On this day – March 21

2015 – Neptunes sunk – eventually

They made hard work of it, but Leopards moved closer to the Division One title with a 73-66 victory at Newham Neptunes, on Saturday afternoon.nn2

The relegation-threatened hosts belied their lowly league position as they made the Big Cats work for the full 40 minutes before they picked up their 16th league win in 20 games. Dave Ajumobi – one of five former Neptunes in the Leopards team – led the way with 18 points and seven rebounds, with Courtney Van Beest adding 17 points and six boards

Will Ashby finished with 16 points against his former club, while Lawrence Brown had seven points and as many boards in just under 11 minutes of action. Leopards led for 34 minutes of the game, but in the end it was a strong finish as a lay-up from Ladi Brown and a jump shot on the break from Ashby that sealed the win. Of concern to stand-in coach Roger Malpass was the fact Newham out-rebounded the Big Cats 42-38, including pulling down 18 offensive boards. Wayne Yeboha led the home side with 22 point and seven rebounds while Farique Bilal added 15 points and six boards.

nn1Ajumobi sunk a trey to open the scoring, but despite a Lawrence Brown and-one, the home side moved into a 10-8 lead with 4:30 left in the period before a 7-2 run capped by a Courtney Van Beest jump shot gave Leopards a 17-12 lead. But the hosts gave a clue to how the game would progress as they closed out the period on a 6-2 run to cut Leopards’ lead to 19-18 at the first break.

Ajumobi’s tip-on opened the second period, before Neptunes replied with six unanswered points to take a 24-21 lead. An 8-0 run started and finished by Ashby put Leopards back in charge, and a five straight Ajumobi points sent the Big Cats into the locker room with a 36-31 lead.

Newham Neptunes v Essex Leopards, 21 Mar 2015; Ladi Brown;Lawrence Brown swatted away a shot and then scored at the other end to open the third period, and the closest the hosts came in the stanza was three minutes in following a Bilal score. Albert Magai made ti a 12-point game with two minutes remaining in the quarter, but Newham answered with a 5-0 run, and it took a pair of Ajumobi free-throws to send Leopards into the final break with a 55-47 lead.

Van Beest opened the final stanza, and the game continued to follow the same pattern, with Newham remaining in touch without ever getting closer than five points.

Lukas Winegarner put Leopards 69-59 ahead with 2:46 on the clock only to see Neptunes hit five unanswered points before Ladi Brown and Ashby finally wrapped up the win.

Team Wins Losses Void % For Against Pts Diff. Team
Essex Leopards 16 4 0 .800 1494 1376 118 32
Kent Crusaders 14 6 0 .700 1584 1456 128 28
Derby Trailblazers 14 7 0 .667 1685 1576 109 28
Team Northumbria 13 5 0 .722 1480 1398 82 26
Manchester Magic 13 7 0 .650 1576 1430 146 26
Reading Rockets 13 8 0 .619 1643 1538 105 26
Bradford Dragons 10 13 0 .435 1844 1822 22 20
Leicester Warriors 9 10 0 .474 1464 1483 -19 18
Worthing Thunder 9 12 0 .429 1776 1823 -47 18
Tees Valley Mohawks 7 13 0 .350 1627 1721 -94 14
Hemel Storm 7 14 0 .333 1664 1742 -78 14
Westminster Warriors 4 17 0 .190 1459 1692 -233 8
Newham (NASSA) Neptunes 4 17 0 .190 1613 1852 -239 8

2020 – That’s all folks

Following a decision by Basketball England this week, Leopards’ season is officially over.
We certainly finished with a bang, producing our best performance of the season to defeat Nottingham Hoods 127-95 at Oaklands, and we’re confident that we will play Division One basketball next season.
We’d like to thank everyone who has helped the Big Cats during  2019/20, it’s been a bit of a rollercoaster starting with the fire at Oaklands last May, but we got through it. So we’d like to thank our sponsors DynamicPeople and Clarendon Contracts, our partners Sixth Man, A-Z Basketball and Sky Lark. We’d also like to thank everyone who’s helped on game days, washed kit, made sarnies and driven mini buses (this doesn’t happen by magic) and everyone at both Oaklands College and Brentwood Centre
And – of course – we’d like to than the players, coach and everyone who’s supported us during the toughest season in our history.
We hope to rearrange the Keith Tewkesbury Memorial Game when the current situation is resolved. Try to have a good summer.

2010 – Leopards run out of steam

Leopards 76 (19,36,55) Reading Rockets 85 (12,35,56)

LEOPARDS’ lack of depth again proved crucial as they lost a tight game 85-76 against Reading Rockets at Brentwood, on Sunday.  With only seven players, the Big Cats clearly tired in the final period as the visitors outscored them 29-21 to take the victory.

However, there was good news for Jon Burnell and his team as defeats for Sheffield Arrows and Tees Valley Mohawks mean they are now safe from the threat of relegation.

Lukas Volskis led the Leopards’ scoring for the first time in a league game this season with 20 points, while Leigh Greenan finished with an 18 point, ten rebound double-double. The Rockets did a good job of limiting top scorer Carl Latham-Henry as he finished with 16 points before fouling out, while an ankle injury limited Marlan Henry to 13 points in 32 minutes of action.

“It’s a disappointing result” admitted coach Jon Burnell. “We just ran out of steam. Rockets have trained three times this week and played on Saturday night, but we were the ones who looked tired. There’s nothing we can do about it at this stage of the season, but if we just had an eighth fit player things would be a lot easier.”

Rockets were led by 26 points from Kenny Saunders, with Jason Sayers having an 18 point, 11 rebound double-double and Ryan Lohfink adding 13 points.

A single Sayers free-throw opened the scoring, but with Latham-Henry hitting a total of seven points in quarter and Greenan converting five from six foul shot, Leopards went into the first break 19-12 ahead. Both sides went on runs in the first period, with Leopards reeling off seven unanswered points to lead 9-3, Rockets hitting six straight to pull within a point 90 seconds from the end of the period.

Scores from Adam Thoseby and Saunders cut that lead at the start of the second quarter, but Volskis and Greenan replied, and a Chris Michaelides trey made it 28-21 at the midway stage of the period. A 7-0 Reading run capped by Robbie Park’s three made it a tied game, but with Leopards missing four straight free-throws they trailed by three going into the final minute of the half before Henry and Latham-Henry both hit baskets to put the Big Cats 36-35 up going into the locker room

Henry opened the third period scoring, but the game was tied at 44 after four minutes play, and a Saunders trey put the visitors 46-42 ahead at the midway stage of the quarter Scores from Henry and Greenan kept Leopards on level terms, before a 7-0 run capped by Volskis’ three-pointer put the home side 53-50 up.

But it was the visitors who closed out the period strongly with a 6-2 run Mike Holbrook scoring Leopards’ basket to lead 56-55 at the final break.

Having scored the final four points of the third period, Rockets scored the first eight of the fourth including five straight from Thoseby as they opened a 64-55 lead. The visitors never trailed again, and although Volskis’ hit three three-pointers to keep the Big Cats in touch, but Rockets wrapped up the win from the foul line.

Leopards: L Volskis 20, L Greenan 18, C Latham-Henry 16, M Henry 13, M Holbrook 6, C Michaelides 3, S Richardson.


Sheffield Arrows 81 London Leopards 86

EBL Division One @ English Institute of Sport


Greater London Leopards 71 Milton Keynes Lions 70
BBL Championship @ London Arena

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