On this day – March 26

2011 – Comeback win for Leopards

Leopards 90 (19,37,65) Manchester Magic 85 (15,50,68)

A 31 point, 22 rebound double-double from Ousman Krubally helped the Big Cats record a come-from-behind 90-85 victory against Magic on Saturday evening.

Keith Page opened the scoring for the visitors, and with only Cairns troubling the scorers in opening minutes, the Leopards fell behind 7-2 before Krubally grabbed an offensive board and scored to double their tally. Scores from Page and Ryan McAdam saw Magic lead 14-6 at the five minute mark before Leopards finally woke up and a Krubally basket launched a an 11-0 run to close out the period with a 19-15 lead.

Magic scored the first five points of the second period, and Mark Clark’s team were outscored 35-19 in the second period capped by a Page basket to trail 50-37 going into the locker room. Johnson opened the second half scoring with a trey, and they scored the first 11 points of the third period capped by a Krubally dunk to make it a four point game after three minutes. Page broke the run with Magic’s first score of the half, but with Esprit hitting his second trey of the game, the home side reduced the arrears to 68-65 going into the final break.

An and-one from Greenan tied the score at 68 with a minute gone, and Krubally kept Leopards within a point of the visitors with five minutes remaining. Coach Clark called a timeout with 2:37 on the clock and his team trailing 84-81, and Sharlow hit a trey out of the break to level the score.

Magic only scored one more point as Leopards closed out their eighth straight win as Cairns and Sharlow converted at the foul line.

Five players finished in double figures for the home team, with Johnson adding 14 and Esprit 12. Greenan had an 11 point, 13 rebound double-double, while Josh Sharlow followed suite with 11 points and ten assists. Keith Page (28) and Ryan McAdam (24) did the bulk of the Magic scoring with Alan Metcalf adding 14.

Leopards: O Krubally (31), J Johnson (14), S Esprit (12) L Greenan (11), J Sharlow (11), K Cairns (9), Z Wells (2), D Norton, L Olanyi (DNP), B Pintor Henningsen (DNP)

2016 – Leopards buried in Bury

CvB v TNA disappointing display saw Levett Leopards end their regular season with an 89-77 loss at Lancashire Spinners, on Saturday.The result saw the Big Cats end the season in sixth place, edging out the Spinners on over all points difference after finishing level with the Lancashire side. .

Courtney Van Beest led the Big Cats with a 15 point, 11 rebound double-double, while Will Ashby added 13 points, Ladi Brown 12 and Dougie Bennett 10. Tosin Oyelese added five points to his 10 rebounds. Veteran guard Steve Gayle proved to be the difference between the teams, hitting 16 of his 23 points in the first half and dishing out eight assists.

After a difficult journey to Bury, the visitors took the lead through Van Beest but that was as good as it got as they made a poor start to trail 12-4. Oylese broke the run, and Ashby’s trey made it a three point game but they were outscored 13-7 in the final five minutes of the quarter to trail 27-18 at the first break.Essex Leopards v Tees Valley Mohawks 20 Mar 2016; Will Ashby;

Brian Nguru hit a triple to open the second period but Leopards’ defence continued to be porous and the home side led by as many as 22 before five Brown points made it 54-37 going into the locker room at half-time.

Van Beest opened the third quarter but Leopards were unable to chip into the lead significantly, and although the same player made it a 15 point game doing into the final second , Gayle drained a trey on the buzzer to send Spinners into the final break with a 74-56 lead.

The lead was 20 points with three and half fourth period minutes gone, but Evan Walshe drained from the Land of Plenty and free-throws from Ashby and Nguru made it a 12 point game heading into the last minute. Ashby hit a triple to make it a nine point game going into the last ten seconds but Hickey drained another buzzer beating trey to send everyone reaching for the calculators to confirm the final positions.

2006 – Leopards lose “rehearsal” in overtime

Troy Selvey’s club record 36 point haul was not enough to prevent Leopards losing an overtime thriller at Wodson Park, on Sunday. All five of the Big Cats starters scored in double figures, but with Arrows’ American due of Noah Brown and Tucker Kain each scoring 38, Garnet Gayle’s team won the rehearsal for Saturday’s play-off game.
After an even start, three pointers from Sam Salter and James Warwick helped the Big Cats into a 14-8 lead. Dave Jones then picked up where he left off in Friday’s win against London United, and his three treys plus a two point effort to finish the quarter sent Leopards into the first break with a 12 point lead.
With Brown hitting five points, the visitors opened the second period with an 12-4 run, Errol Seaman providing Leopards’ points. Kain cut the Big Cats’ lead to five midway through the period, but five points from Jones kept the hosts in front, and a pair of late scores from Selvey sent Leopards into the locker room leading 53-47.
The frantic pace of the first half slowed a little after the break, but Arrows proved to be deadly from behind the arc as they sunk six three-pointers, and despite Salter also scoring from long range, the third period ended with the visitors leading 73-70.
The home side started the fourth quarter strongly, with Selvey, Seaman, Jones and James Warwick all getting on the scoresheet at they opened with a 12-2 run to take an 81-75 lead. Danny Richards broke the run with a three pointer, but with Selvey scoring back-to-back baskets and Warwick hitting a three, Leopards stretched their advantage to 88-80. That proved to be as good as it got for Leopards, and two baskets from both Richards and Kain leveled the score at 88 with three minutes remaining.
Six point from Selvey saw Leopards take a five point lead, and with the Big Cats still leading by two going into the final 20 seconds. Salter sunk a pair of free-throws to double the lead, but Jamie Davidson was left unguarded for an easy lay-up. With eight seconds remaining Salter was again fouled, and he hit the first free-throw before missing the second, and Brown was on hand to sink a three-pointer to take the game into overtime.
The extra period proved to be a bridge too far for the Big Cats, with Brown scoring the first five points, and by the midway stage of overtime the visitors had opened a 107-100 lead. A pair of Seaman baskets and one from Selvey brought Leopards back within three, but after Warwick was clearly fouled while going to the basket, the referees took not action, and Brown drained a three in transition to win the game and forced Leopards to settle for sixth place in the final table.
Leopards: T Selvey 36, J Warwick 23, D Jones 22, E Seaman 15, S Salter 11, R Lloyd 2, M Eames, M Jarvis, T Christie (DNP), E Gregory (DNP)

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