2015 – Leopards set up title decider
Leopards set up a title decider against Team Northumbria as a strong second half saw them power their way to a 77-58 win at Leicester Warriors. The Big Cats trailed throughout the first half but the introduction of Tosin Oyelese at half-time sparked a strong defensive performance after the break , with Ashby coming up with three key steals and the Big Cats outscored the home side 21-10 in the third period and 23-9 in the fourth to seal the win..
Dave Ajumobi led the way with 20 points, with Will Ashby, Byron Richards and Courtney Van Beest all adding ten as the Big Cats collected their 17th league win on the campaign.
Leopards started sluggishly with only Ajumobi troubling the scorers as the home side took an 8-2 lead forcing a timeout from Robert Youngblood. The move worked to an extent at Albert Margai hit a trey to cut the Warriors’ lead to 14-13, and Ladi Brown kept them in touch with a put-back before the hosts finished the first period strongly to lead 20-15.
The second period didn’t get any better for the visitors, and despite Ajumobi providing an assist for Ladi Brown, Youngblood was forced to call another time-out with 5:40 on the clock and his side trailing 31-21 A score from Van Beast and a breakaway lay-up from Margai kept Leopards in the game, but they trailed 39-33 at half-time as Van Beest blew a lay-up following Ajumobi’s steal.
Oyelese made his first appearance of the game at the start of the second half and immediately cut the lead to four, and a trey from Richards followed by an Ashby basket gave the Big Cats their first lead of the game.
Richards converted off another Ajumobi assist to make it a three-point ball game and spark a timeout from Warriors’ coach Karl Brown, but scores from the Land of Plenty by Richards and Ashby kept Leopards ahead and Van Beest sunk a pair at foul line to send Leopards into the final break 54-49 ahead.
That lead never looked in danger in the final stanza, with Ashby’s three-point play opening the fourth period scoring and Ladi Brown’s trey making it an 11-point game with two minutes gone. The Big Cats were 67-54 up at the mid-point in the quarter, and a Margai drive to the basket made it a 15-point lead before an Ajumobi dunk wrapped things up for the champions-elect.
Leome Francis led Warriors with 16 points, but Carl Pearson was the only other Leicester player in double figures with ten.
2010 – Leopards lose to Magic
Leopards 71 (15,39,58) Manchester Magic 83 (22,38,56)
LEOPARDS suffered another poor fourth period as they went down to an 83-71 loss against Manchester Magic at Barking Abbey on Sunday. The Big Cats had led by two at the final break, but their lack of depth again cost them as they were outscored 27-13 during the last quarter.
Carl Latham-Henry led the home side with 26 points, six assists and five steals despite playing under 25 minutes. Leigh Greenan finished with a 13 points, ten rebound double-double, with Marlan Henry adding 12 points and Lukas Volskis 10. English guard Stefan Gill led the Magic with 26 points and five rebounds, with Brandon Kimbrough adding 18 points, eight boards and seven assists. David Watts finished with 13 points, and Lee Goldsbrough added 12 points as Magic completed a sweep of their three games against Leopards this season.
Greenan opened the scoring with a lay-up, and added another from the line on the next possession after being foul by Watts. Mike Holbrook kept the Big Cats ahead, but missed a pair from the foul line, but with Gill hitting a pair of three-pointers and Watts also scoring from downtown, a 9-4 run saw Magic open a 17-9 lead and despite four points from Latham-Henry it was the visitors who led 22-15 at the first break.
Latham-Henry kept the home side in the game in the early stages of the second period, hitting a pair of treys as well as a lay-up, but a Gill three-pointer gave Magic a 36-27 lead with three minutes of the quarter remaining. At that stage, Leopards finally sparked into life, and a Latham-Henry trey started a 12-2 run to finish the half. Henry also drained from long range, and further scores from Volskis and Greenan saw them trail by a point going into the final 30 second of the period before Latham-Henry hit a jump shot to send Leopards into the locker room with a 39-38 lead.
Latham-Henry opened the third period scoring, but Magic replied with seven straight points before the Leopards’ top scorer converted a lay-up to break the run. Volskis scored from the Land of Plenty to keep Leopards in touch, and they again closed out the period strongly as five Latham-Henry points and a Henry trey saw them score the final eight points of the quarter to lead 58-56 at the final break.
That was as good as it got for the home team, as Magic opened the final period with a 10-2 run – Greenan scoring Leopards’ only basket – but of equal concern was the knee injury Latham-Henry picked up 90 second into the quarter, and he limped out of the action and did not return. Greenan broke the run, but Leopards’ offence dried up in the absence of their leading scorer, and three-pointers from Kimbrough and Gill kept Magic’s lead in double figures.
Henry hit three straight baskets for the home side, but despite that and another Volskis trey, the visitors sealed home court advantage in the play-offs as they closed out the win.
Leopards: C Latham-Henry 26, L Greenan 13, M Henry 12, L Volksis 10, S Richardson 4, M Holbrook 4, C Michaelides 2.
Manchester Magic 83 London Leopards 78
EBL Division One @ Amaechi Basketball Centre
Greater London Leopards 77 Leicester Riders 75
BBL Championship @ London Arena