2015 – Revenge is sweet for Leopards
Leopards avenged their Trophy defeat by Kent Crusaders with a comfortable 68-51 road win, on Saturday. The Big Cats gave up a double-digit lead in September’s loss, but Steve Ogunjimi’s team were in no mood for a repeat at Medway Park as they led throughout the game after starting with a 9-0 run.
Ogunjimi was able to give all 12 of his roster at least eight minutes of action. That roster included debutant Connor Stuart, and the big man finished with seven points, four rebounds and two blocks in 15 minutes of action, and looks to have solved many of the Big Cats’ defensive problems.
Will Ashby led the visitors with 16 points and five rebounds, while Justin Hitchman and Ladi Brown had 11 points apiece, adding eight and six rebounds respectively. Albert Margai finished with seven assists while Tosin Oyelese added six points to his ten boards despite only playing 15 minutes.
It took Leopards over two minutes to trouble the scorers, but once brown had drained a trey they never looked back as they hit the first nine points of the game and held the hosts scoreless for over four minutes before they finally split a pair of free-throws to get on the scoreboard.
Crusaders closed the first period on a 14-5 run to cut Leopards’ lead to 20-15 at the first break but the Big Cats opened the second quarter on a 12-4 run to regain the initiative – Stuart scoring from close range within two seconds of joining the action – and they went into the locker room with a comfortable 39-26 lead.
That lead was stretched to 18 points by the midway stage of the third period before Crusaders trimmed it to 54-39 against Leopards’ bench going into the final break.
With the starters returning to the action they effectively wrapped up the game by increasing the lead to 61-45 with five minutes remaining and the lead peaked at 66-46 as they closed out their third league win of the campaign.
England junior international Josh Foulds led the hosts with 17 points and seven rebounds, but Jack Burnell – who had caused the Big Cats so many problems in September’s loss – was limited to four points on a night when his three point shot just wouldn’t drop.
2004 – United loss for Leopards