On this day – Sept 18

1994 – Doncaster Panthers 65 Leopards 55

The first game for the Leopards saw an understrength side travel to Yorkshire where they lost in a low scoring game.

2015 – Winning start for Leopards

Essex Leopards v London Lituanica 18 Sep 2015; Justin Hitchman;Leopards made the perfect start to the season with a 71-68 home victory against London Lituanica, on Friday. New-boy Justin Hitchman was the key for Steve Ogunjimi’s team as he led the way with 21 points, eight rebounds and three steals as the Big Cats broke their hoodoo against a side who had knocked them out of the National Cup twice in three years.

Captain Albert Margai finished with 16 points and seven assists as well as drawing eight fouls from a physical Lithuanian side who included former Leopard in their side.Essex Leopards v London Lituanica 18 Sep 2015; Albert Margai;

Will Ashby added 13 points while Ladi Brown was a rebound short of a double-double with 11 points and nine boards.

The Big Cats scored the first seven points of the game and only trailed for 90 seconds in the National Trophy tie as they look to repeat their 2013 success in the competition. Aušridas Petraitis was dominant for the visitors with a 25 point, 13 rebound double-double before getting himself ejected in the closing seconds while Tomas Grybauskas was the only other visiting player to finish in double figures with ten points.

Brown opened the scoring from downtown before Tosin Oyelese and Margain hit jump shots to put the hosts in charge, and three pointers from Hitchman and Brown saw the lead grow to 17-5 at the mid-stage of the quarter.

Essex Leopards v London Lituanica 18 Sep 2015; Will Ashby;The Big Cats remained comfortably ahead, and a three pointer from Tom Martin plus a single Margai free-throw sent them into the first break with a 21-14 lead.

With Volskis getting on the scoresheet, the visitors scored the first seven points of the second quarter to take their first lead of the game before Margai ended the drought with a jump shot followed by a trey Hitchman hit another from downtown before taking his tally to 14 with a lay-up, and a single Jamie Hayes free-throw sent Leopards into the locker room with a 41-34 lead.

Tomas Skardzius and Hitchman exchanged baskets to open the second half and Leopards’ lead never dipped below five in the third period, and a fast-break from Brown following by a Margai trey saw the lead grow to a game-high 52-39 with 3:07 on the clock.Essex Leopards v London Lituanica 18 Sep 2015; Ladi Brown

Margai made it an 11 point game heading into the final minute before the visitors scored five straight points to cut Leopards’ lead to 56-50 heading into the final break.

Petraitis hit five points in a 7-2 run to make it a one point game with two fourth period minutes gone before Margai broke the tear and Martin hit a long jumper to put Leopards 62-57 up at the five minute mark.

Grybauskas scored from the Land of Plenty to cut the lead to two but Ashby replied in kind to send Leopards into the final two minutes 67-62 ahead.

Lituancia still had one more run in them with Julius Visockas hitting a three and Skardžius making it a one point before a foul on Hitchman sparked a rash of technical fouls and Leopards wrapped the win up at the foul line.


2011 – Leopards extinguish fire

London Leopards 80 Brentwood Fire 62

LEOPARDS set themselves up for a home National Cup second round tie with London Westside as neighbours Brentwood Fire were comfortably beaten 80-62 on Sunday afternoon. In front of a big crowd at the Brentwood Centre, Ousman Krubally hit six points as Leopards scored the first eight of the game and never looked back.

Krubally finished with 26 points in as many minutes, adding 18 rebounds for a huge double-double, while Sumskis added 16 points and eight boards. Ryan Alexis had 11 points, while Zac Wells had eight points and nine boards, and Volskis added nine assists to his six points. Former Leopards Chris Michaelides and Nick Wookey led the visitors with 19 and 13 points respectively.

With Sumskis also getting on the scoresheet in the first two minutes, it was clear that Leopards’ height was going to be an advantage, and they went on to out-rebound the visitors 52-28.

Wookey got Fire off the mark, but the closest they came in the first period was four points, and with Alexis hitting a trey and Krubally capping six straight personal points with a dunk, Leopards went into the first break 28-18 ahead.

Mantas Adomantis kept the Big Cats’ lead at nine with five second period minutes gone before a Volskis trey launched a 15-2 run which saw Leopards go into the locker room with a comfortable 52-30 half-time lead.

Michaelides opened the second half scoring with a single free-throw, but two Krubally baskets both off Volskis assists helped Leopards open a 27 point lead, and a 10-3 start to the third period saw the home side lead 62-33 after five minutes of action.

Jheryl Cabey sent Leopards into the final break with a 66-41 lead, but it was the visitors who scored the first nine points of the fourth period forcing coach Dejan Mihevc to bring Krubally, Volskis and Sumskis back into the game.

The move worked as Sumskis hit a pair of shots split by Alexis’ three-pointer, and both Krubally and Josh Johnson also drained from the Land of Plenty as Leopards wrapped up the game with a 13-1 run to 79-51 with four minutes remaining.

Leopards: O Krubally (26), V Sumskis (16), R Alexis (11), Z Wells (8), L Volskis (6), J Johnson (6), J Cabey (4), M Admonantis (2), M Henry (1), R Mentor, J Steel

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s