2008 – Leopards split Thunder Cup games
Leopards 61 DART Killester 81
Leopards 67 Neptune 60
Leopards opened their season by splitting their two games in the Worthing Thunder tournament on Saturday. The Big Cats lost 80-61 to Irish Superleague champions DART Killester in the opening game, but bounced back to defeat Neptune 67-60 in their second game.
The results were enough to give them third place in the competition, though they ended up with an identical record with second placed Thunder.
A good performance in the first 11 of minutes of the 30 minute game saw Leopards leading Killester 28-22, but the Irish side took control after that and went in at half-time leading 38-32.
The first seven minutes of the second half proved key as Killerster went on a 20-2 run. England junior international Robert Gilchrist was the only Leopard to score in that time before Lee McCarthy broke the run with an “and-one”
The lead ballooned to 28 at one stage, but a strong finish from Leopards’ younger players saw Lucas Volskis and Kenroy Wood each drain a pair of trey as the Big Cats got the margin under 20.
Volskis led the Leopards’ scoring with 11 points and three assists, while Wood finished with nine. Coach Jon Burnell managed to get all 11 players into the action in the first half, with all of the team playing at least ten minutes.
The second game saw an improved performance as third place in the competition was wrapped up with a comfortable victory against Neptune.
Kevin Griffin led the way with 13 points, while Gareth Laws hit 12 and Carl Latham-Henry, Sam Salter and Robert Gilchrist each scored eight.
The Irish team opened the scoring, but an 11-0 run from Leopards capped by a Laws trey gave the Big Cats a lead they never lost. A basket from Lee McCarthy put the Big Cats up be ten going into the final 90 seconds of the half, and a Salter buzzer beater sent them into the locker room with a 38-25 lead.
Whatever the Irish coach said at half-time clearly had the desired effect as Neptune opened with the first ten points of the second half before Johnnie Carter broke the run. Back-to-back Griffin three-pointers put Leopards back in control , and with Robert Gilchrist hammering home a couple of dunks, the Big Cats wrapped up their first victory of the season.
Leopards did leave the Worthing Leisure Centre with one piece of silverware as Wood comfortably won the three-point contest which was staged after the second semi-final. The 18-year-old shooting guard drained 15 three pointers in two minutes to lift the trophy.
Newcastle Eagles 87
Adidas Greater London Leopards 98
Budweiser British Basketball League
@ Metro Radio Arena
Sheffield Sharks 103 adidas Adidas Greater London Leopards 83
BBL Championship @ Sheffield Arena