2006 – Leopards win battle of London
Essex & Herts Leopards 90 (16,40,68)
London United 82 (18,43,61)
A superb team performance saw Leopards collect their 17th EBL Division One victory of the season. Dave Jones led the Big Cats’ scoring with 23 points, and both Errol Seaman and Troy Selvey collected double-doubles as Jon Burnell’s team recorded their third win of the season against local rivals United.
The short-handed Leopards, already without four senior guards, lost stand-in point guard Sam Salter with 14 minutes remaining but up stepped 15-year-old Michael Jarvis to produce a controlled performance on his debut as lead Leopards to victory. In front of their biggest crowd of the season, Leopards started well with Seaman and Selvey each scoring four points as they took an 8-2 lead.
However, a 12-2 run saw United hit back before James Warwick broke the run with a three-pointer, and a la-up from Warwick sent Leopards into the first break trailing by only two. Warwick continued his scoring run to level the score at the start of the second period before former Leopard Pete Deppisch and Jones exchanged three-point scores.
Five points from both Warwick and Selvey plus a score from Seaman saw Leopards take a 35-28 lead, before a pair of missed throws from Roger Lloyd saw him take the rebound and feed Seaman to extend the lead by two. Once again, however, United hit back, and the visitors closed out the half with a 12-3 run to go into the locker room 43-40 ahead.
Santa Ataha opened the second half scoring for London, but a pair of threes from Jones helped level the score at 13 midway through the period.
With four minutes of the third period remaining, and Leopards having opened a four point lead thanks to scores Selvey and Warwick, Salter was caught by an elbow while going for a rebound, and was forced to leave the game covered in blood with a deep cut under his eye.
At that point Burnell threw caution to the win and introduced junior player Jarvis, who had only practiced once with the first team into the fray, and he quickly adapted to the pace of the game. Despite seven straight points from United’s top scorer Jacek Jagodka, three baskets from Seaman and two from Warwick kept the Big Cats in front, and they reached the final break with a 68-61 lead after outscoring the visitors 28-18 in the third period.
That lead was extended to 11 with a pair of Seaman baskets to open the fourth period, but United appeared to have taken control of the game as Leopards went on a four minute scoring drought. Pavel Machynia scored eight of the visitors points as they drained 16 unanswered points to take a 76-72 lead with four minutes remaining.
Two of the points came from the free-throw line as coach Burnell was given a technical foul after Jarvis was thrown to the floor by two United players. The run was finally broken by a Jones three, and the Welsh international quickly drained his fifth effort from the Land of Plenty before adding a pair of free throws to put Leopards into a 80-76 lead.
Jagodka replied with a lay-up, but a pair of Seaman free-throws kept the Big Cays in front, before three points from Ataha split by a Selvey dunk saw Leopards leaf by one going into the final 80 seconds.
That was as close as the visitors came, despite Jones and Selvey only scoring four points from eight free-throws as United were forced to foul to stop the clock, and the Big Cats hunt on for a deserved, if unlikely, victory.
Leopards: D Jones 23, E Seaman 22, T Selvey 20, J Warwick 20, R Lloyd 3, M Eames 2, S Salter, T Christie, M Jarvis, E Gregory (DNP)
2013 – Leopards struck by Thunder
Leopards’ poorest performance of the season at the Brentwood Centre saw them go down 73-56 at home against Worthing Thunder on Sunday afternoon. The south coast side arrived with a seven game winning streak under their belt, the Big Cats were architects of their own downfall as they scored just 33 percent of their field goal attempts, hitting only four of their 22 three-pointers and were out-rebounded 50-33.
Simon Cummings led the way again with 15 points, but needed 20 shots to get them while Rowell Graham was the only other Leopard in double figures with ten points and four steals. Carl Josey and Greg Hernandez each scored eight points, with the latter adding nine rebounds. Worthing were led by 17 points from Dominic Baker, with American pair Hank Rivers and Kadiri Richard had double-doubles of 14 points and 18 boards, and 12 points and 12 rebounds respectively.
The visitors scored the first six points of the game before Hernandez got Leopards off the mark with three minutes gone, and after trailing by as many as eight in the opening first period, a Youngblood buzzer-beater made it 19-13 at the first break.
