The 2008-2009 Beko BBl season was very unforgettable for the Paderborn Baskets as the team reached the playoffs almost kicking out Alba Berlin in the playoffs, Chris Ensminger made a miraculous comeback after he left Bamberg and no Beko BBl teams really wanted him except for Doug Spradley, Nino Garris returned home after three seasons in Frankfurt, Nathan Peavy was developing into a top power forward in the league, the team had to cope with the detah of American Lavelle Felton in the off season and a very small side note to these happenings were that current Fraport Skyliner captain Marius Nolte and Walter Tiger Tuebingen center Robert Ohle were teammates. They played together from the 2007-2009 seasons in Paderborn as Ohle was an inspiring U-20 national player and the two only played together in nine games, but Nolte was always able to witness his development and help him fine tune his game in practice. In the last years they played against each other not often, but Nolte usually getting the better end with wins. Ohle has started some games this season with Tuebingen, but came from the bench in the 87-75 win against the Fraport Skyliners as American Kenny Frease got hot early and never got cold. It is always a treat when the two Germans go head to head As Ohle won the game, but Nolte had six points, while Ohle had five points and six rebounds and the two have a big similarity in their game. “Ohle was a U-20 player and came late to the game. Like many young players, he wasn´t happy with his limited minutes in Paderborn and switched teams playing in Kaiserslautern and Giessen before coming to Tuebingen. He has more of a chance to play in Tuebingen. He is a physical big man that can rebound. He doesn´t really have the one on one skills, but he makes up for that playing with much energy and heart just like Marius Nolte. Nolte is quicker, but Ohle more big in the zone”, stressed basketball expert Steven Clauss. After the big win, Walter Tigers Tuebingen manager Robert Wintermantel strolled across the court enjoying the sweetness of victory and had big eyes when confronted with the name Robert Ohle. “He needs to improve on offense, but he is a very good defender and it is a plus having a player of his defensive skills coming from the bench.. He will get better on offense. Not many teams have a 209cm 120 kilo guy. We are happy to have him”, stressed Robert Wintermantal.
The Walter Tigers Tuebingen came into the game coming off a very bitter loss against 8 time Beko BBl champion Alba Belrin after making a big 15-0 run with 3.19 to play and come back from 14 points down to lead 77-76 with 13 second to play, but then see German national player Heiko Schaffartzik end the game with a game winning bucket. The Walter TIgers Tuebingen came into the game with a lot of focus and motivation and were able to up their game in the second quarter to completely plow over the Fraport Skyliners for the win. “I was afraid that we were too tired after the Alba Berlin game that cost a lot of energy. We were very motivated after that loss and did a better job to make our free throws. We increased our intensity in the second half and hit more shots. Kenny Frease gave Frankfurt a lot of problems. Every guy helped today which helped us get this win”, added Robert Wintermantel. “In the first half, the Skyliners got all the 50/50 balls. Otherwise we could have been up 10 points. We rebounded better in the second half. After we got the ten point lead in the second half, it seemed like they threw in the towel. They played hard defense with their trap ball screen, but as soon as we started to hit our shots, they got in a panic mode”, commented ex teammate of Dashaun Wood at Wright State Vaughn Duggins. The Fraport Skyliners were coming off a huge 107-102 loss at home against Phoenix Hagen were their defense had been as hidden as a chameleon in the grass and were riding a three game losing streak coming into the Tiger jungle in Tuebingen. Just like against Phoenix Hagen, the Fraport Skyliners allowed the opponent score too many points and they were able to increase their intensity on offense in the second half. “We made a few mistakes on offense and defense in the first half and I though that we clicked as a team. However in the second half, we let them get on a run and they just did enough to get us out of our game. We were never able to recover and when we made a push, they made a big play of shot to keep the lead”, added Fraport Skyliners guard Devin Gibson.
