As Myles Hesson went down with a toe injury in game one of the semifinals series in Goettingen one may not have seen it on the faces of his teammates, but they surely were feeling a sense of despair and some helplessness as their best player from England was being brought to a hospital for examination. How important had he been in game one and three against Science City Jena sealing crucial free throws and hitting for 29 and 31 points in game three and game four? Without the help of the important Hesson play, teammates like Steven Bennett may already have been home going to a Los Angeles Clippers game or Rob Chubb visiting his cousin Adam Chubb and new born baby in Oldenburg. Hesson was missing for game two and at times, one doesn´t know if his focused and stern expression is of happiness or sadness as his unchanging demeanor resembles that of ex Giessen fan favorite Florian Hartenstein. With Hesson on the sidelines and only real strength as a cheerleader and added assistant coach, Denis Wucherer could of really used the sudden arrivals of ex Giessen scorers David Teague or Chuck Eidson as they had been the type of players that had come up big in their time in Giessen, but instead the ex German national player was without his best player and had to make massive adjustments. After the game one wouldn´t have known if Giessen had won or lost with the expression of Hesson or how both clubs were celebrating their fans, but the absence of the Englishman really was felt as BG Goettingen grinded out a big 74-65 win. Hesson missed game two because of a toe injury and reflected on being on the sidelines. “I wish that I could of helped more on offense and defense and my points were missing. If I would have been healthy, I could of helped, but I can´t get upset about my situation, because it is something I can´t control”, stressed ex ratiopharm Ulm forward Myles Hesson. Teammate Steven Bennett was missing his partner in basketball crime and could of used the Englishman for support under the boards. “It was really tough without Myles Hesson. BG Goettingen is so physical and we were so small. There were quite a few times where we could of used him on rebounds and finishes”, warned Steven Bennett. BG Goettingen had a tremendous start and never looked back as Giessen were trailing the whole game. BG Goettingen played solid team basketball on both ends of the court. “Giessen fought so hard and really made us work for 40 minutes. They made runs and never went away. We played hard as well and just stuck together to get this win”, added ex California(NCAA) forward Harper Kamp. The Giessen 46ers continued to get wrapped up in old habits as they started off slow which has been a dilemma in the playoffs, fought the whole game, but just couldn´t get over the hump in crunch time as BG Goettingen outmuscled them for the win. “It was the first five minutes that hurt us. They had a big lead and it is tough coming back against a team like BG Goettingen. They had great ball movement and execution and did a good job crashing the boards and getting second chance points. We have to play for 40 minutes and limit their runs, but we didn´t”, stressed ex Temple(NCAA) guard TJ DiLeo.
BG Goettingen didn´t waste any time getting a big lead as they stormed out on a 14-1 lead. BG Goettingen was doing a magnificent job alternating between inside out basketball. Alex Ruoff started the run with a runner and Harper Kamp scored three buckets as he scored twice over Jonathan Malou and once over Rob Chubb as his physicality was too overwhelming for the Giessen big men. Ex Phoenix Hagen big man Dominik Spohr also connected on a three pointer. BG Goettingen continued to pour it on on the offensive end as Kamp made a left handed dunk and Spohr scored inside as BG Goettingen led 18-3. Giessen then saw a little daylight going on a 4-0 mini run as DiLeo hit an off balance shot and Malou scored inside to cut the BG Goettingen lead to 18-7. However BG Goettingen still continued to unleash the nasty offensive fire power finishing the first quarter on a 11-3 run to lead 29-10 after one quarter. American Jermaine Mallet scored inside and dropped a three pointer as did ex Duesseldorf German Marc Liyanage. “Goettingen did a good job attacking inside and out. Kamp dominated much and they made good decisions. They were very physical defensively on our pick and role not letting our wing players get free”, stressed Giessen forward Myles Hesson. BG Goettingen was shooting 69% from the field and 60% from outside while Giessen was shooting 27% form the field and 0% from outside. BG Goettingen had the 12-6 rebound edge and two turnovers while Giessen had four turnovers.
In the second quarter, BG Goettingen led by as much as 19 points, but the Giessen 46ers never hung their heads as they kept fighting and cut the lead down to 12 points at halftime. The Giessen 46ers had the better start going on a 6-2 run to cut the BG Goettingen lead to 31-16. BG Goettingen had forced Giessen to take very difficult shots in the first quarter and continued to do so in the second with the only difference now that Giessen hit more tough shots as Benjamin Lischka did connecting on a beautiful fade away shot over Kamp. Joshiko Saibou and Bennett scored inside. The Giessen offense was connecting better as shot selection was also improved. The Giessen guards DiLeo and Bennett were keeping their team in the game as they hit big shots cutting the BG Goettingen lead to 37-18. Giessen erupted with another run of 8-2 cutting the BG Goettingen lead to 39-26. Giessen head coach Denis Wucherer had his troops mix it up a bit as Rob Chubb scored inside twice getting a back door pass from Saibou and a lob pass from DiLeo. Saibou also snuck inside for an easy lay up. It continued to be the guard tandem of DiLeo and Bennett that was responsible for more big shots in the last minute as Giessen trailed only 43-31 at the break. “We defended a lot better attacking their hedge and disrupting them off the ball. We also threw two different zones at them which disrupted them. We also played more physical”, stressed Myles Hesson. BG Goettingen was shooting 46% from the field and 27% from the three point line while the Giessen 46ers were shooting 44% from the field and still 0% from the three point line at 0/5. BG Goettingen had the 23-14 rebound advantage and both clubs had five turnovers a piece.
