2017 – Winning start for Leopards
A blistering run in the fourth period saw Essex Leopards open their NBL Division Two season with an 83-77 victory at Westminster Warriors, on Saturday.
An 11-0 tear from the home side had seen them take a 66-65 lead early in the fourth period but a trey from Jamie Rodwell launched the run which wrapped up the victory for Thomas Baker’s team. Korry Callum and Dougie Bennett led the visitors with 19 points apiece, with new signing John Shodipo marking his debut with 15.
Callum drained a trey to open the scoring and quickly took his tally to five, but Warriors led for most of the first period and despite ten points from Callum, Warriors player-coach Jon Johnson sent his side into the first break with a 23-22 lead.
Bennett hit five straight points to open the second period but there was little to chose between the two sides as they were tied at 41 with 4:27 on the clock before scores from Will Ashby and Bennett gave Leopards a 46-42 half-time advantage.
Bennett and Callum kept their side ahead in the second period and the Big Cats were still ahead by four at 54-50 with 3:35 on the clock before a trey from Jamie Rodwell – who finished with nine points – sent the visitors into the final break with a 60-55 lead.
Triples from Bennett and Shodipo helped Leopards into a double digit lead early in the fourth period but any thoughts that the win was secure were quickly dispelled as former Leopard Lawrence Brown used his height to cause havoc in the paint with four straight baskets before Manning wrapped up the 11-0 with a trey to put Warriors 66-65 ahead with seven minutes remaining.
Shodipo broke the run with a trey, and as Leopards tightened their defence and Bennett stole the ball from Johnson and scored on the break. Brown picked up his fourth foul and was taken out of the game, and with Hayes hitting the resulting pair of free-throws and Sodipo dunking on the break, Leopards pulled away before scores from Sodipo and Will Ashby wrapped up the win .
Johnson led all scorers with 22, while Brown added 17 against his former club.
2000 – Bears mauled by Big Cats
Brighton Bears 72 (19,42,57)
Wilbur Johnson 19, Kevin Wallace 15, Michael Brown 12
London Leopards 86 (22,47,70)
Rashod Johnson 27, Jason Kimbrough 14, Rod Brown 14
BBL Championship @ The Triangle
London Leopards bounced back from last weekend overtime defeat against London Towers with a convincing 86-72 success over the the Brighton Bears.
The Leopards gradually ground down the Bears resistance outscoring the Bears in each of the four quarters, the third quarter was their most successful taking their lead into double figures at 70-57. The Leopards were led by Rashod Johnson’s 27 points and the Bears Wilbur Johnson who scored 19 points.
2001 – Too little, too late for Cats
Brighton Bears 71 (15,32,49)
Wilbur Johnson 27,Sterling Davis 17, Albert White 12
DG London Leopards Kool Kats 63 (19,23,37)
Rod Brown 22, Maurice Robinson 17, Rico Alderson 10
BBL Championship @ The Brighton Centre
Brighton Bears picked up their first win of the season with a 71-63 home success over DG London Leopards Kool Kats in Sunday’s BBL Championship clash.
However, it was the Leopards who started the brightest, running out to a 15-4 lead. For Brighton, 16 unanswered points either side of the first/second quarter break, put the Bears ahead 26-19, as Leopards were kept scoreless for the first seven minutes of the second quarter.
An 8-0 run gave Brighton their biggest lead at 53-37, and although Leopards rallied with a 10-2 tear, it was too late.
Wilbur Johnson was the game’s top scorer, with 27 points for the Bears, while Rod Brown added 22 for Leopards.
It was a mixed Sunday for Leopards as they managed to both win and lose on the same day .
The Big Cats received a 20-0 walkover against Brentwood Fire in the first game of their defence of the National Cup before going down 85-71 against Reading Rockets in a hastily arranged Clarendon Cup game at Basildon Sporting Village .
Fire had been reinstated into the Cup after Eastside Eagles were expelled for failing to provide valid licence cards for the players in the previous round, but the Division Four side refused to play the game claiming that they couldn’t raise a team .
