Home, sweet home, for Leopards in last 32

PUBLISHED: 11:47 07 February 2008 | UPDATED: 15:39 11 May 2010

Essex & Herts Leopards

Essex & Herts Leopards

Essex & Herts Leopards 75 Cambridge Wildcats 53 Leopards reached the last 32 of the under-14 national play-offs with their impressive win over Wildcats also securing home court ­advantage. On the small court, space and time was always going to be at a p

Essex & Herts Leopards 75 Cambridge Wildcats 53

Leopards reached the last 32 of the under-14 national play-offs with their impressive win over Wildcats also securing home court ­advantage.

On the small court, space and time was always going to be at a premium, and the team that created and used the space best would control the game.

So it proved in the first quarter, as Leopards were able to develop a lead against a committed and enthusiastic Cambridge team.

The second period was a much closer affair as the Leopards stopped moving the ball well and enabled Wildcats to stifle their offence.

The third quarter followed a similar pattern, as Cambridge worked hard to limit any space and time for the hosts.

Unfortunately for Wildcats the cumulative effect of this intensity was inevitably foul trouble and fatigue.

The final quarter finally saw the Leopards increase their defensive intensity and they used this as a platform for some excellent passing and team basketball.

In this kind of rhythm the Leopards are hard to suppress and their game flowed with Cambridge wilting under the onslaught.

Once again the full bench was used by Leopards, emphasising their strength in depth.

Coach Terry Graves said: "We are once again pleased with the ­continued effort, desire and attitude of the players as they develop as individuals and as a team.

"Securing a home play-off spot was one of our main targets so to have achieved that is excellent!"

Royston youngsters Joe Graves, Neil Addison, and captain Nathan Crossman were all involved once again, with Crossman leading the way in the defensive rebounds with seven.

Graves made two assists as well as taking one offensive and defensive rebound, while Addison made two assists, one block and two offensive rebounds and four defensive rebounds.

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