2011 – Lister shoots Leopards into quarter-finals
Leopards 81 (20,27,43,67) Reading Rockets 79 (15,32,51,67)
John Lister celebrated his 28th birthday by sinking a three-pointer with just 0.7 seconds remaining as Leopards sealed second place in the National Trophy Pool Two. Harrison Gamble looked to have sealed the win – and home court advantage against Worthing Thunder in the quarter-finals – when he scored with seven seconds remaining before Lister’s heroics gave Leopards the victory.
Verno Teel again led the way with 22 points, eight rebounds and seven assists, with Lister and David Buchberger each adding 14 points. Buchberger adding seven rebounds and three assists, with Lukas Volskis chipping in with ten points and three steals, and Josh Johnson having five assists to go with his seven points and as many rebounds.
Rockets controlled the early play, leading 7-2 after three and half minutes, but Teel got Leopards going with a trey and Dominic Norton gave them their first lead of the game at 14-13 with 2:04 left in the first period. A strong finish to the quarter saw Johnson and Joe Lockwood on the scoresheet as they led 20-15 at the first break.
With Leopards missing star forward Ousman Krubally due to an ankle injury, they struggled in the second quarter and failed to score a single field goal as Lewis Champion hit a jump shot to send Reading into the locker room with a 32-27 lead.
Although Teel hit a free-throw early in the second half, that drought from the field lasted until the 5:27 mark in the third period when Zak Wells converted a hook shot to leave Leopards 37-30 down. Volskis drained a three off Teel’s assist to keep Leopards within five, but the Big Cats trailed 51-43 at the end of the third period and that deficit went up to 11 as Gamble hit a trey to open the fourth quarter.
The Reading lead peaked at 13 with a little over seven minutes remaining when Ryan Lohfink hit a shot, but Teel started the comeback before Johnson drained a three to cut the visitors’ lead to eight. Five straight Buchberger points followed by a Johnson score saw that lead down to one, but a Jon May and-one saw Reading 67-62 ahead going into the final two minutes.
Johnson forced a Gamble turnover, leaving Lister to drain a three, and it was American guard Teel who sent the game into an extra period when he grabbed Lister’s miss shot and scored with four seconds remaining.
Robbie Parker scored the first points of overtime for Reading, but Leopards led by as many as five in overtime when Wells scored off Teel’s assist with 2:49 on the clock. To their credit, Reading would not quit and answered with a 9-3 run to lead going into the final seconds before Lister stepped up to give himself the perfect birthday present.
Teenager Gamble led Rockets with 27 points (including 4 from 4 behind the arc) and 7 rebounds, Lohfink added a double-double of 15 points and 13 boards.
Leopards: V Teel (.22), J Lister (14), D Buchberger (14), L Volskis (10), J Johnson (7), Z Wells (7), D Norton (5), J Lockwood (2), M Adomaitis, R Mentor (DNP), J Steel (DNP), S Bublys (DNP).
1999 – No fireworks for Leopards
adidas London Leopards 84 (15,31,60)
Brantley 23, Capers 16, Kimbrough 15
Pertemps Bullets Birmingham 100 (23,52,77)
Phoenix 26, Williams 22, Walker 17
uni-ball trophy, group A @ Brentwood Leisure Centre
The Pertemps Bullets Birmingham avenged an earlier uni-ball trophy defeat at the hands of the adidas London Leopards, winning 100-84 away in Brentwood and in doing so took a step nearer qualification for the quarter-finals of the competition.
Justin Phoenix led all scorers with 26 points on a night when the Midlanders bossed almost the entire game.
Brandon Brantley led the way fpr the Leopards, scoring 23 points and making 17 rebounds. Jason Kimbrough bagged 15 points and 9 assists on his debut.