Torrell Martin Doesn´t Need To Display Traffic Dunks But Shows His Taste Of Ray Allen Leading Bremerhaven Past The Fraport Skyliners 63-55

3 years ago around this time, The New England Patriots were still recovering from their surprising and disheartening Super Bowl loss to the New York Giants, Keith Simmons was starting his first season with The Deutsche Bank Skyliners and thoughts of playing the next three years in Turkey were still far away and Marcus Slaughter was learning the hard way not to eat a curry hot dog before a basketball game. Three years ago the Eisaberen Bremerhaven were in the midst of a 16 game losing streak despite strong play from Marcus Slaughter who was the top Eisbaeren scorer in their first seven games. Now in 2011, the basketball world of the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven is solid as they rest in position six whereas the Fraport Skyliners basketball world in the last four years has been as radiant as the smile of actor George Clooney, the surfing success of American Kelly Slater or the hit making of French artist David Guetta, but this season the team is going through unexpected and unwanted growing pains as their losing streak grew to five games as they let the game slip out of their hands into the bushy white claws of the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven in the fourth quarter losing 63-55. Frankfurt played a lot better than in the last games, but sometimes during losing streaks, basketball luck and lady luck don´t always mesh. “Long losing streaks are always tough and they wear down a team mentally. Losing at the end was tough, because coach prepared us well and we showed  a lot of improvement on defense. I remember going through a 13 game losing streak at Northwestern. We stuck together as a team and continued to work hard. We stayed tough and broke the streak”, stressed Skyliner guard Michael Thompson. Bremerhaven point guard Jamison Brewer who has 54 NBA games under his belt knows something about losing streaks. “I remember as a freshman at Auburn, we lost 12 games in a row and all in the last minute and three in overtime. If Frankfurt really has a team belief then they will dig down look in the mirror and come together as a unit. They have a good team and coach and if they continue to work hard, they will see positive results”, stressed Jamison Brewer. “I think that Frankfurt have a nice squad. Many teams go through a process of meshing and finding the right team chemistry. I think that Frankfurt will be fine”, warned Mike Smith.

After losing by 59 points to eight time Beko BBL champion Alba Berlin and four time Beko BBL champion Brose Baskets Bamberg, The Fraport Skyliners showed vast improvement losing only by eight points to the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven, but in the end a loss is a loss and it doesn´t help the team improve their standings position as they fell to position 16 and have a record of 2-6. The Fraport Skyliners were without their most consistent scorer Jon Leuer as they were only able to muster 55 points without his services. Skyliner captain Marius Nolte was drained after the loss and described that working for wins comes a lot harder during a losing streak. “It is depressing and frustrating how we lost this game letting the game slip out of our hands and letting Bremerhaven take control. We realize that we have to work so much harder on offense and defense, because we seem to have less luck and gifts when you are losing. We showed good play having control for three quarters, but in the end I honestly think that we had less energy which led to costly turnovers. I don´t think that we were nervous just a bit empty leading to the easy mistakes and easy baskets for Bremerhaven”, warned Skyliner captain Marius Nolte. The Eisbaeren Bremerhaven who have had big early season wins against the Artland Dragons and Alba Berlin have won four of their last five games and remain at position six with a record of 5-3. The Eisbaeren Bremerhaven didn´t play their best basketball, but great in the fourth quarter to get the victory. “A win is a win. We played sluggish in the first half, but fought back in the second half, stepped up our defense, got stops late which led to transition baskets”, stressed Bremerhaven forward Mike Smith.

Torrell Martin who played together with ex Walter Tigers Tuebingen American Michael Jenkins at Winthrop is playing his third season with the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven and has become a real fan favorite who belongs in same category with top players in the league like Dashaun Wood, Bobby Brown, Casey Jacobson or David Holston. These guys do so much for their team. Holston hit three big time bombs in the overtime win against FC Bayren Munich and Martin played a similar role in the fourth quarter getting eight points propelling his team to victory. He finished with 19 points and is a big time clutch player and doesn´t always have to thrill with traffic dunks to be successful, but can amaze with his Ray Allen type play. “I try to motivate Martin to be like Ray Allen to come off screens and use his athleticism and hit open shots”, warned Jamison Brewer. Martin excited the Bremerhaven locker room and was thrilled with the Ray Allen compliment. “Ray Allen is cool. Even if I am not making all shots, I keep shooting. I think that it is better not making all your shots, but making the shots that count most”, warned Torrell Martin. Skyliner Michael Thompson played for the first time against Martin and was impressed of the play of the South Carolina native. “Martin played a good game. He made some tough shots, but also missed some easy shots. I felt that we made it tough on him at times. But that is what great players like Martin do, find ways to score when it is most important”, added Michael Thompson. Seeing Martin hit big shots was nothing new for teammate Mike Smith. “Martin is big in every game for us. I guard him in practice every day so I am used to him making big shots. He has confidence to the roof”, warned Mike Smith.

