2008 – Leopards claim Mohawks’ scalp
Tees Valley Mohawks 78 (23,51,61) Leopards 87 (29,45,66)
A strong third period performance paved the way for Leopards to continue their unbeaten start to the EBL Division One season, on Saturday.
The Big Cats upped their defensive intensity in the second half, and held the home side to 11 points in third period – adding 21 of their own – and once they took the lead with two minutes of third quarter remaining they never trailed again.
Hrvoje Pervan led the Leopards’ scoring for the fifth time this season with 26 points while Carl Latham-Henry and Gareth Laws each added 15.
The Big Cats made a good start as Pervan poured in the first seven points of the game, but the home side hit back with an 8-2 run to leave the Leopards’ lead at just one.
A Laws trey launched another 7-0 run, and a further 8-0 tear left the visitors 29-19 ahead going into the final 90 seconds of the period, but Mohawks gave a hint of what was to follow in the second quarter as they closed out the stanza with four straight points to cut Leopards’ lead to 29-23 going into the first break.
Pervan sunk a shot from the Land of Plenty to put Leopards nine up at the start of the second period, but with American guard Matt Morley scoring freely for the hosts on his way to a game high 27 points, Mohawks replied with a 9-0 run to level the score.
That set the tone for the rest of the period, and Mohawks edged ahead as they took advantage of some poor Leopards’ defence, and despite a Lukas Volskis trey, a three-pointer from Thompson sent Tees Valley into the locker room with a 51-45 lead.
After some harsh words from coach Jon Burnell and his assistant Laws, Leopards came out strongly following the half-time break, and treys from Latham-Henry and Laws halved the lead to 58-55 after seven minutes of action.
A score from Latham-Henry followed by a Pervan trey and Russ Jordan’s debut points for Leopards saw them score seven unanswered points to give the visitors a 62-58 lead – and they never trailed again.
The run was broken by an Andre Rankin free-throw, but scores from Latham-Henry and Jordan sent the Big Cats into the final break ahead by five. Mohawks scored the first five points in the fourth quarter to level the score, before Fola Adeleke and Ike Attah exchanged three-pointers to tie things at 69-69.
That proved to be the last time Tees Valley were on level terms as a three-pointer from Laws launched a 12-0 run. Latham-Henry, Pervan, Adeleke and Jordan all got on the scoresheet as the points were shared around. Attah ended the run, but with Pervan scoring the final six points for the visitors, they closed out the victory to retain joint second place in the table.
2015 – LEOPARDS EDGED OUT BY STORM
Leopards’ run of thrillers at home continued on Sunday, but the crowd at Harlow LeisureZone were left disappointed at Hemel Storm left with the league points following an 87-85 victory .
In a game that saw 14 ties and ten lead changes, Leopards led 84-82 following a Brian Nguru basket with 91 seconds on the clock.
But after Ladi Brown was clattered driving to the basket with 44 seconds remaining, Leopards’ coach Steve Ogunjimi received a technical foul for protesting, and the game swung in the visitors’ favour .
Will Ashby kept Leopards within a point with 24 seconds on the clock, but with the home side forced to foul to stop the clock, Nick Rhodes doubled the hosts’ lead as he split a pair of free-throws and Nguru’s attempted three pointer with 2.8 seconds remaining missed the target .
Ashby led the home side with 16 points, with Brown adding 15 points and captain Albert Margai finishing with 13 points and four assists. Tosin Oyelese had ten boards to go with his eight points . Rhodes led the visitors with 16 points, with Simon Kearney and Bola Adeluola each adding 14 while former Leopard Carl Josey had 14 rebounds to go with six points off two-from-ten shooting .
Earlier in the game, Leopards had started slowly Josey putting his side 7-3 ahead after three minutes before five points in 40 seconds from Brown twice tied the game .
Nguru gave Leopards their first lead of the game at 16-14 with four minutes of the first half remaining only to see the visitors close out the period on a 9-2 run to lead 28-20 at the first break .
Edwards and Josey made it a 12-point game at the start of the second period before three pointers from Will Ashby started and ended a ten-point run to cut the lead to 34-30 .
Hemel responded with nine straight points before a Hayes dunk made it 39-32 and launched a 12-2 Leopards run capped by single free-throws from Oyelese and Margai to give them their first lead of the game at 42-41 with 3:41 on the clock but the visitors again answered to lead 48-46 at half-time .
Both sides struggled offensively in the opening three minutes of the second half with only Adeluola and Brown troubling the scorers, and although Brown hit two-from-three at the foul line after an Edwards foul, a Kearney trey made it 55-50 with four minutes gone .
But a barrage of treys from Ashby and Margai tied the game at 59 before a Tom Adorian triple capped a 14-6 run as Hemel went into the final break with a 73-65 lead.
Courtney Van Beest made it a six-point game off Brown’s assist and Hayes tied the score at 73 with 7:20 on the clock.
Tom Martin put Leopards up by a point before Adeluola hit five straight points to give his side a four point lead at the mid-stage of the quarter.
Van Beest and Oyelese tied the game at 79 with 3:30 remaining, before Margai put Leopards up by two.
Rhodes and Nguru both split a pair of free-throws at opposite ends of the court before the final, controversial 90 seconds saw Leopards fall to their second successive league defeat.