On this day – Oct 1

2011 – Americans’ big night can’t prevent loss

Leopards 91 (32,47,60,79) Derby Trailblazers 97 (19,41,61,79)

AN awesome night from Leopards’ two American players couldn’t prevent an overtime defeat in the National Trophy, on Sunday. Debutant Vernon Teel and Ousman Krubally combined for 74 points and 30 rebounds as the Big Cats and Trailblazers went to overtime for a third straight game.

Teel made light of jet lag to pour in 38 points, ten rebounds and four assists, while Krubally finished with a massive 36 point, 20 rebound double-double, adding three assists and two steals in 34 minutes But the two Americans received little support from the rest of the team, with Lukas Volskis the next highest scorer with four points to go with his six assists.

The Big Cats were 32-19 up at the first break, but let the lead slip, and with Krubally and Zak Wells fouling out, the home side were unable to cope with the inside presence of Mark Woodhouse and another American debutant Troy Whittington.

Whittington finished with 28 points and 14 boards, with Woodhouse adding 19 points and eight rebounds, but it was Rishi Kakad’s 31 points which led the way for Derby.

It took Teel just six seconds to open his Leopards’ account after Wells had won the tip, and Leopards led throughout the first period before closing out the quarter on a 16-3 run to go into the first break 32-19 ahead. Derby scored the first seven points of the second quarter, capped by an and-one from Matthew Ward-Hibbert, before Teel broke the run.

Krubally made it a 12 point game with just under four minutes of the half remaining, but Derby closed out the period with an 8-2 run to cut Leopards’ advantage to 47-41 going into the half-time break. Teel split a pair of free-throws to open the second half, but with Volskis being the victim of a surprising intentional foul call, Derby stayed in touch.

Dominic Norton provided the assist for a Krubally and-one to put Leopards 54-50 ahead with 5:36 on the clock, but six unanswered point capped by Woodhouse’s basket gave Derby their first lead of the game with 4:24 on the clock.

Mantas Adomaitis converted Tee’s assist to restore Leopards’ lead but Kakad sent the visitors into the fourth quarter with a 61-60 lead. Krubally gave Leopards the lead off Marlan Henry’s assist with 7:24 in regulation time remaining, and a trey from Krubally put the hosts up by four.

But they wasted a chance to extend that lead when Teel missed both free-throws after a technical foul on Derby coach Jamie Maudsley, and Henry missed a three-point attempt from the inbound. Krubally picked up his fifth foul of the game a strange offensive call – with three minutes remaining, but a pair of Teel free-throws with 65 seconds remaining saw Leopards open a 77-73 lead.

Woodhouse halved that advantage with a pair at the charity stripe before Whittington levelled things by grabbing Rema Lascelles’ missed free-throw and converting with 13 seconds on the clock. Teel fouled his compatriot in the process, and the American big man sunk the free-throw to give his side the lead.

Volskis looked to have won the game when he drove to the basket with 5.3 seconds remaining, scoring and being fouled by Whittington. But he missed the free-throw, and Norton was called for a foul on Whittington to send the big man to the line with the chance to win the game.

He hit the first but missed the second, and despite Teel appearing to be clattered in the final second, the game went to an extra period.

Teel opened the overtime scoring, and it was only a one point game in Derby’s favour going into the final two minutes following a Kakad jump shot, but Leopards’ lack of height was shown pup down the stretch and Whittington took control to seal the win.

Leopards: V Teel (38), O Krubally (36), L Volskis (4), Z Wells (3), M Henry (3), D Norton (3), R Alexis (2), M Adomaitis (2), J Lister (1), S Bublys, J Johnson (DNP), J Cabey (DNP)

2000 – Towers win at Brentwood



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