One thing that has gnawed at the nerves of the Fraport Skyliners the last weeks has been their inability to get off to a good start , but against the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven they came out strong showing the opponent that their living room was too hot for any Polar bears to thrive in with the basketball. The Eisbaeren Bremerhaven did have two early leads of 2-0 and 4-2, but the Skyliners didn´t allow Bremerhaven to get off running and getting a big lead. Frankfurt stayed calm on offense and went on a 7-2 run to lead 11-6 as ex NBA player Jermareo Davidson got hot quick scoring on pull up jumpers over Jason Cain and Chris Mcnaughton. However that quick run by Frankfurt was quickly erased by Bremerhaven who countered with their own 5-0 run to tie the score at 11-11. Cain made a tip in and Torrell Martin dropped his first three pointer of the night. Justin Gray found his jumper quickly hitting from downtown Charlotte, but Jason Cain reacted with a coast to coast sprint finishing with a two handed dunk and Martin hit another jumper as Bremerhaven led 15-14. Davidson then hit two free throws and Jimmy Mckinney made a lay up as The Fraport Skyliners led 18-15 after one quarter. “I thought that the Skyliners front court and back court were solid. Key for them was the fast starts by Davidson and Gray”, stressed the Navarro Thompson who was in town visiting his brother Michael Thompson. “We came out aggressive on defense, executed on offense and got our big men involved early”, expressed Quantez Robertson. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 60% from the field and 33% from outside while the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven were shooting 38% from the field and 25% from outside. Bremerhaven had the 8-5 rebound edge and both teams had a high number of turnovers at six a piece.

In the second quarter, The Fraport Skyliners were able to keep control despite The Eisbaeren Bremerhaven tying the score at 18-18 with a Cain dunk who caught Frankfurt napping as he caught a Terrell Everett air ball. German national player Tim Ohlbrecht then entered the game and made a dunk as the Skyliners led 21-18.  Davidson and Gray continued to pace the Fraport Skyliners as the American forward scored on a fade away jumper and the ex Wake Forest guard scored two jumpers as the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven trailed 29-23. Despite the Fraport Skyliners having control, they were unable to go on a huge run to get that very comfortable lead as the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven continued to hang around the club house like the little brother does not being allowed to join by the older brother. Role players Jermaine Raffington and Danilo Barthel exchanged buckets as Frankfurt led 31-25. Ex Giessen 46er Zachery peacock hit a jumper as Frankfurt led only 31-27. Frankfurt could of led by a lot more had Ohlbrecht and Davidson not missed 4 free throws. The Fraport Skyliners didn´t always have fortune on this day, but then again down the stretch in the second quarter, they got big buckets from Davidson and Barthel who hit their shots with only one second remaining on the shot clock. The Eisbaeren Bremerhaven continued to hang around as they trailed only 35-32 at halftime. “Bremerhaven was getting to the free throw line too much. Frankfurt was playing good defense, but a little soft in the low post and at the boards. Davidson was still playing well and I was happy to finally see my brother Michael come into the game”, added Navarro Thompson. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 54% from the field and 38% from the three point line, while The Eisbaeren Bremerhaven were shooting 38% from the field and only 17% from the three point line. Bremerhaven had the 18-14 rebound edge and both teams had eight turnovers a piece.

