2012 – Leopards are the champions
Hopefully one day I’ll track down a report, but a dominant display by Leopards American trio saw them become EBL Division One champions for the first time. Hosts Reading Rockets – fitting opponents as the Big Cats played the Berkshire side more times than any other opponent and defeated them in the 2005/6 National Cup final for their first piece of silverware – had no answer for the Big Cays as they never looked back following a 28-13 first period.
David Buchberger came off the bench to lead the way with 34, Ousman Krubally added 23 and Vernon Teel 18 as the Americans poured in 75 of Leopards’ 80 points before the party poppers were fired up in the stands and the party continued in the pub next door. Great days!
|BA London Leopards||28||15||13||24||–||–||–||–||80|
|Reading Rockets||BA London Leopards|
|Champion 25||Buchberger 34|
|Aleksandravicius 14||Krubally 23|
|Parker 10||Teel 18|
2018 – Leopards shoot down Arrows
Leopards will host Westminster Warriors in the play-offs after a dominant performance saw them hammer Derbyshire Arrows 114-72 at Oaklands Academy on Saturday afternoon.
The play-off quarter-final will take place at the Brentwood Centre on Saturday April 7, tip-off 6.30pm as the Big Cats look to finish the season by lifting a piece of silverware.
The Big Cats only tailed during the opening two minutes as the visitors’ attempts to speed the game up failed miserably, and their 114 points was a record haul for the Leopards in a league game, beating last season’s double overtime win at Worthing by a single point.
Seven players finished in double figures for the home side – another club record – with Shaq Lewis leading the way with 18 points and seven boards
Will Ashby and Jordon George finished with double-doubles, finishing with 13 points apiece and adding ten assists and ten rebounds respectively. Jose Morais also finished with 13 points, while Antoinio Deogratias adding 12 points and eight boards. Kevin Moyo scored 11 points off the bench, with Jamie Hayes pulling down eight boards to go with his ten points.
2019 – Leopards beaten by champions
Leopards will travel to Worthing Thunder in the Division One play-offs quarter-final following their seventh place finish in the regular season. The Big Cats’ place in the post season was confirmed when Leicester Warriors lost against Loughborough Riders on Saturday afternoon and the following day they were unable to prevent Solent Kestrels winning the league title with an 85-67 victory.
Asante Sandiford led the Big Cats with 18 points and seven rebounds, while captain Sam Newman also had seven boards to go with his 16 points and five assists. Chuck Duru and Findlay Wood each finished with nine points, while Lee Hodges pulled down 11 rebounds, adding six points.
Leopards never led in the game, trailing 24-17 at the first break and 43-35 at half-time. An 8-0 run capped by a pair of Hodges free-throws saw the home move within four points midway through the third period before the visitors pulled away to wrap up the league title .
After Solent scored the first four points Sandiford opened Leopards’ scoring with a trey, and the majority of the hosts early points came from the Land of Plenty. A second Sandiford basket made it 6-5 in Kestrels favour but a Tayo Oyefusi trey launched a 10-0 run for the visitors. Treys from Wood and Newman dragged Leopards back into the
game, and with Newman adding a secod triple and a Daniel Wagener stuff cut the deficit to 24-17 at the first beak. Chuck Duru got into the three-point act with Leopards’ first points of the second period, and a pair of Sandiford free-throws made it a three point game with seven minutes gone.
Four points apiece from Herm Senor and Travis Charles saw Solent again pull away before a score from Duru and a Sandiford three saw the visitors’ lead cut to 43-35 at half-time.
Hodges opened the second half scoring for the hosts, and Duru drained a second triple of the gam to keep his side in touch. Six straight Sandiford points, including his third three of the game, cut the deficit to five before Hodges hit a pair at the foul line to make it a three-point game. But that proved to be as good as it got as Charles hit six straight points and Nick Lewis five split only by a Newman score as Leopards went into the final break 65-52 down.
Despite back-to-back Newman threes and a trey from Tom Childs, the Big Cats never got the deficit into single figures, and Solent were left to celebrate the Division One title.
