By Brixton Topcats
LSBU Brixton Topcats went down 78-66 to London Leopards on Sunday, played at the Basildon Sporting Village, in a defeat which saw them slip down to eighth place in a very tight EBL1 league table.
For a long time it looked as though Brixton would come away from the game with a win. Samuel Toluwase led the offensive charge early on, which saw Brixton move to a 20-19 first quarter lead.
Defence was the emphasis again for the Topcats in the second quarter, as they held their hosts to just eight points in the quarter. Toluwase continued his offensive mission on his way to 24 points personal, with Papa Demba Kasse chipping in with some nice mid-range jump shots. The Topcats were very aware that Americans Teel and Krubally posed the main threat for the Leopards, and so coach Powlesland must have been delighted that the two players had combined for just 5 points at half time, with Brixton leading 33-27.
As the third quarter wore on, the energy Brixton expended in the first half became clear. Demba Kasse and Tom Adorian linked up well inside for some easy baskets, and Nathan Ashley hit a pair of long range shots, but Leopards hauled their way back into the game behind some better outside shooting and some aggressive offensive rebounding. After 3 quarters, the Leopards led 51-50.
This game had the makings of a classic London derby, but Brixton were unable to keep pace as the Leopards started to put daylight between them and their visitors. Brixton’s offense dried up save some good fastbreak finishes from Toluwase, whilst the hosts seemed to find the bottom of the net all too easily – with Brixton’s defence not living up to the standard set in the first half. With three minutes to play, Leopards held a ten point lead, and were able to run the clock well and see out a win which was much less comfortable than the final scoreline suggested.
Topcats next game is on Sunday 12th February against the Bradford Dragons with a 4pm start at the Brixton Recreation Centre.