The Artland Dragons Hold A Nasty Flame On The Treasure Beating The Deutsche Bank Skyliners 90-56 Reaching Third Place In The 2011 Top 4

At 13:30 on Top 4 final day, The Deutsche Bank Skyliners would rather have been in their hotel rooms chilling watching the Repeat of the UCONN win over Kentucky and seeing Kemba Walker flashing his Disney Land smile, dreaming about their 2011 home town summer fantasy or just playing a cute harmless prank on their room mate, but instead the gang of Gordon Herbert found themselves on the basketball court playing a meaningless constellation game for third place, which is as undesirable for a competitive player like the first day of school for a kid after the summer holidays, having to have played against the 2011 NCAA Butler team that has mowed away all of the competition so far except UCONN like a hurricane can the coast of Florida or having to go into a New York city bar as a Red Sox fan when their team is losing badly. The Deutsche Bank Skyliners still seemed to be a bit in sleep mode as they were creamed by The Artland Dragons 90-56 not reaching their goal as 2011 beko BBL cup champion, but coming home to the river Main with very sad faces in fourth place and with a whole lot of questions. “This was not a meaningless game to me, but meant a lot. You have to play each game as if it means a lot. If your going to lose at least lose with pride”, expressed Skyliner center Chris Moss. The Artland Dragons have often had very difficult games against Frankfurt and couldn´t believe what they were seeing on the court an dhow easy everything seemed. “I was very surprised how flat Frankfurt was. They had no energy at all”, witnessed Artland Dragon guard Bryan Bailey. “I don´t think it was tough playing at this time for us. We had the chance to learn from our mistakes in the Braunschweig loss, but we didn´t against Artland which was even worse”, stated Skyliner guard Dashaun Wood. “Even if you have to play at an early hour, you have to come to play”, warned Skyliner guard Jimmy Mckinney.
The Deutsche Bank Skyliners were thwarted by The New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig in getting their 2011 cup treasure, but at least they could of gotten a type of constellation prize from the treasure chest against The Artland Dragons, but were denied again but this time even more rudely as they lost by 36 points. “The Artland Dragons blew that flame all over the treasure chest not letting us to open it”, said current top scorer of the beko BBL Dashaun Wood. “Our anger didn´t allow them to get close to that treasure”, smiled Artland Dragon forward Adam Hess. The dragon in general isn´t only talented at sprouting a flame, but also other things. “We were able to hide the treasure well and they didn´t find it”, joked Bryan Bailey. It didn´t help the cause either that Dashaun Wood didn´t play as Frankfurt was without their top scorer and assist man. “It was awful being on the bench. I wanted to play very badly, but coach Herbert felt is was better to sit out not risking anything with two games coming up next weekend. My back was a little tight. If we had been in the final, I would of played”, expressed Dashaun Wood.