Charles led the way for Solent with an impressive 33 point, 14 rebound double-double as the visitors dominated the rebound count, and fellow American Senor finished with 13 points and eight assists. Kestrels’ captain Louie Kirkman added 15 points and seven rebounds.
2007 – Leopards crash out of play-offs
Leopards 70 (11,30,50)
London Capitals 80 (22,44,65)
Leopards season ended in disappointment, as a poor display saw them crash out of the play-offs against neighbours Capitals.
Calvin Fowler led all scorers with 28 points, but once Capitals had closed out the first period with 11 straight points, there never looked any realistic chance of the Big Cats staging a comeback and progressing to a semi-final against Worthing Thunder.
In a scrappy game, Leopards managed to turn the ball over 28 times and with the visitors capitalising with 35 points off those mistakes, Pete Deppish’s side deservedly progressed to the last four.
A poor start to the game saw both sides struggle to trouble the scorer. Walid Mumuni managed to score just one point from four foul shots and Marcus Saunders missed both of his efforts from the free-throw line, while at the other end on James Nicholson managed to get the ball in the basket as Leopards reached the four minute mark with a 2-1 lead.
Errol Seaman finally broke a two minute scoreless streak, as he moved towards a 15 point, 19 rebound evening, with a single free-throw, but four points from Saunders helped the visitors into a 11-5 lead. Scores from Seaman, Jerrid Campbell and Fowler saw Leopards go on a 6-0 run, but it was Capitals who finished the period with Mumuni scoring nine straight points before a Saunders basket sent Capitals into the first break with a 22-11 lead.
Campbell opened the second period with a basket, but Capitals’ lead quickly grew to 16 points as the visitors scored seven unanswered points, and the big Cats never cut the margin to below ten points. With repeated errors from the home side leading to baskets for Capitals, only eight points in final five minutes from Fowler kept the Big Cats in touch as they went into the locker room with a 14 point deficit.
A Nicholson three opened the second half for the Big Cats, but despite scores from Fowler and Campbell, Capitals led by 16 points at the midway stage of the third period, and it took a Lloyd Gardner free-throw to keep the margin down to 15 points going into the final break.
Sam Salter’s only points of the evening reduced the margin to 12 points three minutes into the fourth quarter, but despite Seaman’s dominance on the boards, the Big Cats never looked capable of mounting a serious comeback. A pair of Fowler free-throws managed to cut the deficit to single figures with a minute remaining, but by then it was too late, and Leopards season stuttered to a disappointing conclusion.
Leopards: C Fowler 28, E Seaman 15, J Nicholson 12, J Campbell 8, J Ikhinmwin 4, S Salter 2, L Gardner 1, N Wilson, M Jarvis (DNP), B Russell (DNP)
Capitals: Marcus Saunders 22, C Da Silva 14, W Mumuni 12, S Ataha 10, Marlo Saunders 8, R Cadogan 8, D Harris 2, G Laws 2, Z Gawanab 1, C Lewis-Parry 1, A Nyeko.
2002 – Defeat at Palace
Kinder London Towers 107 (26,52,78)
Terrell Myers 38, Brett Eppehimer 21, John White 14
DG London Leopards Kool Kats 95 (24,43,65)
Rico Alderson 20, Rod Brown 17, Mo Robinson 17
BBL Championship @ Crystal Palace NSC
Kinder London Towers claimed their third successive BBL Championship Southern Conference title with a 107-95 success over cross-town rivals DG London Leopards Kool Kats on Sunday evening.
Following a relatively even first quarter, Leopards took charge with a 9-0 tear to lead 35-31. However, Towers’ three guard offence got going and they hit 15 points without reply to lead 52-41 and never trailed again.
Leopards cut the gap to five points at 65-60 in the third, before Towers hit 14 points in a row to lead 79-60. Although Leopards enjoyed 9-3 and 5-0 final quarter runs, they could not catch the Towers.
Rico Alderson led Leopards’ scoring with 20 personal points, but Towers’ guard Terrell Myers led all scorers with 38 points.
Newcastle Comets 94 Leopards 107
Budweiser League @ Newcastle Arena
Leopards 109 Newcastle Comets 79
Budweiser League @ London Arena
Brighton Bears 59 London Leopards 90
BBL Championship @ The Brighton Centre