Hernandez leads way for Leopards
PUBLISHED: 08:16 13 November 2012
Big Cats hold on for victory
Greg Hernandez led the way with a 21-point, 15-rebound double-double as Leopards won a tight game 62-59 against Leicester Warriors last night.
The Big Cats survived a late comeback from the visitors before wrapping up the Division One points.
Taner Adu added 17 points and four assists, while Carl Josey chipped in with ten points and five rebounds.
Player-coach Robert Youngblood only managed one point, but added seven assists, nine rebounds and four blocks in 25 minutes of action.
Leopards started slowly, with only Adu getting on the scoresheet as Warriors built a 14-4 lead after six and a half minutes.
Adu doubled his tally to bring the Big Cats within six before Hernandez picked up the scoring mantle, hitting five straight points including an and-one as the Leicester lead was reduced to 14-13 at the first break.
Simon Cummings and Lawrence Brown extended the run to 13-0 to put Leopards up by three points before Emile Hopkins broke the tear.
Scores from Josey and Hernandez kept Leopards in front, but it was Eugene Pettaway who scored the final basket of a low-scoring half to cut the hosts lead to 27-26 going into the locker room.
Cummings hit a single free-throw to open the second half before Josey buried a trey and Adu made it a seven-point game with 7:28 on the clock.
The Big Cats remained in control, and Josey again scored from downtown to put them 49-38 up with 1:31 remaining in the third period, only to see Warriors score the final four points of the stanza to make it a seven-point game going into the final break.
Adu opened the fourth period scoring before Warriors hit six straight points to cut the lead to three.
Youngblood’s assist to Cummings put his side up by five with as many minutes remaining, but Warriors again hit back as Pettaway sunk two baskets in a 6-0 run to put the visitors 54-53 ahead with 3:43 on the clock.
Leopards’ two Americans sparked the run which finally wrapped up the win as Hernandez scored either side of a Cummings basket and a Youngblood block, before Adu completed the 8-0 run to put the Big Cats 61-54 ahead with 87 seconds remaining.
Elliot Sentance drained a three and Pettaway scored a pair at the line as Warriors had one last run, but Youngblood broke the run to wrap up the win.
The Big Cats are without a game this weekend and return to Basildon Sporting Village on Sunday week (November 25) when Hemel Storm are the visitors.