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Essex Leopards sink Wales in friendly

PUBLISHED: 10:20 03 January 2017

Shaq Lewis goes on the attack for Essex Leopards against Wales (pic Paul Phillips)

Shaq Lewis goes on the attack for Essex Leopards against Wales (pic Paul Phillips)

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Big Cats too strong for national side

Mike Martin on the attack for Essex Leopards against Wales (pic Paul Phillips)Mike Martin on the attack for Essex Leopards against Wales (pic Paul Phillips)

Levett Essex Leopards opened the New Year in style with a 97-62 victory against the Welsh national team last night.

A capacity crowd at Oaklands College in St Albans saw the Big Cats dominate against a Wales team who were using the game as part of their preparations for the Commonwealth Games qualifying tournament.

Coach Steve Ogunjimi was able to give all 11 players in his squad at least 14 minutes of playing time in an extended, NBA length game, with 10 of them getting on the scoresheet.

Darrell Bethune led the way for Leopards with 21 points and six assists, while Mike Martin finished with a 17-point, 12-rebound double-double.

Dougie Bennett added 16 points against a Welsh side he had faced while previously playing for Scotland, while AJ Roberts was two assists shy of a second successive triple double with 10 points and as many boards.

Tosin Oyelese had eight points to go with his 14 rebounds, as Leopards had their 25-16 first-period lead shaved to 46-38 at the midway point as Wales finished the first half strongly.

The visitors were blown away in the third quarter (25-6), before being outscored 26-18 in the fourth period as Leopards comfortably wrapped up the win.

The game was won the boards as Leopards out-rebounded the visitors 81-47, with the discrepancy allowing them to take an incredible 104 field-goal attempts.

Asa Wait led the 14-deep Welsh side with 12 points, with Daniel Welsh adding 11 and Jamie Rodwell recording a 12-rebound, 10-point double-double.

Leopards return to Brentwood to host Manchester Giants in the BBL Trophy on Friday (8pm), before Worthing Thunder visit in the National League on Sunday (4pm).


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