The Big Cats led from tip-to-buzzer as they snapped a five game losing streak in Division One to move up to 11th place.
Darrell Bethune marked his debut with 19 points, five assists and four rebounds (and a technical foul) but it was a good all-round team effort with six players scoring in double figures and all nine available players logging at least 13 minutes of action .
Jamie Hayes finished with 15 points, seven rebounds and another bang on the head, with Dougie Bennett and Shaq Lewis adding 14 points apiece . AJ Roberts chipped in with ten points, six rebounds and four assists, while Mike Martin was a rebound short of a double-double with ten points and four assists .
A Leopards side who were without Justin Hitchman (foot injury) and Dominic Scott-Robinson (ill) dominated on the board, our-rebounding the hosts 44-33 and built on good starts to both halves as they won at Capital City Academy for the second time this season .
Warriors’ player-coach Jon Johnson led the home side with 15 points and eight rebounds.
Bethune hit a trey to open the scoring and a pair of jump-shots from Hayes, the second leading to a three-point play, saw Leopards rush into an 8-0 lead .
Predictably the home side fought back to cut the lead to three before Hayes hit another jumper, and a score on the break from debutant Perry Lawson saw the Big Cats go into the first break 18-12 ahead .
Lewis converted a lay-up off Martin’s third assist of the game to open the second period, and both Martin and Bethune took the lead out to nine points as the visitors remained in control .
Bethune made it a 12-point game with 44 seconds remaining in the first half before Johnson cut the lead to 37-27 going into the locker room.
While that was a comfortable first half lead, it was the start to the third period which effectively wrapped up the win .
A massive alley-oop by Martin off Hayes’ assist opened the half before Bennett sunk a trey before a pair of Martin scores and another Bennett basket made it 48-29 .
Behtune and Tosin Oyelese wrapped up the 15-2 run to make it a 23-point game before Bethune drained from the Land of Plenty to send his side into the final break with a 62-37 lead having outscored hosts 25-10 in the period.
Bethune opened the final quarter with another triple before Bennett made it a 30 point game on the break and the lead never dipped below 26 before Lewis wrapped things up with a dunk on the break to send Leopards home happy.
2011 – Big Cats hammered in Bradford
Bradford Dragons 110 (24,52,82) Leopards 77 (20,40,56)
LEOPARDS crashed to their third straight league defeat as a turgid performance saw them hammered in Yorkshire, on Saturday. The Big Cats allowed Dragons to score 60 percent of their field goal attempts as poor transition defence saw Bradford repeatedly score on the break, and the hosts ran away to a comfortable victory with a 58-37 second half performance.
Vernon Teel finished with 30 points and 11 rebounds, while Ousman Krubally had 27 points, nine rebounds and five assists, but the American pair were given little support by the rest of their team-mates.
There was no clue to the heavy defeat that was to follow as Leopards raced out of the blocks, as Teel drained a pair of threes to put Leopards 6-0 up, and American guard scored the visitors’ first 11 points before Krubally got off the mark to put Leopards 13-5 ahead with just under three minutes gone. That proved to Leopards’ biggest lead of the game, and Bradford replied with an 11-2 run to take a one point lead with 3:39 on the clock, and scored the final eight points of the quarter to lead 24-20 at the first break.
Dragons extended that run to 15-0 as Vance Silcott capped the run to put his side 31-20 ahead, and the closest Leopards came in the second period was four points with 4:05 on the clock when Teel hit a pair at the foul line, before Bradford scored the last seven points of the half to lead 52-40 going into the locker room.
The lead never dropped below that in the third period, with Michal Ciesla’s basket putting them up 31 with 2:35 on the clock, and Bobby Edmunds beat the buzzer to send Bradford into the final break 82-56 ahead. The closest Leopards came in the fourth quarter was 20 points with 7:43 on the clock as Teel hit seven straight points, but coach Dejan Mihevc used the final minutes to give the youngster on the visitors’ bench some court time as the starters sat down with the following day’s Cup game in mind.
Leopards: V Teel (30), O Krubally (27), J Lister (7), J Johnson (6), Volskis (5), Z Wells (2), D Norton, J Cabey, J Lockwood, B Wilkinson, S Bublys (DNP).