With 2014 only a few days away, many people are already looking forward to the new year as they like to say in Germany, another year new luck. Some are already looking forward to the 2014 winter Olympics in Sochi, if Lebron James can win the triple with the Miami Heat or where the new year will go scandal wise for Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus and Lamar Odom. However there still are a few more days until the new year and if there was one thing a basketball fan was looking forward to in this game were the interesting and spectacular duels on the court between the Fraport Skyliners and SC Rasta Vechta. Some duels worth seeing were Richie Williams-Konstantin Klein or German Veteran Dirk Madrich who seems like he has been around 20 years, but is actually only 30 years old vs German wunderkind Johannes Voigtmann, but the most intense duel of the day would have the three e´s!!!!! of energetic, electrifying or explosive with Danilo Barthel battling Brandon Bowmann. They have one thing in common in that Barthel has shown that white men can jump and Bowmann is from Santa Monica, California where the famous white me cant jump movie was filmed. When these guys get going, fans can see a spectacular dunking clinic where neither would take any prisoners and who can forget Bowmanns dunk over Sean Finn when he played for Bonn. Bowmann is a good shooter and quick runner, can score in traffic or create his shot from the dribble. Goes well to the offensive rebounds,has a great leaping ability. Bowmann had the advantage on offense and has more experience and Barthel had the advantage on defense. Both guys came to duel against each other for the first time and saw length, agility and Wesley Snipes in the body of Brandon Bowmann take on height, brute, crazy white athleticism and Woody Harrelson in the body of Danilo Barthel, but only one player left the court as winner and that was the Heidelberg native Mr Danilo white men can jump Barthel as he helped the Fraport Skyliners eke out an ugly 70-67 win against SC Rasta Vechta. Having two freaky athletic dudes like Barthel and Bowmann on the court, one would suspect dunkings all night long and as frequently as new ford sedans popping up on the production line in Detroits factories, but instead neither had dunkings, but saw Bowmann playing on the perimeter and Barthel jumping a lot, but not finishing and the American also played more the three position. “Bowmann was more in the post and guarding guards and trying to apply havoc. Barthel hit the ground hard in the third quarter and might have rethought some things on the court, but he fought against it and still had a good game. They had flights to the hoop, but just couldn´t finish. We rather take no dunks and a win than some dunks and no win”, smiled injured Fraport Skyliner Jacob Burtschi. Brandon Bowmann hit some big shots in the game, but wasn´t unhappy that he didn´t dunk. “I played more the three tonight, but did go against Barthel a few times. He is pretty athletic, can jump and likes to attack the basket. It is kind of a surprise that neither of us dunked, since I have had a dunk in almost every game. However I have switched my tactic around a bit playing more on the perimeter. I have had problems getting to the rim, and am more effective shooting”, stressed Brandon Bowmann.
If you didn´t watch the game and studied the box score later one would have expected a Andrew Rautins or Richard Williams as top scorer, but even more surprised to see ex Pro B player Jacob Doerksen lead all scorers with 19 points. When you see Doerksen on the court, he looks like a pretty boy version of NBA legend Larry Bird who no one would ever think he could jump, but boy can the Vancouver native shoot. One should never judge a shot if it is unorthodox which his was, but only he knows the secret of hitting shots. Doerksen is one of a handful of rare players which SC Rasta Vechta has many of who have come from the German Pro B to make the step to the Beko BBL via the German Pro A. His teammates Richard Williams and AJ Rudowitz have followed his rare course and have made an impact in the Beko BBL. Doerksen hit big shots, made smart plays, helped out under the basket scooping up five offensive rebounds and responded on defense with steals and a block. After the game, he didn´t have much to say as being top scorer in the game, but added he was also top Canadian scorer with a wink, but would rather have taken the team win. It has been a long way for him, but hard work has been his focus his whole life to get to where he is now. “It is true what my teammates say that I have a big heart. I was never the most skilled as a kid and in whatever sport I played, I always had to work harder than the other kid to be successful. I think that I am very lucky to be able to play in the Beko BBL. I think that having been successful with Hannover helped me get to Vechta and our strong season last year and the fact that they believed in me and keeping me was important. I think that my game has been successful in this league because I always stay focused and always scout my opponents. I never fear them, but just respect them a bit more. I always have to give more effort than my defender to be successful”, stressed Jacob Doerksen. His teammate Richard Williams who looks like a little like a small teddy bear knows where Doerksen is on the court at all times and likes to slip him quick shovel passes under the hoop has played with him since their days in Hannover and ha sonly the highest respect for the third top scorer in the Pro B in 2012. “When you see Jacob for the first time, he would be the last guy you would pick for the street ball team. He is smart, crafty and outworks his opponent for 40 minutes. He never allows his defender to take a break”, commented California native Richard Williams. “He might have an unorthodox shot, but they usually go in. You can´t complain about that”, said SC Rasta Vechta American Dylan Talley.
