The German Pro A season may only be two weeks old, but so far for the Giessen 46ers the season must have felt like a trip through the Fun House at Kings Island or Magic Kingdom where patrons encounter and actively interact with various devices designed to surprise, challenge, and amuse the visitor and for some challenging to see if they make through without getting a heart attack. The fun house so far for the Giessen 46ers has been missing on the court, but the games that they have played in have served as sheer excitement as the first three games have combined been decided by only six points. They started the season at home in the not completely filled Osthalle giving the first win to new formed club Hamburg Towers as CEO and ex Skyliner legend Pascal Roller was hugging every Hamburg fan as forceful as if it had been his first win as a rookie for the Opel Skyliners in 1999. In the second game, Giessen traveled to Leverkusen and seemed as if the game would have to be decided in OT, but then little used 21 year old 180cm point guard Kai Behrman made a ¾ shot that found nothing but propelled himself to legend status with one shot while Giessen found themselves uttering the words who is kai Behrmann for days to come and last weekend, the team won a nail bitter 87-85 in Jena once again not letting their playoff opponent from last season to get any revenge for their 3-2 series loss to head coach Denis Wucherer and co. Giessen returned home and had to encounter the 26ppg average of American Levi Knutson and 16,4rpg average of American Andre Calvin and for once wanted to save their nerves and heart from another gut wrenching and close game and were rewarded with a strong fourth quarter and at the end could marvel at a convincing 72-54 win and their first season home victory was a lot tougher than what the score indicated. “We had a little too much excitement in the last weeks and this win having a cushion at the end was nice. It was small things that decided the losses against Hamburg and Leverkusen. We worked hard the last week in practice to fix things like how we share the ball. We are sharing the ball better and we know our roles better and I think it will even get better in the next weeks. This wasn´t an easy win. We hit our shots better in the fourth got on transition and just played as a team”, stressed Giessen 46er guard Cameron Wells. BV Chemnitz moved to 1-3 and never gave up sticking with Giessen for three quarters, but fell apart in the fourth quarter. “I think that we might have been fatigued a bit in the fourth quarter, but we just didn´t execute on offense. Usually when you hold a team to 72 points you win, but we just didn´t score”, warned BV Chemnitz point guard Virgil Matthews.
One of the big stories as the game progressed was the reluctance of Giessen 46er head coach to insert ex German national player Johannes Lischka who already didn´t play last weekend against Science City Jena. Apparently the ex Tuebingen forward is living in the Wucherer dog house. Apparently his approach to the game isn´t on the same page with the Giesen head coach. However Giessen did ok without Lischka even if the first quarter was a very tight affair. Americans Andre Calvin who´s hidden strength is to step behind the three point line and shoot and TJ Dileo traded bombs from outside. Wells then fed Yorman Polas behind the back for the easy lay up and Colorado native Levi Knutsen nailed a pull up jumper for the 5-5 game. Polas then got a loose ball and went coast to coast and ex BG Karlsruhe forward Andre Calvin scored inside as the game was deadlocked 7-7. Knutsen then nailed a three pointer for the 10-7 BV Chemnitz advantage while Wells scored inside as Giessen trailed 10-9. However they got the lead back as Benjamin Lischka came off the bench to rattle home a three pointer for the 12-10 Giessen lead. Dileo then got behind the slow BV Chmenitz transition defense ending the Giessen 7-0 run with a lay up and 14-12 lead. However BV Chemnitz made a mini 4-0 run as Knutsen made a pull up jumper and Calvin then finished a nifty spin move to tie the score at 14-14. Besnik Bekteshi then made free throws and Knutsen made another jumper as the first quarter ended 16-16. “Giessen was lucky to have the 16-16 score becuase BV Chmenitz wasn´t shooting well and Giessen had problems securing offensive rebounds”, stressed Giessen 46er legend Hans Hess who is the alltime Giessen game record holder at 299. The Giessen 46ers were shooting 46% from the field and 50% from outside while BV Chemnitz was shooting 41% from the field and 29% from outside. BV Chemnitz had the 10-7 rebound edge, but five turnovers while Giessen had four turnovers.