Things didn’t noticeably improve in the second period, with Thunder’s lead growing to ten midway through the quarter but Cummings hit a three to chip away at it and Josey’s score with 26 seconds on the clock made it 32-28 at half-time, Ish Fontaine made it a three point game with 85 seconds gone in the third period but a 13-2 run put Thunder back in control and they never looked back.
Thunder were 16 up heading into the final minute and it took a single Cummings free-throw to make it 53-38 at the final break. Any chance of the Comeback Kids living up to their name was quickly extinguished as Max Richardson capped a 13-0 start to the fourth period which saw Thunder’s lead grow to 28.
The introduction of Leopards’ youngsters Duane Camile and Jamelle Davis saw the home side regain some pride with an 18-7 run to close out the game and seal the head-ot0-head but this will go down as a performance to forget for Youngblood’s team
Leopards: S Cummings (15), R Graham (10), C Josey (8), G Hernandez (8), I Fontaine (7), R Youngblood (4), D Dunscombe (4), D Camile, T Martin, L Brown, J Davis.
2012 – Leopards win in north east
|Tees Valley Mohawks||12||14||17||15||–||–||–||–||58|
|BA London Leopards||23||15||22||11||–||–||–||–||71|
|Tees Valley Mohawks||BA London Leopards|
|Bomolo 16||Krubally 20|
|Thomas 10||Teel 18|
|Dodd 9||Steel 13|
2007 – Leopards lose but claim fourth spot
Leopards 88 (21,51,72)
London Capitals 89 (17,46,68)
A one point loss against London Capitals could not prevent Leopards sealing fourth spot in EBL Division One and a home play-off quarter-final. The Big Cats will now host Capitals at Wodson Park on Saturday evening, with the winner likely to meet league champions Worthing Thunder is a two-leg semi-final.
In a tense finish, James Nicholson blocked Marlo Saunders’ shot to keep the visitors’ winning margin under three points, and give Leopards the head-to-head series after the sides finished level with 13-9 records.
A short handed Leopards team were without Joe Ikhnimwin (groin) and Duncan Ogilvie (knee), and ran a six-man rotation for most of the game, with Tom Christie chipping in with three minutes of action.
American duo Jerrid Campbell and Calvin Fowler led the Big Cats scoring with 27 and 21 points respecitvely, and five points from the former and four from the latter kept Leopards in the game during the early stages as Capitals started strongly. Nicholson levelled the score at 11 as the home side scored ten unanswered points to take a 17-11 lead with 80 first period seconds remaining, and a Cambell basket sent Jon Burnell’s team into the first break with a 21-17 lead.
After Fowler had started the second period by missing a pair of free-throws, Capitals went on a 7-0 run, launched by two Marlo Saunders free-throws after Burnell had received a technical foul for dissent. Six straight points from Fowler helped Leopards remain level the three minute mark, and with Sam Salter and Nicholson also scoring, the teams remained locked at the seven minute stage.
A three from Lloyd Gardner gave the Big Cats the lead before scores from Fowler and Campbell saw the hosts go into half-time with a five point lead.
Leopards retained that five point lead for most of the third period, without ever being able to pull away. A trey from Fowler saw the hosts lead 68-61, before Saunders hit five points to narrow the gap to two, but scores from Errol Seaman and Campell saw the Big Cats go into the final period with a four point lead.
The hosts looked in control during the early stages of the fourth quarter, without ever being able to pull away. A three-pointer from Gardner saw Leopard ahead by six points, but a series of turnovers saw Capitals move into a one point lead with a 7-2 run. Campbell was called for an intentional foul on Ryan Cadogan, but he missed both free-throws, before Fowler restored Leopards’ lead with a pair of shots from the charity stripe.
Marcus Saunders put his side back ahead, and Gardner turned the ball to give Capitals a chance of snatching the thee point victory they needed to gain home court advantage, but Nicholson’s block ensured that the Big Cats will host their local rivals when they meet again on Saturday.
Leopards: J Campbell 27, C Fowler 21, E Seaman 16, S Salter 11, J Nicholson 8, L Gardner 5, T Christie, M Jarvis (DNP), J Ikhinmwin (DNP)
Capitals: Marlo Saunders 29, S Ataha 16, J Jackodka 14.