The Fraport Skyliners started the third quarter with a smooth 6-0 run t lead 41-32 and have their biggest lead of the game and were benefiting off the missed shots of Bremerhaven. The Eisbaeren seemed a bit overmotivated on offense in which they were running their plays nicely, but seemed without luck at times. Bremerhaven lacked the necessary calmness on the set plays and at times looked more like 5 Torrell Martin energized bunnies. Bremerhaven continued to stay in striking range as Mcnaughton made a tip in and Martin hit a jumper over Robertson as Frankfurt led only 43-38. Mckinney then found a huge hole in the zone as he scored easily and Beko BBL rookie Mike Smith hit free throws as the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven trailed 45-40. Brewer then made two free throws and Ohlbrecht made a lay in after almost losing the ball out of bounds as Frankfurt led 47-42 shortly before the break. Martin scored on a dunk getting a nice no look pass by Jamison as the Fraport Skyliners still led 47-44 after three quarters. “The Eisbaeren came back after we led by nine points. We were missing the abilty to get a big lead again after they came back”, stressed Skyliner center Marius Nolte. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 50% from the field and 25% from the parking lot while The Eisbaeren Bremerhaven were shooting 36% from the field and 14% from the parking lot. Bremerhaven had the 27-21 rebound edge and both teams had 11 turnovers.

Despite never having a comfortable lead in the game, The Fraport Skyliners seemed to be in control of the game, but how quickly basketball games can turn was evident in the first few minutes as the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven came out of the huddle at their bench as if they had received some extra fish as they cruised out with new energy going on a 10-3 run to lead 54-49 and they would never trail again in the basketball game. Peacock started the run with a jumper from the wing, Martin hit a tough in your face jumper and scored on transition getting an extra pass from Smith, Peacock made a tip in and playmaker showed he can penetrate and score as the Fraport arena was quickly quiet as the momentum had changed hands. Frankfurt was forced to very difficult shots and it seemed like they had lost their rhythm and the basketball god was leaning on a polar bear. There was still six minutes left and the Fraport Skyliners continued to fight back as Marius Nolte scored on a lay in which didn´t look like a work of art, but was very efficient as Frankfurt trailed 54-51. Peacock then hit a jumper and Quantez Robertson made a tough lay in with his left hand falling to his left as the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven led 56-53. Martin then scored his third and fourth basket of the fourth quarter hitting  a catch and pop and getting a back door pass from Brewer for an easy lay up as the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven led 60-53 with time running down and Martin slowly breaking the back of the Skyliners. Quantez Robertson then made his second tough shot of the quarter with his left hand as the Fraport Skyliners trailed only 60-55. There still seemed to be some life, but the Skyliners missed shots and turned over the ball a few times as Chris Mcnaughton  hit three more free throws to close out the win for the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven. “We were unable to get back on transition defense and Torrell Martin got off some screens and hit easy baskets and got them going at the end”, stressed Quantez Robertson. “Key in the fourth quarter was our defense which led to easy transition baskets”, warned Bremerhaven American Mike Smith.

The Eisbaeren Bremerhaven were led by Torrell Martin with 19 points and six rebounds. Chris Mcnaughton chipped in with 11 points and five rebounds, Jason Cain produced 11 points and six rebounds and Zachery Peacock added 11 points and seven rebounds. The Fraport Skyliners were led by Jermareo Davidson with 14 points, nine rebounds and two assists and Justin Gray added 14 points and five rebounds. Jimmy Mckinney contributed 12 points, three rebounds and two assists. The FRaport Skyliners hsot 44% from the field and Bremerhaven 40% while both teams stunk it up from the parking lot as they shot for a combined 29% only. The Eisbaeren Bremerhaven led the rebounding battle 37-28 and had no turnovers in the fourth quarter ending with 11, while the Fraport Skyliners turned the ball over 4 times in the last 10 minutes finishing with 15 turnovers. All in all, the Fraport Skyliners gave  a spirited effort having too many little mistakes at the end, which can be fixed. “The turnovers and not getting back on transition defense were mental lapses that can be corrected”, warned Skyliner guard Michael Thompson. The Fraport Skyliners next play FC Bayern Munich in the Beko BBL and can go in with some confidence, because their defense seems solid, but it’s the offense that needs to be corrected something they can master since they showed enough in the pre season that they can put up  a lot of points when they want to. “If you can hold a team to 60 points, you usually think that you can win, but we scored only 55 points. We just have to score more. If you want to win, you have to score more than the opponent. It is as simple as that”, warned Skyliner guard Justin Gray.

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