The Fraport Skyliners came into the game in eighth place and reeling off a historical 108-102 triple OT win in Ulm as well as having to come back from Christmas break and possibly not having digested their Christmas turkey so well, but despite the circumstances of how SC Rasta Vechta played, they had strong nerves at the end and somehow put on their beautiful face masks covering the ugliness of the SC Rasta Vechta play and being able to win their second game in a row. After the win, German Konstantin Klein was very choosy with his words to describe the win and one could sense how relived he was winning a second tight game in a row. “This was an exciting game for the fans as SC Rasta Vechta never gave up. It wasn´t one of our most consistent games, but we also fought until the end. These are the type of games where you are lucky to win. It wasn´t easy playing without Jacob Burtschi as we made more mistakes. This was good experience for us young German players. We can keep growing throughout the season with games like this”, warned Fraport Skyliner guard Konstantin Klein. SC Rasta came into the game in 16th place and known as a scrappy team that fights until the bitter end and also had lost three tight games by not more than six points combined. They fought hard until the end against the Fraport Skyliners, but let Frankfurt take control of the game taking a small lead, fighting back again and then playing lotto in the last 20 seconds opting not to foul, getting the ball back with a few seconds and then coughing up the ball. It was the little things as well that cost them the game even if their aggressive play caused the game to be ugly. “It was an ugly game, because we played great defense. We forced them to do ugly things. It was one or two plays that made a big difference. We came back at the end after they had taken a seven point lead, but it was a little too late”, added SC Rasta Vechta point guard Richard Williams.
The Fraport arena is usually sold out when big name teams like Munich, Bambegr and Berlin enter the living room, but who would have thought that 5,002 people would come for the SC Rasta Vechta game. Andy Rautins was captain for the first time as other captains Marius Nolte, Quantez Robertson and Jacob Burtschi were all idle on account of injuries. SC Rasta Vechta were without American Dylan Talley. The Fraport Skyliners got off to a great start taking a 6-2 lead as ex NBA player Andrew Rautins connected with a three pointer and jumper. Frankfurt was making life very difficult for SC Rasta Vechta to get into their sets and help defense was punishing and cruel for the big men. However SC Rasta Vechta did whatever they could and somehow went on a 7-3 run as it was Canadian Jacob Doerksen who produced a runner and three pointer to tie the game at 9-9. Klein connected on his second three pointer, but it was Doerksen again that nailed a three pointer for the 12-12 game. One guy who was a nasty thorn in the side of Frankfurt was Richard Williams who could duel in a quick hands contest with ex Skyliner Devin Gibson who was given the nickname Edward Scissor hands for his great ability for creating disruption in passing lanes as well as in the guard play of the opponent. Williams made his third steal of the first quarter went coast to coast for the lay up and the next time down hit a step back jumper in the lane as SC Rasta Vechta led 16-14. Galloway then tied the score at 16-16 with a jumper and Brandon Bowmann and Jarred Dubois ended the first quarter with three pointers as the game was knotted 19-19. “Williams did a good job on Rautins after he hit shots early so other guys stepped up like Klein who hit some big shots”, said Jacob Burtschi. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 17% from the two point range and 57% from outside while SC Rasta Vechta was shooting 50% from the two point range and 38% from outside. SC Rasta Vechta had the 10-8 rebound edge and both teams had five turnovers a piece.
The Fraport Skyliners cruised out on a 5-0 run to start the second quarter as Danilo Barthel scored over 208cm 294 pound Georgia native Issac Butts. Dubois then connected on his second straight three pointer as the Fraport Skyliners led 24-19. Frankfurt kept up the offensive consistency and Ramon Galloway scored a layup in traffic high off the glass and ex Vanderbilt German Kevin Bright got a belated extra Christmas gift as he scored a three pointer that bounced on the rim before entering the net. Despite the 29-21 lead, one stat that was quite shocking were the already six turnovers of Andrew Rautins. On this day, it seemed like Rautins was playing in the same league as NBA legend in the making Kobe Bryant in coughing up the ball who had 30 turnovers in his first five games in the NBA after his injury recently. Rautins would finish with eight turnovers likely a game he wont forget so soon. “It was one of those games for him. He tried to squeeze some passes through that didn´t work”, explained Oklahoma native Jacob Burtschi. Frankfurt let SC Rasta Vechta remain in the game with just uninspiring play, many unneeded turnovers and just a lack of team play. This allowed SC Rasta Vechta to go on a 9-2 run to cut the Frankfurt lead to 31-30. Bowmann hit some jumpers, while Richard Mr slick hands Williams had another steal and scored on a pull up jumper and Rashad Bishop also scored inside. Both teams got five team fouls early and both teams got to the free throw line often as guys like Barthel, Doerksen, Dubois and Merz hit free throws. Doerksen and Dubois ended the second quarter with three pointers, but the Fraport Skyliners still led 42-39. “The game went back and forth and they did a good job fighting back. It was a type of game where they didn´t let us get too far away. Kevin Bright hit some big shots that allowed us to keep the lead”, stated ex Phoenix Hagen forward Jacob Burtschi. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 44% from the field and 58% from the three point line while SC Rasta Vechta were shooting 40% from the field and 38% from the three point line. The rebound battle was tied at 18-18 and Frankfurt had ten turnovers while SC Rasta Vechta had eight turnovers.
