With less than two weeks to Christmas, there are so many things a Beko BBL team can do on an off weekend after a hard afternoon of practice like getting a dose of the famous Frankfurt Christmas market, strolling down the Zeil shooping zone in downtown Frankfurt getting those last Christmas gifts and hoping not to be stepped on by the hordes of other shoppers or taking a quick drive down the A-3 highway to Wurzburg to watch ex Skyliner Jimmy Mckinney drop some three pointers against the Neckar Riesen Ludwigsburg. The Fraport Skyliners had already done their weekend work early destroying the New Yorker Phantoms Braunschweig 72 hours earlier and despite all the Christmas options drove down the A-5 highway to the small town of Langen to watch the kids of the Fraport Skyliners juniors try to break their three game losing streak. Marius Nolte was his usual self clapping to every big Skyliner play, Quantez Robertson was getting down funky to the music in the gym by Danzel, “Put your hands up in the air”, coaches Gordon Herbert and Klaus Perwass huddled together possibly discussing the amazing intensity that 16 year Jacob Merz brings on every play, Jacob Burtschi had a winter hat on and looked cozy warm in the slightly cool gym and the Senegalnator Aziz Ndiaye looked very dapper in a red sweater and seemed as if he had just come from a catalogue shooting. Americans, Andrew Rautins, Ramon Galloway, Jared Dubois and Germans Konstantin Klein and Stefan Illzhoefer were also present, but besides all this massive support, it somehow wasn´t able to help the Fraport Skyliners juniors as they were crushed 93-69. Injured Fraport Skyliner Quantez Robertson who is scheduled back in January and is looking better and better with his physical state had a big greeting for South Carolina native and top scorer of the game Martinis Woody, but was a bit disappointed by the performance of the Fraport Skyliners farm team. “Our Beko BBl players on the court weren´t aggressive enough. TV Langen made tough shots, but we also let them get easy buckets. I really liked Jacob Merz. He is so fast, plays great defense and gets to the rim. He kind of reminded me of myself in that he was all over the court”, smiled Quantez Robertson. TV Langen had a slim rotation, but that didn´t hinder them from getting revenge of the 85-68 loss in the first encounter in the BCM playing with intensity for the whole 40 minutes and never allowing Frankfurt to go on any big runs to get back into the game. Jermel Kennedy who was wrapped around a Canadian flag and had big eyes when mentioning that he met Andrew Rautins briefly after the game was thrilled about the performance of his team. “We only had seven guys and we rallied together and we knew that we had to get it done. Our defense tonight was good for longer periods than other games and we were better with less guys on defense than in games where we had more”, added Canadian Jermel Kennedy. “TV Langen gave a good complete team effort tonight”, stressed ex SC Rasta Vechta American David Pruett.
TV Langen was without Filmore Beck, Nico Barth and veteran Emeka Erege while the Fraport Skyliners were very well staffed with Beko BBL players Johannes Voigtmann, Danilo Barthel and Kevin Bright. Kevin Bright got Frankfurt on the board first with a runner which was matched by a jumper by ex Skyliner Benedict Nikolay. Frankfurt started with a rage as their offense was flowing and their display of ball movement was remarkable as Johannes Voigtmann followed with a dunk after getting nice extra pass from Danilo Barthel, and then the Heidelberg native connected on a high rainbow as Frankfurt led 7-2. However as is so often the case in basketball a team will suddenly go on a massive run where the opponent has no remedy for. TV Langen then went to work as American Martinis Woody scored consecutive baskets as he would be a thorn in the side of Frankfurt all night long. Voigtmann and Nicolay then traded buckets as the score was deadlocked 9-9. TV Langen had found their rhythm and had calmed down on offense and were starting to hit shots better. Frankfurt stayed with TV Langen briefly as Julian Bolke and Danilo Barthel traded buckets as the score was tied 11-11. However TV Langen closed out the first quarter with a dominating 14-2 run to lead 26-13. Woody and Kennedy hurt Frankfurt badly with their energetic play and upped the intensity more with their athletic play. Woody hit a three pointer, scored inside and Sebastian Barth scored inside. Maxime Schneider then scored coast to coast as the Frankfurt defense was too lax giving up the easiest baskets. Kennedy then crushed home back to back dunks including an ally-op dunk pass from Sebastian Barth that was the highlight play of the night. “Sebastian Barth is a really good passer and very smart player. He made the perfect pass. No other player would have made that pass that well”, added Jermel Kennedy. Barth and Oldenburg traded baskets as the first quarter ended. The story of the first quarter was the leadership and play of Woody and Kennedy who would hurt Frankfurt all night long. “Woody and Kennedy compliment each other very well. Woody pushes you to run and tire you out while Kennedy is big and exciting and uses his athletic ability well to help him score whenever he wants”, stressed American David Pruett.