The top player of the game was American Kenny Frease who is a Beko BBL rookie and played at Xavier with NBA player Jordan Crawford. Frease has played very well the last weeks and seems to now have got used to the style of the Beko BBL. At first glance, the American from Ohio looks like the brother of ratopharm Ulm center John Bryant as they bot are wide and have curly hair, with Frease being a bit more blonde. Frease also had a habit of chewing gum like an expert as he gave the definition of chewing with his mouth open a new meaning. He finished the game with 18 points, seven rebounds, four assists and two blocks and was very humble about his own performance. “I don´t know if this was my best game, but I felt very good out there. I have to give my teammates a lot of credit for putting me in good position to score. I am just happy that we got the win”, explained Kenny Frease. The American also showed that he isn´t a one dimensional big guy, but a guy who has a craft of many tools. “Frease has a tool box in the low post. If he gets the ball there in the one on one then there will be a very good chance that he wills core or draw the foul. Many big guys don´t know when the double team comes or the cutter is there, but he sees these things very well. He is very good at passing out of the low post and finding the open man. I have seen many guys chew gum the way he has like a Michael Jordan or FC Bayern Munich head coach Svetislav Pesic, but Frease chews gum at a pace that even cows on the pasture would be envious off”, joked basketball expert Steven Clauss. “Frease and Bryant are similar. Frease may be a bit more mobile. To be honest, I didn´t notice him chewing game”, said Fraport Skyliner guard Devin Gibson.
With one day before Christmas, the mild temperatures outside made it feel more like the beginning of April then the time of year where snow and cold air rule . The Fraport Skyliners let the warm temperature fuel their offensive engine as they jumped out quick on the Walter Tigers Tuebingen leading 7-2. American Zack Peacock hit a jumper over Kenny Frease while Ted Scott returned from his injury showing that he was as sharp as could be nailing two jumpers with his quick cowboy and holster release. Duggins then scored a lay up and end one to cut the Frankfurt lead to 7-5. The Fraport Skyliners continued to play at a higher level of intensity as they went on a mini 4-0 run as their defense sparked their offense as Devin Gibson made a perfect ally op pass to Danilo Barthel, Quantez Robertson then made a steal and fed Peacock for the dunk on the fast break and the 11-5 Skyliner advantage. Then it was time for Tuebingen to go on a 6-0 run to knot the game at 11-11. Frease and Reggie reading got to the free throw line and Tyrone Nash scored inside after a nice extra pass from Frease. Frankfurt then led 17-13 as Marius Nolte scored insde as Devin Gibson found the cutting German and then scored with a pull up jumper. Duggins then scored as the Fraport Skyliners held the 17-16 lead after one quarter. “It was a very tight game. Frankfurt was shooting well from the field, but not form outside while the Tigers hadn´t found their rhythm yet”, stressed basketball expert Steven Clauss. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 47% from the field and 17% from outside while the Walter Tigers Tuebingen were shooting 33% from the field and 0% from outside. Tuebingen had the 10-6 rebound edge, but seven turnovers while Frankfurt had only four turnovers.
The second quarter remained very tight as the Fraport Skyliners had the lead early, but the Walter Tigers Tuebingen took the lead and could hold it until near the end, but Frankfurt continued to keep the game close as no team was able to break away. Fraport Skyliner Dion Dowell was extremely strong in the first few minutes nailing a three pointer and then drawing a foul behind the three point line as Frankfurt led 23-21. The Walter Tigers Tuebingen the erupted for a timely 7-0 run to lead 28-23. Josh Young and Cameron wells scored on hard penetration runs to the basket and Robert Ohle hit free throws. Frankfurt stayed on the heels of Tuebingen getting two huge three pointers from Dowell and Konstantin Klein to cut the Tuebingen lead to 30-29. “Frankfurt was spreading the floor with their three point shooting while Tuebingen was going inside. Both teams were still finding their offensive game”, added Steven Clauss. Tuebingen got a great effort form the bench and getting timely production like form German Johannes Lischka who scored on the penetration to give Tuebingen the 33-29 lead. Quantez Robertson then showed his explosiveness scoring twice in a row inside to tie the game at 33-33. After a Peacock jumper over Frease, Frease showed that he can score in bunches as well as he dunked and totally took apart the mismatch against Dowells coring with ease inside as Frankfurt trailed 38-35. Tuebingen held the lead until the last minute at 43-38, but then were met with a lightening 5-0 Frankfurt run as Ted Scott nailed a three pointer and Robertson made a steal and went coast to coast for the 43-43 tie. Then came a big play in which American Ted Scott got an unsportsmanlike conduct tearing Josh Young down from behind as he was on a breakaway. “I think that was the turning point of the game. The intention of Scott was good, but just a bit hard. I think that he should have been disqualified, but Josh said that Ted didn´t mean to do it. The fans were on Ted at every play and I think that effected him mentally, “ added Vaughn Duggins. “I don´t think that was the turning point of the game. We were playing well at that time. It was the second half where they made stops and we couldn´t get plays executed on offense that was key”, stated Fraport Skyliner guard Johnathan Jones. The score was knotted 44-44 at the intermission. “Frankfurt was shooting well, but having problems controlling Frease and the offensive rebounds. Tuebingen was playing their typical game with having six guys being able to score somewhere between 10-20 points”, commented Steven Clauss. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 52% from the field and 45% from the three point line while Tuebingen was shooting 52% from the field and 25% from the three point line. Tuebingen had the 17-12 rebound edge and 11 turnovers and Frankfurt only six turnovers.