“We’re a bit disappointed that Fire wouldn’t play us” admitted Leopards’ general manager Dave Ryan.
“They had five days notice for a game on their doorstep, non-league football teams manage that kind of thing all of the time and we played a game at Crystal Palace earlier in the season with only a couple of days notice .
“A tough game against Reading was probably better for our team, and we’d like to thank them for stepping in at the last minute, but it was a disappointing way to start our Cup defence.”
With American big-man Greg Hernandez still missing with an injured foot, the Big Cats produced a disjointed performance against the Rockets .
Simon Cummings overcame a poor shooting night to lead all scorers with 27 points, while Carl Josey scored all of his 19 points in the second half, adding eight rebounds and four assists . Taner Adu finished with 15 points, four boars and three assists.
A poor start to the game saw Leopards concede the first seven points, and they went into the first break 30-14 down . The Big Cats shaded the early stages of the second period, but trailed 48-31 going into the locker room.
A basket from Adu with 6:43 remaining in the third period made it a nine point game as Leopards started the second half well, but that was as good as it got for the home side as Rockets led 68-52 at the final break and they could only chip two points of the deficit in the fourth quarter .
2007 – Leopards lose in Sheffield
Sheffield Arrows 76 (22,47,54) Leopards 61 (13,25,46)
A poor first half performance saw Leopards lose their second group game in the National Trophy, on Sunday. At a venue they have traditionally struggled at, the Big Cats were without point guard Carl Latham-Henry and their failure to put enough points on enough point on the board in the opening 20 minutes proved to be their undoing.
“We know what we need to get, someone who can consistently score 20 points per game, and a big man” said coach Jon Burnell. “When we decided to go with youngsters we knew there would be night like this, and no doubt there will other similar nights. The kids are doing fine, but we need to give them some help from senior players.”
The Big Cats only two players aged over 20, Gareth Laws and Sam Salter, led the scoring with 15 and 14 points respectively, with point guard Lucas Volskis adding ten points.
American centre Dustin Bevard opened the scoring for the hosts, but a Salter three and five straight Laws points saw the Big Cats open an 8-2 lead. That proved to be as good as it got for the visitors, and Arrows scored the next 15 points as they opened a 17-8 advantage. Although Deng Deng ended the run with a lay-up and a single free-throw, Arrows captain Andre Rankine sent his side into the first break with a 22-13 lead thanks to a shot from the Land of Plenty.
Sheffield continued to dominate in the opening stages of the second period, Martin draining a pair of treys as they opened with 11 straight points, and although it was again Deng who broke the run with a free-throw, the home side led 40-20 with two minutes of the half remaining.
Steve Jeffries became the fourth Arrows player on the scoresheet, and despite Salter draining another three, it was Bevard who wrapped up the first half scoring to send his side into the locker room with a commanding 47-23 lead.
Whatever Leopards’ coach Jon Burnell said at half-time clearly had the desired effect for the visitors as they started strongly, and eight straight Volskis points saw their deficit cut to 49-39 after four minutes play. With the visitors defence noticeably much tighter, the home side were restricted to seven points in the third period, and three point plays from Salter and Laws meant that the Sheffield lead was pegged back to 54-46 going into the final break.
Rankine opened the four period scoring, but a single Leigh Greenan free-throw and three-from-four from Deng kept the margin at eight points. Laws and Rankine exchanged baskets, but the latter put his side back into a double figure lead with a three-pointer. Leopards continued to battle, and a pair of Volskis charity shots together with a jump shot from Nathan Wilson kept them in touch.
With 90 seconds remaining Salter had a three-point effort rim out. Had it gone in, the margin would have shrunk to six points, but Bevard grabbed the rebound – one 11 to go with four blocks – and scored on the break to effectively wrap things up, and Sheffield put the game to bed from the free-throw line.
Leopards: G Laws 15, S Salter 14, L Volskis 10, D Deng 9, N Wilson 8, L Greenan 3, F Adeleke 2, M Jarvis, A Scotland-Williamson,
2000 – Bears mauled by Big Cats