The second quarter remained tight as there were four lead changes, but at the end, the Giessen 46ers rattled off a potent 13-3 run to go into halftime with the 35-27 advantage. Walter Simon got BV Chemnitz going in the second quarter hitting a jumper and making free throws, but Giessen got buckets inside from Jonathan Malu and Benjamin Lischka as the game was 20-20. BV Chemnitz regained the lead 24-20 as ex Ehingen guard Virgil Matthwes who had been drastically cold and shut down for the first 14 minutes finally broke out of his shell finding the hole and sneaking inside for a quick lay up and making two free throws. However Giessen stormed right back going on a 5-0 run to retake the lead at 25-24 as Dileo made a steal and went coast to coast for the easy lay up and ex BV Chemnitz guard Eric Palm nailed a three pointer. The lead changes continued to flow as BV Chemnitz led again as it was Matthews again dropping a three pointer for the 27-25 lead. However Giessen now closed out the second quarter with a crushing 10-0 run to lead 35-27 at the break. Wells and Bekteshi nailed three pointers while Palm iced three free throws. “We shot a little better, but our shots weren´t coming out of a closed out set play, but were more forced. We defended very well letting up 27 points, but I would have liked to have seen more press defense”, stressed Hans Hess. “We continued to have lulls in games. We have to find away to stop this”, added Virgil Matthews. The Giessen 46ers were shooting 48% from the field and 56% from the three point line while BV Chmenitz was shooting 30% from the field and 23% from the three point line. BV Chmenitz had the 19-17 rebound advantage, but had 10 turnovers while Giessen had seven turnovers.
In the third quarter, BV Chemnitz made a comeback, but in the last few minutes lost some intensity to allow Giessen to end the third quarter with an 8-2 run and lead 49-42. BV Chemnitz went on a 13-5 run to cut the Giessen lead to 41-40. Andre Calvin got BV Chemnitz going scoring on a mid distance jumper and then finishing on the best fast break play of the evening for BV Chemnitz started by a steal from Walter Simon. Strong defense was fueling their offense. Giessen then made a nice play as forward Andre Marhold made a lob pass that 33 year Bjoern Schoo tipped home for a semi ally-op and 38-31 Giessen lead. However BV Chemnitz kept chipping away at the Giessen lead and the home team had problems adjusting to the aggressive defense of BV Chemnitz. Walter Simon was doing a good job on both ends of the court scoring on a runner and a left handed lay in cutting the Giessen lead to 41-37. “Simon is a big part of our team. He is a guy that we rely to score if the Americans don´t have their game going”, stressed Virgil Matthews. Matthews then made a steal and connected on a three pointer as Giessen suddenly only led 41-40 and for the first time in a while one could hear the neighbor breathing again as the Osthalle was quiet. However the Giessen 46ers had had enough of the BV Chemnitz run and ended the third quarter on their own 8-2 run to lead 49-42 after 30 minutes. Giessen calmed down on offense and just took good shots and made smart decisions. Palm made a runner, Benjamin Lischka shot a mid distance jumper over Calvin and Wells made a lay in with one second to go shocking BV Chemnitz at the end. “This seems to be happening all season. We get hot at the start, but then at the end let them back into the game”, stressed Virgil Matthews. “We picked up our defense at the end of the third quarter and hit big shots to get good lead again”, said Houston native Cameron Wells. The Giessen 46ers were shooting 47% from the field and 50% from the parking lot while BV Chemnitz was shooting 34% from the field and 27% from the parking lot. BV Chemnitz had the 26-25 rebound edge, but had 14 turnovers while Giessen had 13 turnovers.
In the fourth quarter the Giessen 46ers kept up the pressure and played team basketball and especially guys like Porlas and Manhold made big plays to keep BV Chemnitz at bay. Giessen started the fourth quarter with a quick mini 4-0 run to lead 53-42 as Malu hit free throws and then made the extra pass to Benjamin Lischka for the easy bucket. Simon then got a crafty back door pass from Matthews for the bucket as Giessen still led 53-45. However Giessen then went on a 12-2 run to run away with the win and led 65-47. It was in this run where Porlas and Marhold stepped up their game as Marhold registered 2 blocks on Simon and one on Calvin which fueled the offense and Porlas scored three buckets. This broke the back of BV Chemnitz. After Simon scored on a running hook shot to cut the Giessen lead to 67-52, Giessen closed out the game for good as Bekteshi and Wells scored on drives to the bucket. “We picked up our defense in the fourth quarter and got our transition game going which got us the win. Defense was our biggest strength tonight. We did a good job talking, getting in passing lanes and rebounding”, expressed Cameron Wells. “Turnovers was a big problem. I think I had something like four at the end. We are still trying to get used to each other and we have to execute better. The only good thing today was our defense and holding them to 72 points”, warned Virgil Matthews. The Giessen 46ers were led by Cameron Wells with 14 points. Yorman Polas scored 13 points and Benjamin Lischka contributed 12 points. BV Chemnitz was led by Walter Simon with 18 points. Andre Calvin registered 13 points, Levi Knutson 11 points and Virgil Matthews 10 points. Giessen finished the night shooting 48% from the field and 43% from outside while BV Chemnitz shot 33% from the field and 24% from outside. Giessen came back to win the rebound battle 36-33 and had 15 turnovers while BV Chemnitz had 19 turnovers.