In the second quarter, the Fraport Skyliners were able to chip at the TV Langen lead and got back into the game. Frankfurt did a good job getting more work done in the paint as Voigtmann scored as did Tim Oldenburg with a dunk. After Woody scored inside, it was Max Merz who hit a three pointer to cut the TV Langen lead to 30-20. After a Voigtmann lay in, it was Woody that showed again that his outside shooting is underestimated nailing a three pointer while Tim Oldenburg hit a jumper as TV Langen led 33-24. Frankfurt was doing a better job getting back into the game and were more aggressive on the offensive boards. Frankfurt then went on a mini 4-0 run as Danilo Barthel hit a tough shot while falling back while the ball took a while before it decided to fall through and Max Merz made a steal and Oldenburg finished with a dunk as TV Langen led 33-28. Woody and Kennedy then hit free throws which was met by a Kevin Bright three pointer as Frankfurt trailed 36-31. After Kennedy free throws it was Bright again with a three pointer as Frankfurt continued to fight back trailing 38-33. Johannes Richter then made a fine play inside scooping up an offensive rebound and dunking while Woody hit a step back jumper. Voigtmann and Barth traded baskets in the last minutes as TV Langen marched into halftime with the 44-37 lead. “Frankfurt found their rhythm and got back into the game. Kevin Bright hit some three pointers at the end”, stressed Jermel Kennedy. TV Langen was shooting 63% from the field and 38% from outside while the Fraport Skyliners were shooting 50% from the field and 25% from outside. Both teams had 14 rebounds a piece and six rebounds a piece.
In the third quarter, the Fraport Skyliners juniors continued their comeback and cut down the lead to four points after three quarters. The Fraport Skyliners came out of the locker room focused rushing out on a 6-0 run to cut the TV Langen lead to 44-43. 17 year old Lennart Okeke hit a step back jumper, KevinBrright hit free throws and Voigtmann made a pull up jumper. Woody then scored two buckets in a row including punishing Frankfurt getting the put back after the third chance. Frankfurt showed immense nerves and continued to stay with TV Langen as Max Merz put up the perfect pass to Voigtmann for the ally op dunk. Kennedy then made a back door pass to Woody for the easy lay up as TV Langen led 52-47. Nikolaj Vukovic who hit many big shots last season hit from down town cutting the TV Langen lead to 52-50. However everytime Frankfurt was threatening, TV Langen would hush their comeback with a big shot as Maxim Schneider showed his overall quickness going coast to coast as he had little defense to beat scoring on a lay up. Oldenburg then got a shovel pass from Max Merz as Frankfurt trailed 56-52. Schneider then found Kennedy for the dunk and Sebastian Barth drilled home a jumper. Max Merz used the last seconds on the clock with a lay in as Frankfurt trailed 60-56 after 30 minutes. “This was the slowest quarter of the game. We had a bit less intensity and let Frankfurt stay with us. We rebounded well especially our guards”, added Jermel Kennedy.
In the fourth quarter TV Langen was able to distance themselves from Frankfurt getting a comfortable ten point lead and then was able to seal the win as Sebastian Barth drew a technical foul and foul hitting four free throws and then nailing a three pointer totally breaking the back of Frankfurt. Frankfurt has the kids, but the first bucket was a kiddy kid combination of the two youngest Fraport Skyliner juniors 17 year old Lennart Okeke who found 16 year old Jacob Merz for the nifty lay in. Schneider then tested his 28% three point shooting with a bomb form the parking lot, but Max Merz then hit a perfect test book floater that Tony Parker couldn´t have done better as Frankfurt trailed only 63-60. However TV Langen then made their move going on a 10-3 run to break away and they would never look back. This run was fueled by a Bolke and Barth jumpers and Woody lay in. Voigtmann then had the opportunity to make a crushing mind blowing dunk to be remembered for weeks, but instead took the careful route dunking it softly through. Then came the real game breaker as Barth hit four free throws and drilled a three pointer home as TV Langen led 80-63. Frankfurt had nothing left as TV Langen ended the game with a 13-6 run. Kennedy and Woody hit consecutive shots while Oldenburg helped his stat line with a lay in and Woody scored his 32nd and 33rd points and Merz and Nikolay hit the last field goals of the game. “I felt that we had the game under control in the fourth quarter. The Barth free throws were important and then I told the team to get a good shot and Sebastian Barth three pointer sealed the win. They seemed to give up after that. Woody was a force in the paint the whole game”, stressed Jermel Kennedy. TV Langen was led by Martinis Woody with 33 points and ten rebounds. Sebastian Barth poured in 23 points and 10 assists. Jermel Kennedy chipped in with 16 points and benedict Nikolay added 10 points. The Fraport Skyliners were led by Johannes Voigtmann with 19 points. Tim Oldenburg had 14 points and Kevin Bright 11 points. The story of the game was the 62% field goal percentage of TV Langen and Frankfurt shot only 17% from outside. TV Langen won the rebound duel 33-28. TV Langen moves to a record of 5-7 while the Fraport Skyliners fall to 4-8.