Leopards made it two wins from two Division One games as they returned from the long trip to Tees Valley Mohawks with an 82-80 victory on Saturday .
Lukas Winegarner and Will Ashby led the way with 17 points apiece, the former adding 11 rebounds for a double-double.
Dave Ajumobi, Bryon Richards and Matic Zupanc all finished with 12 points, with Ajumobi adding eight boards, and Richards and Zupanc each pulling down three rebounds .
The Big Cats were again without Lawrence Brown due to a back injury, with Courtney Van Beest’s shoulder problems also ruling him out, leading to coach Robert Youngblood making another cameo appearance to finish with two points and three boards in six first half minutes .
After good work on the offensive boards had allowed Leopards four of the first five shots, Zupanc gave them the lead with a trey, but a tight first period saw the Big Cats overturn a one point deficit after five minutes to lead 21-18 at the first break .
Winegarner opened the second period scoring but the sides were locked at 32 at the midway stage of the second half before Mohawks closed out the half on a 9-2 run to take a 43-42 lead into the locker room at half-time .
Mohawks scored the first six points of the second half to force a timeout from Youngblood and although the move worked with Albert Margai driving to the basket for a lay-up, the home side still led 54-49 after five minutes .
Margau made it a three point game at the seven minute mark in the period before a single free-throw from Ajumobi cut the hosts lead to 64-41 at the final break .
Lloyd Samuels doubled that lead with a trey to open the final period before Wingarner launched a 13-2 run with a pair at the foul line take a lead they would never lose and set up a grandstand finish .
Zupanc drained a trey with 68 seconds on the clock to put the visitors up by five heading into the final minute.
Romonn Nelson drove to the basket to make it a one points game with 20 seconds remaining before Zupanc split a pair at the foul line . Ajumobi’s woes at the foul line continues as he missed a pair but the Big Cats produced some tough defence to seal the win.
Nelson and Samuels led Mohawks with 23 points apiece with Charles Rhodes adding 17 points and Bryan Hockaday finishing with a 13 point, ten rebound double-double .