trey and Shaq Lewis’ dunk gave them their first lead of the game
The run was stretched to 7-0 on a Perry Lawson lay-up and the former GB international hit from downtown to put Leopards 19-17 up after Juan Manning had briefly put the visitors back in the lead.
A pair of Bennett lay-ups plus a score from Roberts saw the lead grow to 25-17 before Warriors’ player-coach Jon Johnson made it 25-19 going into the locker room at half-time.
Lawson made it an eight point game with a pair of free-throws to open the second half and scores from Bethune and Roberts put their side up by 11 at the midway stage of the third period.
But that proved to be as good as it got for the hosts as their offence again dried up with only Scott-Robinson troubling the scorers as Warriors closed the quarter on a 14-2 run to lead 41-40 at the final break.
Roberts broke the drought with the opening score of the fourth period but Johnson put his side back up by a point at the five minute mark.
Bethune drained a triple of free-throws after being fouled and Roberts kept Leopards ahead by two heading into the final three minutes and Hitchman scored a pair at the charity stripe to put his side up by one with 100 seconds on the clock.
But a technical foul on Roberts saw Johnson tie the game at the foul line, and the game was tied heading into the final 35 seconds before Roberts saw a shot rim out.
Johnson – who led all scorers with 29 points – hit a dagger trey before Bethune missed a triple and the visitors wrapped up the win at the foul line.
Bethune and Hitchman each finished with 13 points, adding eight and five rebounds respectively, while Roberts finished with ten points.


EBL Division One

Manchester Magic 94 Essex & Herts Leopards  80

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