Big Cats plot revenge over the Trailblazers

Steve Ogunjimi looks on as his Levett Essex Leopards team try to deal with Hemel Storm (pic: Paul Ph

Steve Ogunjimi looks on as his Levett Essex Leopards team try to deal with Hemel Storm (pic: Paul Phillips). - Credit: Archant

Steve Ogunjimi’s men looking to bounce back after frustrating last weekend

Levett Essex Leopards Ladi Brown looks to find the basket against Bradford Dragons (pic: Paul Philli

Levett Essex Leopards Ladi Brown looks to find the basket against Bradford Dragons (pic: Paul Phillips). - Credit: Archant

Levett Essex Leopards will be seeking revenge when Derby Trailblazers visit Harlow Leisurezone tomorrow (Saturday) in Division One.

Steve Ogunjimi’s team lost in controversial fashion in the previous league encounter back in November, going down 75-71.

And Trailblazers knocked Big Cats out of the National Cup at Brentwood Centre – winning 79-69. Therefore only one result will do for Leopards this weekend.

“We had every right to feel hard done by after the game up there,” said Ogunjimi.

“But the best way to put that behind us is to play the way we are capable of and get the win.”

Derby are second in the table, but it seems unlikely they’ll prevent Manchester Magic finishing as league champions.

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A tough contest will be expected by Big Cats and they will be keen to put a difficult weekend behind them.

Last Saturday saw them lose an over-time thriller with Hemel Storm 113-104.

Ladi Brown could have sealed the victory with five seconds of regulation time remaining, but missed a pair at the foul line.

Storm held on to take the game to extra time with the score 96-96 and used that momentum to complete a first ever league double over Leopards.

Will Ashby led the scoring for the visitors with 23, while England junior international Evan Walshe impressed, but Big Cats would have been frustrated to lose the 18-point advantage they once held.

The following day, they were looking to respond against Bradford Dragons.

Ogunjimi’s team once again, however, were on the wrong side of a close encounter.

Dragons proved too strong and took the match 74-70 at the Leisurezone, despite Walshe showing his ability with 13 points.

Leopards led 15-14 at the first break, but struggled to get up to speed in the second.

Only a fine Courtney Van Beest basket five seconds before half time cut the deficit to 31-25.

Brown hit a hot patch in the third and ensured Big Cats got level at 48-48 only for Storm to score the next four points to lead ahead of the final quarter.

And although Walshe levelled in the fourth, Hemel stormed ahead again and sealed the victory.