2013 – First game in Trophy defence ends in loss
The first game in their National Trophy defence ended in disappointment for the Leopards as a poor second half performance saw them lose 76-68 against Bradford Dragons at Southend Leisure & Tennis Centre.
The Big Cats dominated the first half but let the visitors back into the game leading up to half-time and never regained the initiative as Dragons consigned them to defeat in the first of six group games in the competition they won last season.
Robert Youngblood’s team were without American big man Howard Crawford after his international clearance failed to arrive from Estonia and forwards Siman Stewart (injury) and Iaon Nickson (unavailable) also missed the game forcing the Leopards’ coach to kit up and play 11 and half minutes. Lawrence Brown and Carl Josey led the Leopards’ scoring with 14 points apiece, with the big man completing a double-double with 13 rebounds and Josey adding eight, with Clark finishing on 12 points and Clark adding eight points and five assists.
American point guard Kris Clark scored Leopards’ first competitive points of the season as the Big Cats started strongly, and Brown added a pair of baskets before Clark capped a 10-2 run. Brown proved to be a handful at both ends of the court for the visitors in early stag e, but it was four straight points from Courtney Van Beest that sent the Big Cats into the first break with a 22-17 lead.
Dragons closed to within a point in the early stages of the second period as Jermaine Laing hit back-to-back baskets, but a trey from captain Josey saw the lead back out to eight points with four minutes remaining. Ish Fontaine and Josey both hit treys to keep Leopards and a free-throw from Youngblood sent his side into the locker room with a 40-33 lead.
That lead was wiped out with a 7-0 Dragons run to open the second half as Dan Foley hit a three on the way to a game-high 18 points before Brown broke the drought with a dunk. But the seven footer forced to down with foul trouble the visitors moved ahead for the first time with a 12-3 run, and it took eight straight points from Sam Iwubre free-throw to give the home side a 57-56 lead at the final break.
That proved to be the last time that Leopards would lead the game as Corono Navarro Alejandro hit a trey to give Bradford the lead at the start of the fourth period. Vance Silcott doubled that lead and although Iwubre and Josey kept Leopards in touch, Navarro Alejandro blasted another triple to extend the visitors’ lead.
Five straight points from Josey saw the deficit cut to 69-66 with 2:33 on the clock but Leopards offence broke down and some poor decisions down the stretch saw the game slip away in the final stages to give the visitors victory.
Leopards: C Josey (14), L Brown (14), S Iwubre (12), K Clark (8), C Van Beest (7), I Fontaine (6), R Youngblood (3), T Martin (2), M Isober (2), R Baker.
2019 – Baker happy with weekend
As his side prepare to face a Barking Abbey side packed with young British talent at Colchester, Leopards coach Thomas Baker is happy with how things went during a long weekend on the road. Baker’s side lost 114-105 at Thames Valley Cavaliers in the National Trophy group stage on Saturday before bouncing back to progress in the National Cup with a 111-99 win at Team Derby Spartans the following day.
“Overall from the weekend I am pleased we were able to put some things into action that we have worked on in practice” he said. “We were down a few players for numerous reasons and it changed how we were going to rotate throughout both games which also changed the things we were able to implement too.
“Our aggression and ability to share the ball allowed us to create multiple situations to score and this is something we are going to have to repeat if we are to be successful on the offensive end fifa 19 to.
“Ultimately we struggled rebounding and defensively we have to be better on the ball if we are going to be successful this year.”
The guys gave everything they had against Thames Valley and to walk away disappointed we didn’t win that game just shows how hungry the guys are to get the result they deserve. It was a positive performance and when you go and score 40 points in one quarter and over 100 points in a game you should really be walking out of their with a win .
“We are aware of what we need to do to improve and this week in practice is going to be vital that we fine tune a few areas ready for Barking this weekend. It’s rare you get a chance to put right the wrongs from the day before and I had hoped that Sundays game against Team Derby would have been a chance to rotate a bit better and focus on execution tactically, however, we made hard work of it and the issues defensively that were there against TVC were also there against Team Derby. Overall we got the win that allows us to progress to the next round against Westminster.
