2006 – Salter leads Leopards to victory
Sam Salter led a depleted Leopards side to victory with a 19 haul as the Big Cats chalked up their 16th league win of the season, at Brentwood on Saturday.
With Steve Ogunjimi injured, captain Matt Eames unwell and Ed Gregory representing his university in the BUSA finals, coach Jon Burnell was forced to name himself on the teamsheet this season. However Burnell did not need to join the action as his side produced a solid performance to withstand a late Mohawks fight-back.
Dave Jones and Salter got Leopards off to a good start with three-pointers, but with Eric Milambo scoring ten points during the period, the home side were forced to chase the Middlesborough team for most of the first quarter.
Facing 7’ 6” centre Neil Fingleton, the Big Cats were always going to struggle on the inside, but James Warwick forced the giant to pick up his second foul a minute before the first break, and Warwick’s two successful free-throws sent Leopards into the second period trailing by just one point.
Back-to-back scores from Troy Selvey and another three from Jones helped Leopards into a 31-29 lead three minutes into the second period, and Roger Lloyd’s dunk on Fingleton maintained that advantage.
The former North Carolina college player was clearly frustrated with inability to stop Leopards penetrating the visitors’ defence, and after collecting his third foul – again on Warwick – he then picked up a technical foul for dissent. It wasn’t all good news for Leopards, however, as Warwick and Salter missed both sets of free-throws.
Lloyd, easily the Big Cats weakest player at the charity stripe, showed them how to do it, and with Warwick hitting six points down the stretch and Salter five, Leopards went into the locker room at half-time with a 51-44 advantage.
A put-back from Errol Seaman and three points from Warwick extended that advantage to ten, and treys from Jones and Salter increased that margin to 13 at the midway stage of the half. The visitors hit back with eight unanswered points before Salter ended the run with another long range effort, and four points from Selvey plus a steal and basket from Brian Moore sent the Big Cats into the final break with a nine point advantage.
Three-pointers from Teesside’s Michael Gayle and Jason Nicholson cut that lead to five in the two minutes of the fourth period before Seaman halted the run. Five Salter points in an 8-0 Leopards run effectively sewed things up at the midway point in the quarter, with the home side leading 87-78.
Although the visitors outscored the Big Cats 8-3 in the closing stages, three points from veteran Moore wrapped things up to send the large Brentwood crowd home happy.
Leopards: S Salter 19, E Seaman 17, J Warwick 17, T Selvey 13, D Jones 11, B Moore 8, R Lloyd 7, T Christie, J Burnell (DNP)
2011 – Big Cats strengthen title charge
Leopards 81 (18,44,62) Brixton Topcats 69 (15,34,47)
LEOPARDS continued their chase for the EBL Division One title with a comfortable 81-69 victory against Brixton Topcats, on Friday night. The visitors to the Brentwood Centre fought until the final whistle, but were outscored by the Big Cats in the first three period as Leopards picked up their fifth straight league win.
Ousman Krubally again led the scoring, chalking up a 22 point, 15 rebound double-double and added a couple of assists. Josh Johnson finished with 15 points, six assists and four boards, while Marlan Henry added ten and Leigh Greenan just missed out on a double-double as he finished with nine points and ten boards.
David Ajumobi led the Topcats with 13 points, with Marcus Knight adding ten and Amand Anebo emulating Greenan with nine points and ten boards.
Knight opened the scoring from the free-throw line, and although Johnson hit a pair from the charity stripe, it was the visitors who started strongly as an Anebo free-throw capped a 9-2 run to open the game. Greenan broke the run off a Simeon Esprit assist, but Ajumobi hit a jump shot to put the visitors 15-8 going into the final three minutes of the period.
A long two from Henry followed by a Borja Pintor-Henningsen trey cut into the lead and Krubally levelled the score with a drive to the basket before Henry capped a 10-0 run from beyond the arc to send Leopards into the first break 18-15 ahead.
Ajumobi ended the run with the first score of the second period but Borja Pintor-Henningsen replied with a long jump shot. An and-one from Keelan Cairns made it a seven points game after two minutes, and that lead grew to 34-23 with 5:37 on the clock when Johnson drained from the Land of Plenty.
A Karolis Petkus trey kept Brixton in touch, but a Josh Sharlow free-throw sent the home side into the locker room with a 44-34 lead.
Johnson opened the second half scoring off a Sharlow assist, and he then buried a trey to make it a 15 point game. Ajumobi hit from beyond the arc, but that was Topcats’ only score of the first six minutes as Krubally capped a 14-3 run to lead 58-37 with 3:42 on the clock.
A timeout from Brixton coach Andy Powlesland worked for the visitors, and back-to-back Ajumobi baskets wrapped up a 10-0 tear for the visitors before Zac Wells sent Leopards into the final break with a 62-47 lead.
Topcats missed the first two shots of the final stanza, but grabbed the rebound on each occasion before Knight put the ball through the hoop to make it a 13 point game. Cairns kept Leopards comfortably ahead, but then only hit one of three foul shots after being clattered by Ajumobi.
But scores from Papa Demba-Kasse and Ladi Brown made it a seven-point game with six minutes remaining. Cairns buried another trey to make it a ten point game, and the margin remained the same as Leopards failed to take advantage of four foul shots after a foul on Esprit by Knight, who then picked up a technical foul, as they hit only one free-throw. The visitors had one run left in them, and Brown hit a three-pointer with 2:08 on the clock, but Sharlow hit a pair after an unsportsmanlike foul by Arturo Noha.