The fans didn´t see the duel of the beko BBL top point guards Dashaun Wood-Tyrese Rice which sort of added a sour tone to the game. “It is always great playing against a great competitor like Wood, but he was nursing an injury. You just got to do what you have to do”, added Tyrese Rice. Frankfurt had many dents in various spots of their game and mustered only 5 team assists below the game average of Wood. “We started out ok, but their depth took a toll on us. We missed Wood a lot calling plays and creating. As soon as they closed down the pain, we had nothing to fall back on”, added Skyliner center Chris Moss. “The key to the win was defending well, taking away their three pointer and rebounding well”, stressed Bryan Bailey.
The third place game started in the early afternoon as only about 40% of the arena was filled at tip off. While Frankfurt and Artland fans were already in the arena cheering their respective teams on, Bamberg and Braunschweig fans were basking in the early spring sun and enjoying brunch. Skyliner coach inserted captain Pascal Roller into the starting lineup that had the duty of barking the play signals for the resting Wood. The first quarter was a very tight affair as there were seven lead chances until the Artland Dragons broke away in the last few minutes of the quarter and would never look back. Skyliner center Chris Moss was tearing up the first quarter as he scored 10 points, but it seemed like no one really noticed as the Stechert arena was as quiet as main street in down town French Lick, Indiana in Larry Bird country. The Artland Dragons got early production from Bryan Bailey and Darren Fenn that hit jumpers and ex NBA player Robert Kurz snuck underneath for a dunk after getting fed perfectly from ex Boston College stand out Tyrese Rice. Frankfurt led 12-9 as Moss had 10 points and Jimmy Mckinney had chipped in with two free throws. Artland then went on a mini 4-0 run as Bailey hit a jumper stepping to his right and Nathan Peavy found daylight in the paint scoring. Dominik Bahiense De Mello gave Frankfurt the 14-13 lead nailing an open three pointer. Frankfurt held the lead 19-16 getting free throws from Jevohn Shepherd and De Mello. However The Artland Dragons closed out the first quarter with a 9-0 bombardment leading 25-19 after ten minutes. Artland was playing smart inside7out basketball getting outside help from Kurz and damage inside from Nathan Peavy. “Moss started out hot, but once we took that away and just let them shoot, that gave us a big advantage in the game”, expressed Bryan Bailey. The Artland Dragons were shooting 69% from the field and 50% from outside while The Deutsche Bank Skyliners were shooting 27% from the field and 25% from outside. Artland had the comfortable 11-5 rebound edge, but three turnovers while Frankfurt had none.
The 9-0 Dragons run from the end of the first quarter didn´t stop abruptly in the second quarter as it skyrocketed to an 8-0 run as The Deutsche Bank Skyliners trailed 33-19. Artland got a big three point bomb from three time beko BBL cup winner Johannes Strasser and a hoop and free throws from Peavy. Frankfurt was playing unconcentrated getting a 24 shot clock violation and Chris Moss offensive foul. Frankfurt had problems coming back into the game as they did offensive production from Mckinney and Roller in the form of jumpers, but continued to be too lax on the defensive end. Artland got points inside(Peavy), form the foul line(Rice) or from downtown(Adam Hess). The only bright spot in this phase for Frankfurt was Roller who ha dthe hot hand dropping two jumpers as Frankfurt trailed 48-32 and was trying to stay within reach and not get infected more by the lethal Artland offensive attack. Both coaches started to insert usually little used players like German Florian Hartenstein and Leo Niehbur and Herbert inserted Carl Lindbom. Skyliner center Marius Nolte closed out the second quarter with a lay in as The Artland Dragons had the commanding 52-34 lead at halftime. “The Artland Dragons were more calm and concentrated. It was apparent that Frankfurt was missing Wood very much”, commented beko BBL director Jan Pommer. “Key to our success wa sour defense. It was a big pity for Frankfurt not having Dashaun Wood”, commented Artland Dragons manager Marko Beens.The Artland Dragons were shooting 67% from the field and 50% from the three point line while The Deutsche Bank Skyliners were shooting 33% from the field and 27% from the three point line. Artland had the huge 20-11 rebound advantage, but five turnovers while Frankfurt had four turnovers.
The Deutsche Bank Skyliners started off the third quarter all right going on a 5-2 run as Roger Powell hit a three pointer and Quantez Robertson a runner as they only trailed 54-39. However the deciding moment of the game arrived next as The Artland Dragons already playing as if they would never douse their flame exploded on a 18-0 run to lead 72-39 and Frankfurt fans wondering when this Dragons nightmare in Bamberg would finally end. The strongest Dragon in this seemingly endless run was Bryan Bailey who notched eight points. He showed his overall zeal for basketball scoring inside in traffic and presenting his hot three pointer. Ex Bamberg American Darren Fenn and ex Telekom Baskets Bonn German extended the Dragons flame with two more three pointers. Frankfurt in this phase displayed wildness, the ability to miss wide open shots time in and time out again and get fouls as Marius Nolte had to exit with his fifth foul. Frankfurt closed out the third quarter with a 5-2 run as Jimmy Mckinney did all the scoring himself as The Artland Dragons led 74-44. “The key to this run was our great defense which limited their scoring which might of limited their defensive intensity”, added Dragon American Tyrese Rice. The Artland Dragons were still shooting the lights out shooting 61% from the field and 53% from the parking lot while The Deutsche Bank Skyliners were shooting 27% from the field and 24% from the parking lot. Artland still had the big rebound edge 31-21 and had eight turnovers while Frankfurt had nine turnovers.
With a 30 point deficit with 10 minutes to play, the odds of coming back and winning for The Deutsche Bank Skyliners seemed about as likely as Paris Hilton going without a mirror for at least one day. With the huge lead for a cushion 2000 cup winner Stefan Koch inserted some of his German players who rarely play like Andrej Mangold and Leo Niebuhr. They added more salt to the miserable Skyliner wound as they helped the Dragons on a 8-2 run to start the fourth quarter as Frankfurt trailed 82-46. Mangold who has nice ball handling and seems to be a Niebuhr nailed a three pointer as did Bailey. Frankfurt got some production from Mckinney with a spin move and Powell with an offensive rebound and reverse lay up. With about five minutes to go, German basketball fans saw a very rare thing as the court was occupied by 5 Artland German players. “Sometimes we will play 5 Germans against 5 Americans in practice. It was great that they all played. They just want t prove that they can play”, added Tyrese Rice. “I think that seeing 5 Germans on the court is cool for the league. I think that there are too many Americans in the league. German basketball fans want to see good basketball, but at the same time players from their country as well”, warned Adam Hess. “I was really happy for the Germans. Leo Niebuhr and Andrej Mangold help so much in practice”, stressed Johannes Strasser. The young Germans added a bit more to the Artland total as the Dragons left Bamberg happy with a 90-56 victory. “We were unable to come back in the second half, because we didn´t run our plays like we should of and just shot too much from outside”, stressed Chris Moss.”The most important thing we gained in this win against Frankfurt is that we got everyone involved. Each player had solid minutes and got better”, warned Adam Hess.
The Artland Dragons were led by Bryan Bailey with 15 points and three assists. Nathan Peavy chipped in with 13 points. Darren Fenn and Adam Hess added 10 points a piece. The Deutsche Bank Skyliners were led by Roger Powell and Jimmy Mckinney who both chipped in with 12 points a piece. Chris Moss produced 10 points and seven rebounds. This was just an ugly loss for Frankfurt as they shot miserable from the field at 30% and 22% from downtown. They got hurt badly on the boards losing the rebounding 41-30 and had a 16-28 in the points disadvantage. Dashaun Wood had a long 40 basketball minutes to watch and dissect what went wrong. “I think the only positive thing in this loss was that we were able to tie our shoes before the game. There wasn´t one area of concern in our game, but four areas. We have to execute better, rebound better on the defensive end and communicate better on offense and defense”, warned Dashaun Wood. Jimmy Mckinney went a few steps further than Wood. “We have to work on everything”, warned Jimmy Mckinney. Artland Dragon Adam Hess showed some compassion for the Frankfurt weekend. “Frankfurt has had a good season. I think losing two games like this will make them stronger and want to work harder in practice”, said Adam Hess. Before Dashaun Wood has his sights on Phoenix Hagen, he will be eyeing the 2011 NCAA final on Monday night between UCONN and Butler. “Uconn will win because of Kemba Walker. Butler will lose two years in a row”, warned Dashaun Wood. The Deutsche Bank Skyliners host Phoenix Hagen on Friday April 8th at 19:30.

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