Victory in Derby

Leopards avoided a potential banana skin as they progressed to the National Cup third round with a 111-99 win at Team Derby Spartans, on Sunday. The Big Cats will now travel to old rivals Westminster Warriors in the last 32, with the game expected to take place at Capital City Academy on Sunday October 13.
Leopards were pushed all the way by a Derby side expected to win Division Three North before they came good with a 22-4 run in the final four minutes to advance in a competition they have won three times. Luke Mascall-Wright completed a stunning weekend with 30 points, with Sam Newman adding 26 and Lee Hodges 21.
There was little to choose between the sides in the first period as treys from Newman, Andre Lavinier and Mascall-Wright helped them into a 22-20 lead.
Late scores from Newman and Greenan saw the Big Cats go into the locker room at the world famous Repton School lead 45-39 but for the first time this season they failed to take control of the game in the third period as a barrage of treys from M Boyd saw the home side go into the final break 78-72 ahead despite Mascall-Wright draining three triples of his own.
Despite four points apiece from Hodgess, and Rory Winter along with another Mascall-Wright trey, Thomas Baker’s team still trailed 88-83 going into the final five minutes. A pair of Newman scores from the Land of Plenty kept the visitors in touch without eating into the lead before Mascall-Wright truly broke free with 11 points in a 13-0 run to give the Big Cats a 103-95 lead. Some excellent defence on Byd by Alejandro Hernandez Batista took him out of the game and three missed foul shots from four attempts effectively ended the hosts’ resistance, before a score from Hodges and four straight foul shots by Winter ended the game as a contest, and Newman wrapped up the win with a dunk.