Krubally and coach Mark Clark both received technical fouls after the American forward was whacked by Antonio, but Topcats missed all four free-throws, and five straight successful foul shots from Johnson wrapped up the Big Cats’ victory.
Leopards: O Krubally (22), J Johnson (15), M Henry (10), L Greenan (9), K Cairns (9), J Sharlow (7), S Esprit (2), Z Wells (2), D Norton, J Cabey, S Bublys (DNP)
2007 – Leopards blow chance
Leopards 89 (13,40,71)
Sheffield Arrows 92 (33,48,70)
Leopards blew a golden chance to effectively wrap fourth place up in the EBL Division One with a disappointing display against Sheffield, on Sunday. The Big Cats went into the game knowing that victory against a Sheffield team who appeared to be on a slide after suffering three straight defeats would virtually seal a home play-off quarter-final.
But an appalling first period and an untidy end to the game cost Jon Burnell’s team dearly. The Big Cats were outscored 33-13 in the first quarter, but still looked to have the game sewn up as they led by six with three minutes remaining,
To say the hosts started slowly would be an understatement as they opened the scoring through Chris McFarland, and proceeded to score 14 of the first 16 points – Leopards’ sole score coming from Errol Seaman. Leopards were not helped by being forced to sit Calvin Fowler down early in the game after he picked up his second foul, and with Duncan Ogilvie still missing they clearly struggled.
A 6-0 run, with Jerrid Campbell Joe Ikhinmwin and Seaman scoring looked to have stopped the rot as they cut the deficit to 18-11, but the proceeded to hit another slump and were outscored 15-2 during the final three minutes of the period to trail by 20 at the first break.
Fowler returned at the start of the second quarter and launched a fight-back from the hosts, and he scored six points as they cut the deficit to 16 points. A Campbell basket followed by five straight points from James Nicholson saw Arrows’ lead reduced to 40-28, and despite Fowler again having to sit down after collecting his third foul, the Big Cats continued to chip away at the deficit, with a Sam Salter three seeing Leopards trail by just six going into the final minute.
Two free-throws from Rankine saw the deficit go back up to eight, before a poor play in the dying seconds prevented Leopards from scoring.
A pair of Salter threes plus four points from Fowler saw Leopards open the second half with a 10-4 run , and they finally took the lead midway through the third period after six straight Fowler points. A three from Lloyd Gardner extended their lead to two, but Arrows weren’t finished and scores from American duo Chris McFarland and Clint Deas gave them a one point lead going into the final seconds of the period before a Nicholson jump shot sent Leopards into the fourth period with a 71-70 lead.
Four points from Salter and five from Fowler saw Leopards lead 80-74 with four minutes of the fourth period gone, an four points from Joe Ikhinmwin plus a three-point play from Nicholson kept that margin intact with tree minutes remaining. At this stage, however, Leopards appeared to relax. A missed alley-oop and several ill-advised three-point attempts allowed Arrows to regain the lead with an 8-0 run going into the final minute.
Campbell levelled the score and the game looked to be heading towards overtime before Rankine drained a three-pointer with 4.6 seconds remaining and a rash three-point attempt from his own half by Gardner never looked like going in as Leopards were left to reflect on a missed opportunity.
Leopards: C Fowler 22, S Salter 20, J Ikhinmwin 14, J Nicholson 12, J Campbell 12, E Seaman 6, L Gardner 3, T Christie, D Ogilvie (DNP)
Sheffield: A Rankine 31, C McFarland 24, C Deas 17.
2018 – Bad weekend for Big Cats
As Levett Essex Leopards prepare to travel to Middlesex LTBC on Sunday, Thomas Baker’s team will want to quickly put last weekend behind them as they fell to two losses.
While the 102-85 loss at Nottingham Hoods – which saw the home side confirmed as NBL Division Two champions – saw some good passages of play from the Big Cats as they made the hosts work hard for the win, the following day’s 89-52 defeat against Liverpool saw easily their worst performance of the season. .
With Jerrell Layne missing with a back injury and both Ashby and Bennett also struggling, Leopards never came close to repeating the intensity of Saturday’s game as Liverpool took a key win at Brentwood.
The visitors got behind the Big Cats defence three times in the opening minutes as they rushed into an 8-0 lead, and although five straight Ashby points pulled Leopards back into the game it set the tone for the rest of the afternoon.
Leopards trailed 26-19 at the first break before an abject second period saw them go into the locker 55-30 down.
The teams matched each other in the first five minutes of the third period but Leopards were outscored 8-6 in the rest of the quarter before the lead peaked at 85-47 in the final minutes of the game,
Lewis was the only Leopard in double figures with ten points and 12 rebounds, while youngster Jordan George and Korey Callum adding nine points apiece.
2012 – Reading beaten at Brentwood
|BA London Leopards||27||27||19||18||–||–||–||–||91|
|BA London Leopards||Reading Rockets|
|Krubally 34||Parker 17|
|Teel 26||Nelson 16|
|Buchberger 13||Gamble 13|
London Towers 82 Leopards 70
Budweiser League @ Wembley Arena
Greater London Leopards 101 Manchester Giants 108
BBL Championship @ London Arena
adidas London Leopards 85
Birmingham Bullets 90
BBL Championship @Brentwod Centre