Leopards torched by Dragons’ fire

A good start wasn’t enough for Leopards at Bradford Dragons as they went down 100-85, on Sunday.
The home side had seen their place in Division One next assured as other results went their way thre previous night, and they celebrated with an ultimately comfortable win against the Big Cats.
A Lee Hodges lay-up put capped a 7-0 run by the Big Cats to give them a 22-12 lead with 100 seconds remaining in the first quarter, but the home side replied with a 16-4 tear to take control of the game.
Asante Sandiford led the visitors with 20 points before fouling out with three minutes remaining, while Findlay Wood added 19 points, four rebounds and three assists. Hodges finished with 18 points eight rebounds before joining Sandiford on the bench following a technical foul, with Sam Newman and Chuck During adding 11 points apiece.
But the Big Cats had little answer to American Ricky Fetske who finished with a 30 point, ten rebound double-double, adding six assists in a 40 minute performance.
A Hodges and-one saw Leopards open the scoring. and Hodges scored seven of the visitors’ first ten points, with Wood draining a trey before scores from Newman and Duru put them 14-7 ahead.
Duru scored from downtown before Hodges took his personal tally to 11 as Leopards went into the first break with a 22-16 lead.
Rory Winter kept the visitors ahead but a 7-0 run capped by Lycoudis’ trey saw Dragons take their first lead of the game at 26-24.
The rest of the half was nip and tuck as Wood’s outside shooting kept the Big Cats in touch, and Sandiford beat the clock with a jump shot to reduce Bradford’s lead to 47-43 going into the locker room.
Thomas Baker’s team started the second half well as Duru opened the scoring, and a trey from Newman followed by a pair of Wood baskets tied the game at 52.
But back-to-back Fetske baskets in a 8-0 run saw the Dragons take control again, and while Wood again scored from the Land of Plenty and Neman dunked to make it a three point game, Bradford finished the period strongly to lead 74-66 at the final break.
That lead grew to 14 before Newman broke the drought three minutes into the final period, but with Lycoudis twice scoring from three-point land, Dragons’ lead never dipped into single digits as they closed out the win.