The third quarter gave the word UGLY a new meaning as both teams did so much except scoring on a consistent rate. Jacob Doerksen started off the scoring with a running hook and Johannes Voigtmann scored inside after hauling in a lob pass from Barthel and Dirk Madrich had two free throws as the game was tied at 44-44. For the next three-four minutes, no team scored as turnover after turnover and hurried shot after hurried shot dominated the game. Williams helped his steal stat line and Danilo Barthel hit the floor hard, was slow to get up, but when he was up got right back to playing. The Fraport Skyliners seemed to loose much mental focus in this time and were lucky that SC Rasta Vechta couldn´t get anything going. After Voigtmann and Bowmann exchanged free throws, it was finally time for Andrew Rautins to hit a big shot as he dropped a three pointer as Frankfurt led 49-46. Bowmann then connected on free throws and Issac Butts made a turn around shot as the game remained tight 49-49. SC Rasta Vechta coach Pat Elzie then inserted little used German Axel Jarchow who played only 3,38 in the game, but made the most of his time making a lay up from the base line and Germna Flavio Stuckeman and Ramon Galloway made free throws, but SC Rasta Vechta led 53-51. “This was a very slow quarter and it went back and forth as no team could take a big lead. We were very sloppy on offense which was key for us not getting something going”, stated ex Bremerhaven foreward Jacob Burtschi. SC Rasta Vechta were shooting 34% from the field and 29% from the parking lot while the Fraport Skyliners were shooting 38% from the field and 42% from the parking lot. Frankfurt had the 30-28 rebound edge, but 17 turnovers while SC Rasta Vechta had 10 turnovers.
SC Rasta Vechta held on to the lead in the first minutes of the fourth quarter by five points, but the Fraport Skyliners made a run and took the lead by eight points only to see SC Rasta Vechta cut the lead to one point, but the clock at the end came between their comeback. Isaac Butts starter the fourth quarter with a free throw and Brandon Bowmann hit a one handed shot in the lane as SC Rasta Vechta led 56-51. The Fraport Skyliners made their move then going on a 15-2 run to lead 66-58 as they were able to display their best and most productive offense of the evening. Jarred Dubois hit a big pull up jumper and Frankfurt than was aided by a SC Rasta Vechta unsportsmanlike conduct foul as Klein hit free throws and then punished SC Rasta Vechta with a three pointer. German Flavio Stuckemann then connected on a jumper from the corner to tie the game at 58-58. Dubois then got to the free throw line and as in Ulm, Johannes Voigtmann hit big shots with a mid distance shot and lay in as SC Rasta Vechta trailed 66-58. SC Rasta Vechta continued to fight and took advantage of some costly Skyliner turnovers on the sideline and Bishop and Doerksen connecting inside cutting the Frankfurt lead to 68-64. With one minute to play Barthel made a monster block on Doerksen, but then coughed up the ball which SC Rasta Vechta took advantage of as Williams dished out his eighth assist of the night scooping the ball to STuckemann that nailed another big shot from the parking lot as Frankfurt led only 68-67. Frankfurt had the ball with 22 seconds to play and a difference of two seconds to shot clock and normal clock, but SC Rasta Vechta didn´t foul getting a stop, but then turning the ball over. On the ensuing inbounds play with 0,5 seconds to play, Voigtmann was fouled and he made two free throws to end the game at 70-67. “We fought very hard at the end, but mental lapses cost us the game”, stated ex Telekom Baskets Bonn forward Brandon Bowmann. “I don´t know why we didn´t foul. We went for the stop and got it, but were just unlucky getting the turnover”, added Dylan Talley. “I think the refs were playing physical and let calls go. There were a few seconds difference between clocks. We came up big at the end and all that counts is the win”, stressed Jacob Burtschi. The Fraport Skyliners were led by Jarred Dubois with 17 points. Konstatin Klein added 14 points and Andrew Rautins and Johannes Voigtmann chipped in with 10 points a piece. SC Rasta Vechta were led by Jacob Doerksen with 19 points. Brandon Bowmann ahd 13 points and Rashad Bishop 10 points. The Fraport Skyliners shot 40% from the field and 39% from outside while SC Rasta Vechta shot 34% from the field and 27% from outside. SC Rasta Vechta won the rebound duel 37-36 and had only 14 turnovers while Frankfurt had 21 turnovers. Despite SC Rasta Vechta winning some of the major stat categories, a game can be decided by a few small things. “It was an ugly game, we had many more turnovers, but we had big stops at the end that was the difference”, expressed Jacob Burtschi. An interesting side note to the ugly game was new medi bayreuth head coach Michael Koch watching the game with his son. After the game he was huddled in the corner of the catacombs of the Fraport arena talking with his ex player at Bonn Brandon Bowmann. Rumors are that Bowmann will follow Koch to Bayreuth.