2012 – Champions win at Capital
The only game Leopards played on All Fools Day during their final decade saw them make the short trip to Neasdon to face London Capital.
The Big Cats had won the Division One title just 20 hours before the game, and they were facing a side bottom of the table. But there was no hangover (at least for the players) from the previous night’s celebrations as they strolled to a 94-62 victory, outscoring the hosts in all four periods.
It was almost like a training game with coach Dejan Mehvic splitting his ten available players into two even units, playing five-in, five-out in five minute blocks. The scoring was more evenly spread than in previous games, with the American trio again leading the way but with only 41/94 points.
Venue: Capital City Academy
|PAWS London Capitals||22||11||15||14||–||–||–||–||62|
|BA London Leopards||28||27||20||19||–||–||–||–||94|
|PAWS London Capitals||BA London Leopards|
|Jivens 22||Krubally 16|
|Maxwell 17||Teel 14|
|Gariba 10||Buchberger 11|
2006 – Season ends in disappointment in Sheffield
City of Sheffield Arrows 93 (24,38,69)
Essex & Herts Leopards 69 (10,31,50)
Leopards season ended in disappointment as they produced a poor performance to crash out of the play-offs at the quarter-final stage. Against a side they had beaten comfortably in the away league game and taken to overtime the previous week, Jon Burnell’s team never really got going and trailed for from the third possession of the game.
The Big Cats weren’t helped by some erratic refereeing, with top scorer James Warwick and coach Jon Burnell receiving technical fouls on the stroke of half-time, just as they appeared to have fought their way back into the game, but they did not help themselves with some woeful free-throw shooting – finishing with only 11 points from 24 foul shots.
After Troy Selvey had won the tip, Sam Salter opened the scoring with a three-pointer, but that proved to be Leopards’ only lead of the game as EBL Division One’s top scorer Noah Brown answered with a pair of threes.
After Guy Renton had made it 8-2 to the hosts, Selvey reduced the arrears, but set the scene by missing four foul shots as the Big Cats reached the first break 24-10 down as Arrows player-coach Garnet Gayle added five late points.
Scores from Steve Ogunjimi, making his comeback after a two-month lay-off with a knee injury, and Warwick cut the lead to ten during the opening minutes of the second half, and after Adrian Anderson had replied, Salter took it down to single figures with another trey. Warwick, who celebrated his 21st birthday last week, proved to be Leopards’ main offensive threat despite being in foul trouble for most of the game, and seven straight points from him saw the lead cut to seven with a minute remaining in the first half.
An Anderson basket followed by a single free-throw from Gayle took it back up to ten before Dave Jones drained a buzzer beating three to send Leopards into the locker room trailing by seven. However Warwick was penalised for touching the ball after it had gone through the hoop, despite the fact that there was no time left on the clock, and in the ensuing furore Burnell also picked up a T.
The second half started with Brown draining three of the foul technical free-throws, and although Salter replied with this third trey of the evening, Arrows went on a 7-0 run capped by a Tucker Kaine three to take a 14-point lead. Despite a successful “and-one” from Selvey, the Big Cats were never again able to get Arrows’ lead down to single figures. Jones drained another three, but despite four late points from Errol Seaman, a Brown three sent Arrows into the final break with a comfortable 19-point lead.
There never looked any real chance of Leopards mounting a fourth period recovery, despite Warwick taking his tally to 20, and unlike Arrows, coach Burnell gave his younger players some valuable experience.
Fifteen-year-old Michael Jarvis produced a perfect assist for Ed Gregory to score Leopards’ final points of the season as they finished the campaign in disappointing style, but still had the considerable consolation of a National Cup triumph and a much improved league record to look back on.
Leopards: J Warwick 20, E Seaman 12, T Selvey 12, S Salter 9, D Jones 6, S Ogunjimi 5, T Christie 2, E Gregory 2, R Lloyd, M Eames, M Jarvis.