2008 – Leopards win 3OT thriller
Leopards 123 (22,47,58,89,98,109)
Westminster Warriors 118 (21,44,70,89,98,109)
The most incredible game in Leopards’ five year history saw the Big Cats knock Westminster Warriors out of the National Cup 123-118 after three periods of overtime on Sunday evening.
A thrilling game lasted two and half hours, saw numerous lead changes, and only went to overtime after the home side had scored the final nine points of the game inside 90 seconds. Junior point guard Lukas Volskis was the hero for the second time this season as he launched a huge three-pointer with just two seconds left to send the game into overtime.
Hrvoje Pervan led the Leopards scoring for the sixth time this season with 30 while Leigh Greenan had his best ever offensive night for the Big Cats with 22 points and Carl Latham-Henry finished with 18 despite foul trouble. Volskis (15) Gareth Laws (15) and Fola Adeleke (14) also finished in double figures for the home side.
Marlan Henry led the visitors with 33 points, while the impressive Jon Johnson hit 31 and player-coach Junior Williams drained 15. With Warriors having had the previous day off and Leopards coming into the game on the back of a trip to Teesside which saw them return to London at 2.30am, the visitors played the game at a high pace throughout.
Pervan drained 11 points in the first period, including three treys, while Laws scored two from the Land of Plenty, but the hosts were unable to pull away as they went into the first break with a 22-21 lead. Sammy Rahman gave Warriors the lead with the first play of the second period, but Volskis put the home side back ahead with a trey. Leopards remained ahead throughout the rest of the quarter, and a lay-up from Latham-Henry followed by a three-point play by the same player saw Jon Burnell’s team go into the locker room 47-43 ahead.
The third period proved to be a disaster for the Leopards as they were outscored 27-11, with Pervan being forced to sit down after collecting his third foul. The Big Cats led 50-47 after three minutes play, but Henry launched a 13-1 run to Warriors a lead they never lost until overtime, and they went into the fourth period with a 70-58 lead.
Leopards gradually chipped away at the deficit, and a three-point Pervan play saw the visitors’ lead cut to five with four minutes remaining – only to see Henry and Johnson score at the other to take it back up to nine with 90 seconds remaining. Pervan trimmed it to seven before both he and Volskis made successful trips to the foul line to cut the Westminster lead to three.
The score was still 89-86 in Warriors favour with 24 seconds remaining, but Burnell’s team elected not to foul, and their patience was paid off with eight seconds remaining when Westminster turned the ball over.
With Latham-Henry having fouled out with an offensive charge midway through the fourth, the ball was left in Volskis’ hands, and with two seconds remaining he drained from downtown to spark celebrations in the stand and send the game into an extra period.
Greenan opened the scoring in overtime, and with Pervan and Volskis both scoring, Leopards opened a 95-91 lead and appeared to be heading for victory. However Pervan received a harsh technical, but then picked up a second one for arguing and fouled out of the game. Marvin Addy scored three of the four foul shots and Henry scored from inbound to put Westminster 96-95 ahead.
Greenan levelled the score again with a single free-throw, and Volskis looked to have given Leopards the win with a late basket, but Johnson tied the score at 98 to force a second extra period.
Four straight Fola Adeleke points at the start of the second OT period appeared to have put Leopards in charge, but Warriors refused to lie down, and it took a late score from new signing Russ Jordan to force a third extra period.
Henry gave Warriors the lead from the charity stripe with the opening play of the third overtime period, but four straight free-throws from Adeleke meant that the game was still tied going into what proved to be the final 150 seconds of the game.
Greenan scored from under the basket after grabbing an offensive rebound and after Warriors had scored three points to lead 117-115 the 18-year-old scored a pair from the foul line to level the score. Johnson put his side back into the lead for the final time with a single free-throw, but Greenan again scored from close range before grabbing a missed free-throw from Volskis and Adeleke wrapped up an incredible game from the foul line.
Leopards: H Pervan 30, L Greenan 22, C Latham-Henry 18, L Volskis 15, G Laws 15, F Adeleke 14, R Jordan 6, B Wilkinson 2, R Gilchrist, K Wood, T Webb (DNP)
2013 – LEOPARDS MAKE IT FIVE ON THE BOUNCE
Leopards made it five wins on the bounce as they won 78-60 at Leicester Warriors on Saturday afternoon .
A strong third period was the key for Robert Youngblood’s side as they improved their league record to 3-0.
Howard Crawford led the way for the Big Cats with 22 points, while Carl Josey, Ronnie Baker and Marvin Isebor (pictured) each added ten points in a balanced offensive display from the visitors .
The Big Cats led 20-17 at the first break and extended that lead to 36-29 going into the locker room at half-time.
But it was the third quarter where the win sealed at the Warriors were outscored 26-14 which included a huge dunk from Isebor as the visitors took a 62-43 lead into the final break .
And although Leicester won the fourth period 17-16 it was too late to prevent their 11th straight loss.
2019 – No joy for Leopards
Leopards produced some of their best basketball of the campaign in the first half as Hafeez Abdul drained three triples to help them into a 20-11 lead midway through the first period .
Ray Akpofure and Jerrelle Okoro also scored from downtown as Leopards went into the first break with a 30-25 lead, and skipper Chuck Duru kept them ahead with a triple early in the second quarter before repeating the trick to put his side 44-35 up at the mid-stage of the period .
Cavs’ American veteran Martelle McLemore cut the visitors’ lead to four before the ejection of the hosts’ big man Aiman Rezk who collected a personal and two technical fouls in the space of ten seconds seemed to change the game .
Abdul converted both free-throws but the Big Cats then collected a rash of fouls during the rest of the game, including a technical on injured point guard Prince Lartey as he sat on the bench .
Thames Valley finished the game on an 8-3 run, thanks mainly to American TJ Johnson, to lead 53-52 at half-time and scored the first five points of what proved to be a tough third period for Baker’s side .
Abdoulaye Sylla made it a 16-point game with a lay-up midway through the period, but the Big Cats plugged away and a single Okoro free-throw cut the deficit to 82-70 at the final break .
Leopards had one more run left in them as a pair of Abdul free-throws brought them within five at 90-85 with 4:45 on the clock but Blaine Freckleton’s trey launched a 7-0 run for the home side to effecitvely wrap up their win .
Abdul continued his league-leading scoring run with 33 points along with four rebounds, two steals, assists and blocks. Duru finished with an impressive 18 point, 14 rebound double-double and Okoro had 24 points, six boards and four assists .
McLemore led the home side with 30 points, 10 rebounds and four assists while Sylla had a massive 27 point, 23 rebound double-double, adding four assists .