In the third quarter the Giessen 46ers remained on the heels of BG Goettingen, but could never cut the lead under nine points. BG Goettingen guard David Godbold got BG Goettingen on the score board first with free throws. Thierno Agne and Alex Ruoff then traded buckets, but BG Goettingen still led 47-33. The Giessen guards continued to be a big plus as DiLeo and Saibou scored as BG Goettingen led 48-37. BG Goettingen heart and soul Marco Grimaldi then connected with Alex Ruoff on the fast break for an easy basket. Bennett then hit a massive three pointer as Giessen trailed BG Goettingen only 50-40. However whenever Giessen seemed to be making a dent in the BG Goettingen rhythm, they marched back on offense scoring easy baskets as Liyanage scored inside and Ruoff hit a fade away shot. Down the stretch of the third quarter, Giessen held the pressure as Lischka scored inside and German Falko Thelig showed some rare scoring power scooting into the lane like a lost Easter bunny that had been scared from Fabi the mascot. Thelig also hit the and one free throw as Giessen trailed only 58-49. Ruoff closed out the third quarter with free throws as BG Goettingen led 60-49. “We were fighting, but we missed free throws and easy lay ups. WE simply weren´t making enough shots to get closer”, added Los Angeles native Steven Bennett. BG Goettingen was shooting 45% from the field and 19% from the parking lot while the Giessen 46ers were shooting 42% from the field and 14% from the parking lot. BG Goettingen had the overwhelming 34-23 rebound edge, but 10 turnovers while Giessen had only seven turnovers.
The Giessen 46ers had one last Puff of energy in the fourth quarter cutting the BG Goettingen lead down to six points, but BG Goettingen held their composure fighting off the Giessen combat down the stretch. BG Goettingen started off the fourth quarter with a potent 8-3 run to lead 68-53 as they came out with a higher intensity than Giessen. In the run Harper Kamp made a pretty left handed hook shot taking no time to think, but releasing the ball as he got it and then made a nice give and go with Grimaldi who made the easy bucket. With time winding down, Giessen then started one last hurra exploding on a 11-3 run rampage cutting the BG Goettingen lead to 71-65. Giessen seemed to catch BG Goettingen a bit off guard as they actually increased their intensity on offense and defense. They hit shots and did the little things well like getting offensive rebounds and forcing turnovers which got them extra possessions. In the run, Saibou made a big offensive rebound and put back, DiLeo found some daylight and made a fancy finger tip role as Giessen trailed 68-58. Mallet then hit a three pointer, but Giessen kept the pressure on. Bennett made a lay in, Chubb blocked Ruoff which led to a Bennett three pointer as Giessen trailed 71-63. Saibou and Grimaldi then both missed two free throws a piece which led to a Saibou lay in. However with Giessen down six points and a minute to play, they simply ran out of time and DiLeo and Bennett missed shots and Godbold and Grimaldi sealed the BG Goettingen win with free throws. “Key at the end was that we limited our trunovers and got stops”, stressed Harper Kamp. “We were close, but not close enough. The bad start really hurt us at the end. We also didn´t hit enough three pointers in the second half”, said TJ DiLeo.
BG Goettingen was led by Harper Kamp with 17 points. Alex Ruoff added 15 points and Dominik Spohr contributed 13 points. The Giessen 46ers were led by TJ DiLeo with 16 points. Steven Bennett and Joshiko Saibou both chipped in with 14 points a piece. BG Goettingen shot 38% from the field and 19% from outside while Giessen shot 41% from the field and 15% from outside. BG Goettingen won the rebounding duel 45-35, but had 13 turnovers while Giessen had only 10 turnovers. BG Goettingen can sweep the series Friday in Goettingen and get to the final and know what to do not to have to return to Giessen. “We have a lot of confidence and we won´t let up. This is like the final series for us. We have a strong roster and will leave it on the court”, warned Harper Kamp. For Giessen, it will be the second do or die game in the playoffs and they know it won´t be easy, but anything is possible. “We have to play a full 40 minutes and not have a bad start”, warned TJ DiLeo. BG Goettingen await Giessen for game three Friday April 25th.