2011 – Disappointment for Leopards
Brixton Topcats 84 (18,37,58) Leopards 75 (15,26,56)
A strong fourth period comeback couldn’t prevent Leopards slipping to defeat in their opening Division One game of the season, on Sunday. With Ousman Krubally missing, the Big Cats struggled inside, and looked tired after the previous night’s overtime classic against Reading Rockets.
They weren’t helped by some curious refereeing decisions, but didn’t help themselves with missed lay-ups and poor shot selection.
Facing a Brixton side who hadn’t played on Saturday, the Big Cats opened the scoring through David Buchberger, and seven straight Vernon Teel points kept them ahead before a strong finish to the first period saw Brixton lead 18-15 at the first break.
Teel briefly restored Leopards’ lead with a jump shot three minutes into the second period, but a 9-2 Brixton run capped by three straight Arturo Noha free-throws saw the hosts open a 35-25 lead, and they went into the locker room with a 37-26 lead.
Scores from John Lister and Teel saw Leopards open the second half strongly, but they struggled for long spells against their London rivals, and trailed 58-46 going into the final break.
Back-to-back threes from Mantis Adomantis saw Leopards open the fourth period with an 8-0 run, and they grabbed the lead for the first time since the opening stages with seven minutes remaining when Teel completed a streak of 13 straight points.
A John Lockwood free-throw saw Leopards only trailing by a single point going into the final minute, but a curious offensive foul call on Josh Johnson saw both coach Mihevc and Lukas Volskis pick up technical fouls, and Topcats wrapped up the win for the line.
Teel finished with a game-high 37 points, with Lister again adding 14 and Buchberger scoring seven. Noha led the home team with 26 points.