On this day – Feb 26

2017 Fourth period collapse costs Leopards

A poor fourth period proved key as Leopards went down 82-65 at Solent Kestrels, on Sunday.

The Big Cats produces a much better display than the previous day’s disaster against Westminster before fatigue set in during the final period and the visitors managed just three points. A knee injury to Darrell  Bethune clearly hampered the Big Cats and he looks to be a doubt for the rest of the season having left the game with six points in the second period.
The Big Cats started well with a Bethune trey capping a 10-2 opening run, and five straight Perry Lawson points kept them ahead before Dougie Bennett’s trey ensured they went into the first break with a 23-21 lead.
Another five point burst from Lawson kept the Big Cats ahead before it was Roberts’ turn to hit a two followed by  a score from the Land of Plenty to put Leopards 33-30 ahead after three second period minutes. The big-spending home side were never going to go quietly, and replied with an 8-2 run – Caleb Tabanar hitting a jumper for the visitors – and Kestrels led by as many as six in the second quarter before Jamie Hayes scored from downtown to cut the deficit to 47-44 at half-time.
Marquis Mathis and Roberts exchanged baskets to open the second half, before Bennett hit a triple to put his side up by two four minutes into the period. Roberts hit a triple off Lawson’s assist to make it 60-58 going into the final three minutes of the third quarter, and Tosin Oyelese scored a tip-in to keep his side ahead with under 60 seconds remaining going into the last minute of the third period before Solent hit seven unanswered points to set up what proved to be a dominant final period.
The Big Cats simply couldn’t buy a bucket in the last ten minutes, with their offensive woes continuing as their paltry return of three points all came from the foul line.
Roberts led the way with 21 points, eight boards and three assists with Lawson adding ten points, six assists and as many rebounds.

2013 – Dragons’ fire extinguished

Leopards 82 (21,33,61) Bradford Dragons 66 (14,28,42)

The original report is long gone, but Leopards continued their march towards the league title with a comfortable victory against Bradford Dragons at Basildon Sporting Village.

Led by 24 points from Vernon Teel, Leopards were up by seven at the first break and although Dragons chipped a couple of the lead at half-time before a dominant third period saw the visitors outscored 28-14 to effectively wrap up the win.

Ousman Krubally added 21 points for Leopards while David Buchberger came off the bench to finish with 19.

2011 – Capital victory for Leopards

PAWS London Capital 61 (12,28,47) Leopards 78 (26,40,60)

LEOPARDS made it three league wins on the bounce as they returned from the short trip to Neasdon with a 78-61 victory against PAWS London Capital, on Saturday. The Big Cats led for virtually the whole game as they strengthened their bid for a top two finish with an ultimately comfortable win at their cross-town rivals.

Ousman Krubally led the way for Mark Clark’s team with 27 points, while Keelan Cairns’ early three point shooting put the visitors in control as he finished with four treys in his 17 points. Josh Sharlow added 13 points, with Leigh Greenan chipping in with nine and Simeon Esprit six. For the home side, the impressive Ibrahim Gariba poured in 27 points, with American guard Charlando Brown adding 16 and player-coach Milek Jivens 12.

Esprit opened the scoring with a put-back, and although Gariba scored Capital’s first six points of the game as they briefly took their only lead of the game, Cairns hit back-to-back treys and Sharlow also drained from downtown to put the Leopards 13-6 ahead after five minutes. Brown eventually broke a 12-2 Leopards’ run, but another trey from Cairns and scores from Greenan and Krubally sent the visitors into the first break with a comfortable 26-12 lead.

Marlan Henry saw a shot rim out to open the second period but Krubally athletically grabbed the rebound and scored, but Brown launched an 8-2 tear to drag the home team back into it and make it a ten point game at the midway stage of the quarter.

Sharlow broke the run and Krubally added to the margin before a double technical foul on Capital saw Cairns and Sharlow add three to the lead, and despite Cairns’ attempted buzzer-beater rimming out, the visitors took a comfortable 40-27 advantage into the locker room.

Greenan and Kaleston Wood exchanged baskets to open the second half, but an 11-4 run which saw Gariba hit eight saw Capital make it 46-40 with four minutes gone. Greenan broke the run from the foul line, and a Zak Wells and-one helped Leopards close out the period strongly to go into the final break 60-46 ahead.

The hosts had one last run left in them, and a pair of Jivens threes split by a Brown basket made it 60-55 after two minutes of fourth period action. Greenan hit a pair from the free-throw stripe to stop the run, and Josh Johnson scored his only field goal of the night on a fast-break to make it a nine point game.

Krubally, twice, and Johnson hit one from two at the foul line to add to the lead, but with 2:18 on the clock came the key run when Cairns hit another basket from the Land of Plenty and Krubally stole the inbound before converting from close range to make it 72-60. Krubally completed his scoring for the night, and from there it was a matter of wrapping it up from the foul line s Cairns hit four straight shots before Krubally ended the game with a massive block on Gariba.

Leopards: O Krubally (27), K Cairns (17), J Sharlow (13), L Greenan (9), S Esprit (6), J Johnson (3), Z Wells (3), D Norton, M Henry, R Teixeira.

2004 – Big Cats second half recovery not enough

Worcester Wolves 84 (34,51,65) Essex & Herts Leopards 69 (13,27,54)

Leopards second half recovery was not enough as they slipped out of the play-off positions following a defeat at Worcester. The visitors were out-run by the Wolves during a first half which saw them score only 27 points. But despite trailing by as many as 24 at one stage, the Leopards fought back to reduce the arrears to eight with two and a half minutes remaining before the home side sealed the victory from the line.
The performance of Troy Selvey summed the game up for the Big Cats. The American centre scored only five points during a disappointing first half, but went on to lead the visitors with 20 points after a much better display after the break. Selvey had opened the scoring for Jon Burnell’s team, and although Barry Lamble leveled the score, Laurent Irish restored the Big Cats lead. However a three from Josh Cooprider put Wolves into a lead they would never surrender Leopards struggled to cope with Wolves’ up-tempo game, and with Selvey receiving some rough treatment in the paint, the Big Cats were simply run into the ground, as despite four points from point guard Steve Ogunjimi, they trailed 34-13 at the first break.
The second period saw the visitors at least manage to slow the Wolves offence down, though they continued to struggle to score. Brian Moore drained a three for the Leopards, but their reliance on long range shooting proved to be the downfall, missing seven successive treys. Rodney Alexander (pictured) proved to be the visitors’ main offensive threat in the quarter, scoring six of their 14 points, and with Roger Lloyd and Selvey both the victims of some harsh treatment from the referees, Wolves stretched their lead to its peak as they reached half-time with a 51-27 advantage.
There was little sign of any recovery during the opening stage of the second half, but a pair of Alexander free-throws sparked a 15-4 run which brought Leopards back into the game. A Steve Ogunjimi jump shot reduced the arrears to 65-51 in the final minute of the period, and a buzzer-beating three from Alexander saw Leopards cut the deficit to 11 as they went into the final break.
Selvey scored Leopards’ first eight points of the fourth period, as the teams shared the first 16 points, and it was same play whose put-back saw Leopards take Wolves’ lead down to eight points. A pair of free-throws from Cooprider and a Chiverton basket effectively ended the comeback as Ogunjimi scored only one of four foul shots, and Burnell was left to make a cameo appearance for the final 41 seconds as his side slipped to their 12 league loss of the season.
Leopards: T Selvey 20, R Alexander 18, S Ogunjimi 13, M Quashie 6, B Moore 5, L Irish 4, R Lloyd, M Eames, J Burnell, B Stacey.

 

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