The game stayed close in the first few minutes before the Walter Tigers Tuebingen were able to go on a run and would never look back. Reggie Redding scored consecutive buckets in the first two Tiger possessions as they led 48-44. However the Fraport Skyliners stayed strong withstanding the Tuebingen pressure on defense and going on a 6-0 run to lead 50-48. Peacock connected twice on the fast break and Scott hit free throws. However the Tigers responded going on a 13-2 run to open up the game and lead 61-52. Frease led the charge getting to the free throw line, dunking over Barthel and setting up Tyrone Nash for an easy bucket making the perfect pass out of the double team. Tuebingen was able to keep the lead as they got key baskets from Frease and Lischka while Frankfurt got support with a Dion Dowell three pointer and Peacock layup. The Walter Tigers Tuebingen had found their groove on offense and defense while the Fraport Skyliners were looking for it somewhere in the tiger jungle. “Tuebingen won the third quarter 24-13 and deserved to lead at that time. Tuebingen was playing very intelligent and were hurting Frankfurt with their switching defenses. Frankfurt had big problems trying to score against the Tuebingen zone defense”, stressed Steven Clauss. The Walter Tigers Tuebingen were shooting 55% from the field and 14% from the parking lot while the Fraport Skyliners were shooting 45% from the field and 40% from the parking lot. Tuebingen had the 25-23 rebound led and both teams had 12 turnovers as Frankfurt had six that quarter and Tuebingen none.
In the fourth quarter the question was how ell could the Walter Tigers Tuebingen conserve their lead and did the Fraport Skyliners have enough energy to stage a late rally. Tuebingen conserved their energy and Frankfurt was unable to make a push on offense or up their defense in the last quarter. Despite a three pointer form Super Tez, it was still a very difficult to contain Frease as he scored twice inside as no matter who was put to guard him no body could stop him even the young German Johannes Voigtmann. Frease continued to be in his own world as he made a hook shot getting the ball and quickly turning for the hoop. Scott then made a three pointer cutting the Tuebingen lead to 76-64. However the Walter Tigers Tuebingen then decided the game with a quick sweep of three pointers showing what they can do in little time going on a quick 9-0 run to lead 85-66 as Duggins connected for two three pointers and Lischka for one. American Johnathan Jones who didn´t play in the first half, but played 14 minutes in the second half and hit two shots at the end looked down after the game and seemed to understand that his days could be numbered in Frankfurt as he has a short term contract until January. “I understand that it is a business and at the end of the day the team will do what is best for the team”, stressed Johnathan Jones. The Fraport Skyliners lost their fourth game in a row and reside in 18th place now. “ Tuebingen was able to do what they wanted to on offense getting much support as six guys scored in double figures. Frankfurt had no real plan how to stop them on defense and never found their rhythm on offense. You never really felt a sif they were in control of game at halftime”, stressed Steven Clauss. “Our defense wasn´t as good in the first half as Peacock and Scott hit shots, but in the second half we became more aggressive, got steals and got easy points”, added Vaughn Duggins.
The Walter Tigers Tuebingen were led by Kenny Frease with 18 points. Vaughn Duggins added 17 points. Reggie Redding and Tyrone Nash contributed 12 points a piece and Josh Young and Johannes Lischka produced 10 points a piece. The Fraport Skyliners were led by Zach Peacock with 18 points. Ted Scott added 13 points and Dion Dowell 12 points. It is almost like a mystery that Frankfurt shot well at 48% form the field and 45% from downtown, but had immense problems against the Tuebingen zone. “I think that we had problems recognizing their zone since it was disguised, but after a while we were able to run our plays against it”, stressed Johnathan Jones. “We didn´t do a good job against their zone. I take responsibility”, said Devin Gibson. The Fraport Skyliners let up 87 points which compared to the Phoenix Hagen game is an improvement, but far form their average 60 points that they let up at home prior to the Hagen game. “WE are known as a defensive team and still aren´t doing what we should do. We were getting Scott back into the routine and the new guy comfortable and didn´t focus too much on defense”, explained Johnathan Jones. Frankfurt did do a good job getting 14 fast break points. The Fraport Skyliners welcome BBC Bayreuth on December 26th.