“The general feeling around the group is positive and we are still learning how each other plays and we still have a few players to come in who will make us better. The season is going to be an interesting one and I am looking forward to continuing to improve with the guys.
Venue: Uxbridge College
|Thames Valley Cavaliers||27||20||31||40||–||–||–||–||114|
|Thames Valley Cavaliers||Essex Leopards|
|E. Defreitas 29||L. Mascall-Wright 33|
|A. Baptiste 24||L. Hodges 24|
|M. McLemore 16||S. Newman 19|
2001 – Overtime loss at Tigers
Thames Valley Tigers 96 (16,41,62,82)
Barry Bowman 38, Eric Burks 18 reg Meldrum 10
DG London Leopards Kool Kats 90 (21,44,61,82)
Mo Robinson 26, Jason Kimbrough 23, Rod Brown 18
BBL Championship @ Bracknell Sports Centre
Thames Valley Tigers began their 2001/2002 campaign with a hard fought 96-90 overtime success over the DG London Leopards Kool Kats on Saturday night.
Leopards’ Martin Henlan scored his only basket of the night to level the scores at 82-82 to force the extra period, but it was the Tigers who siezed the initiative in the extra period outscoring their hosts 9-1 to take a 91-85 lead with just 65s remaining. Tigers Barry Bowman top scored in the game with 38 points.
2007 – Leopards snatch opening win
Leopards 81 (20,46,61) West Anglia Fury 79 (13,35,57)
Leopards survived a fight-back for Fury to open their National Trophy campaign with victory at Wodson Park, on Saturday. Led by 18 points from Gareth Laws and 16 apiece from Nathan Wilson and Carl Lathem-Henry, the Big Cats held on to start their season with a win as Lamar Hull’s last second shot missed the target.
With a new look side built around academy players from Barking Abbey School, the home side started slowly, with only a basket from Lathem-Henry in the first three and a half minutes as Fury took a 6-2 lead.
With both referees calling numerous fouls, two Lathem-Henry free-throws and two from four from Deng Deng kept the hosts in touch before four straight Lathem-Henry saw them take an 11-8 lead.
Leopards’ up-tempo style was clearly causing the visitors problems, and three point plays from Deng, captain Sam Salter and Lucas Volskis sent the Big Cats into the first break with a 20-13 lead.
That lead grew to 12 as Leopards opened the second period with a Wilson basket followed by three-pointer from Laws. That proved to the first of three treys for Laws in the second quarter as the Big Cats took control of the game, opening up a 15 point lead following a Volskis trey with two minutes of the half remaining. They should have wrapped the game up at that stage, but allowed the visitors to finish the half with a 6-2 run to cut the half-time advantage to 46-35.
Scores from Fola Adeleke and Laws saw the lead back up to 15 after two minutes of the second half, but an 11-3 run – Laws hitting another three – put Fury back into the game.
Deng and Greenan put Leopards pack into a 57-47 lead, but as Leopards got into foul trouble the Norfolk side scored ten straight points to level the score before baskets from Adeleke and Laws sent the Big Cats into the final break with a 61-57 lead.
That lead evaporated as Fury opened strongly, and two technical fouls of Laws saw Fury’s player-coach James Bamfield put his side into a one point lead with three-from-four foul shooting. Six straight Lathem-Henry points put Leopards back into the lead, and they were ahead 73-67 going into the final three minutes before young centre Nathan Wilson took over.
The 17-year-old scored eight straight points as Leopards held off the Fury challenge. He caped the run with a pair of free-throws to put the Big Cats up by five with 23 seconds remaining. Although Richard Milbourne drained three straight treys to keep the visitors in the game, and Sam Salter uncharacteristically missed two free-throws, the Big Cats held on to wrap up their first win of the campaign.