The newly-promoted Lithuanian side were unbeaten in league games but after a quiet start, they were blown away by the Big Cats’ best performance of the season as they chalked up their third straight win .
The home side didn’t help themselves by collecting five technical fouls, although by the time T Grybauskas was ejected after picking up three T’s in under 20 seconds midway through the fourth period Steve Ogunjimi’s team were well on their way to their fifth league win of the campaign .
Lituancia scored the first two baskets of the game but Leopards’ captain Albert Margai got his side off the mark and launched a 15-2 run that saw Ladi Brown hit eight points, and the visitors never looked back .
Back-to-back scores from Connor Stuart sent the Big Cats into the first break with a 24- 13 lead and they stayed comfortably ahead throughout the second period as four straight points from both Will Ashby and Justin Hitchman saw them lead 47-30 going into the half-time lead .
The third period proved to be a tough one for the Leopards and an 11-0 run saw the hosts cut their lead to three points before Brown sunk a trey in a 7-0 run to close the quarter and send them into the final break with a 63-53 lead .
Back-to-back threes from Dougie Bennett saw the Big Cats stay ahead at the start of the fourth quarter, and although former Leopard Lukas Volskis also struck from downtown, scores from Bennett and Ashby put their side 75-61 ahead with five minutes remaining .
Any thoughts that the London side would go down quietly when Trepocka slammed Jamie Hayes into the wall behind the basket as he attempted a lay-up . It appeared to be an easy call for the referees, but Grybauskas took umbrage and got himself thrown out, and with Hayes unable to continue, Tom Martin hit four of the resulting free-throws as Leopards closed out the win on a 14-6 run .
Brown led his team with 21 points, with Hitchman finishing with 11 and both Ashby and Bennett adding ten apiece as all ten Leopards got on the scoreboard .
2008 – Leopards win in Wales
Cardiff Celts 69 (18,38,55) Leopards 89 (20,40,60)
A fine fourth period performance from point guard Lucas Volskis helped Leopards maintain their unbeaten start with a victory at Cardiff, on Saturday. Nineteen-year-old Volskis came off the bench to score 13 points in the final quarter on his way to a team-high 20 points.
Leopards rushed through the signings of American shooting guard Carl McNally, making two trips to Calais and one to Sheffield to get him registered for the game, and he rewarded them with 16 points on his debut. The Big Cats had three other players in double figures, with Bradley Wilkinson having one of his best games since joining in the summer to finish on 13 points. Gareth Laws also had 13, with Carl Latham-Henry adding 12 and Lee McCarthy adding eight.
Coach Jon Burnell had praise for Volskis: “Lukas looks like he could give us a real spark off the bench. Bradley had a really good game, as well, and if we ever get to the point of having everyone fit, we have a lot of different options.”
Despite being without Hrvoje Pervan and Robert Gilchrist, Leopards started well, with Russell Jordan opening their scoring before a pair of Laws three-pointers put them 8-7 ahead at the midway stage of the first period. McNally scored his first points in a Leopards’ vest with a pair of free-throws before a 7-2 run capped by a Chris Horrocks trey gave Cardiff a 14-12 lead.
The visitors regrouped, and with Latham-Henry scoring four points, Leopards went into the first break with a 20-18 lead. The second period proved to be nip and tuck, and despite some excellent work in the paint by Wilkinson and a Latham-Henry trey, Cardiff led 33-29 with three minutes remaining. A pair of Wilkinson free-throws launched a 9-0 run, and with Volskis adding five points, Leopards went into the half-time break with a 40-38 advantage.
Solomon Mills levelled the score for Cardiff with the first play of the second half, but Leopards replied with 6-0 run to open a 46-40 lead.
It appeared that the visitors would take control of the game at that point, but Cardiff hung in and although they were never on level terms again, it took three-pointers from Volskis, Latham-Henry and Laws to put the Big Cats ahead by five going into the final break.
Laws opened the fourth quarter scoring with a trey, only to see Nic Horrocks reply with a three-pointer at the other end.At that point Volskis took over, with a pair of three pointers split by three successful free-throws after being
With Wilkinson also adding a pair from the charity stripe in a 12-3 run, Leopards opened up a 75-61 lead with five minutes remaining. Although Miles broke their run with a three-pointer, Cardiff never had enough firepower to claw back that advantage, and they closed out the game with a 6-2 run to collect their third league win of the season.
Leopards: L Volskis 20, C McNally 16, B Wilkinson 13, G Laws 13, C Latham-Henry 12, L McCarthy 8, L Greenan 4, R Jordan 3, K Wood, R Gilchrist (DNP), T Webb (DNP).
Derby Storm 95
Adidas Greater London Leopards 118
Budweiser British Basketball League
@ Moorways Leisure Centre