It was a fairly mild winter evening back on December 14, 2013 and ex Fraport Skyliner Jacob Burtschi was in Langen on a free Saturday night supporting his teammates when the Fraport Skyliners Juniors entered the Georg Sehring gym in Langen to do battle against TV Langen in a seemingly one sided contest as head coach Eric Detlef had future German national players Danilo Barthel,and Johannes Voigtmann in the lineup as well as ex NCAA Vanderbilt player Kevin Bright who still had visions of his Kevin the light is bright evening a few weeks earlier against Ludwigsburg where he sunk six three pointers 23 Kilometers north in the Fraport arena. However the one sided event happened, but not for Frankfurt, but TV Langen as one could have bet that pigs would enter the gym at their own power and people would have believed that more than TV Langen actually leaving their living room with a 24 point win. TV Langen crushed the Fraport Skyliners Juniors 93-69 as Martinis Woody shocked Frankfurt with 33 points and made Barthel and Voigtmann feel about 20 cm instead of their powering 208cm and 210cm. Even the presence and support of Oklahoma native Burtschi couldn´t help the Juniors on this night as focus was more the problem than skill. Barthel and Voigtman played combined 46 minutes while the other two Beko BBL players Kevin Bright and Max Merz played 58 minutes combined. The light of bright wasn´t very dim, but off as he shot only 1/7 from the parking lot Add Johannes Richter who also plays BBL as he chipped in for 14 minutes playing time. Both teams only had four players in the lineup as Frankfurt had Tim Oldenburg, Lennart Okeke while TV Langen had Martinis Woody, Maxim Schneider, Benedict Nicolay and Tom Alte that played tonight. Both teams came into the game with a 1-2 record while the Fraport Skyliners seeked revenge for their pathetic display last season while Martinis Woody wanted to have his first big game this season, but it was the Fraport Skyliners that found back to their winning ways and superb team basketball which they showed in the season opener against Weissenhorn disposing of TV Langen 69-49 as it was their best defensive performance of the season and Martinis Woody remained cold and is still trying to find his form. After the win Max Merz and Maxim Schneider remembered what had happened last time when both teams played in Langen as Frankfurt was embarrassed. “Last season in Langen, we had all our players, but weren´t prepared. Langen had a very good day and we lost badly. We didn´t want to leave the gym like that again tonight. We had some bad phases, but all in all it was a very good game for us. We played very good defense from the start and carried it through until the end. We also did a lot better job moving the ball tonight”, stressed Fraport Skyliners Juniors point guard Max Merz. “We were surprised how Frankfurt played, but we played very well against Frankfurt last season in Langen. It was surprising though that we played so well against so many BBL players from Frankfurt”, stressed TV Langen point guard Maxim Schneider. Skyliners Juniors head coach Eric Detlef was pleased how well his team played and also had advice for too over confident teams. “It doesn´t matter in what sport, but if you aren´t ready to give your all, you won´t give anything. TV Langen came into the game last season hot and we went in easy going and we lost. Nobody had a Pro B level on that night. You have to always be ready to give your all mentally. Tonight we played well in the first half, but just didn´t hit any shots. We defended well and made good decisions. I told the guys to keep shooting. In the second half, we defended the pick and role better, hit shots while TV Langen missed easy shots”, explained Eric Detlef.
The Fraport Skyliners were thrilled to have shooter Nikolaj Vukovic back in the lineup after he had had problems with his thumb and missed the first three games of the season. TV Langen was coming of a bitter 72-69 loss in Lich where they had produced 12 turnovers more, but only lost by three points while the Fraport Skyliners had lost in Iserlohn with76-59. Eric Detlef stressed 30 minutes before the start of the game that he was hoping that Frankfurt would find back to their old form when they clobbered Weissenhorn in the opening game 75-50 where their incredible ball movement infected the whole team and tonight he was rewarded with very good team basketball and aggressive defense that TV Langen could not get used to. Frankfurt displayed their annoying pressure defense in the first quarter holding TV Langen to only six points. Frankfurt got off to a 6-0 lead as Tim Oldenburg opened up the scoring with a one handed dunk as he freed himself from Woody, and Merz and Oldenburg followed with free throws. The first quarter was rather sloppy as both teams were hit with untimely turnovers as often the turnovers came through bad decisions. TV Langen came back as they went on a mini 4-0 run as Michigan native Nick Freer hit a mid distance jumper and Filmore Beck made a tip in on the third try. The turnovers kept coming and the points less and less. Tim Oldenburg then made about the easiest put back ever as he was totally free in front of the Langen bucket. Beck then made an off balance jumper to cut the Frankfurt lead to 8-6. Frankfurt closed out the first quarter with a mini 4-0 run as Oldenburg made a jumper and Marius Nolte who played 242 Beko BBL games made free throws. “This was a derby, so I think both teams were a bit excited which led to so many turnovers. Frankfurt defended very well and really doubled Woody well”, stressed injured Fraport Skyliner Junior Jakob Merz. Frankfurt was shooting 29% from the field and 0% from outside while TV Langen was shooting 23% from the field and 0% from outside. Frankfurt had the 14-8 rebound advantage and both teams had eight turnovers.
In the second quarter, the Fraport Skyliners held the lead, but TV Langen slowly found their rhythm and got closer and closer as halftime drew nearer. After 17 year old 207cm power forward Niklas Kiel gave Frankfurt the 13-6 lead sinking one free throw, it was TV Langen that went on a mini 4-0 run as their two imports scored. Woody nailed his first bucket and Freer also scored inside as Frankfurt led 13-10. Then came a very strong phase from young Frankfurt German Lennart Okeke who made two fascinating extra passes to Oldenburg as he finished with a two handed dunk on one of them as Frankfurt led 17-13. Nick Freer kept TV Langen in the game remaining very aggressive on offense nailing a few jumpers cutting the Frankfurt lead to 19-15. After missing some easy open three pointers in the first quarter, Alaska native Kyle Fossman who was playing his first professional game in front of the eyes of his dad nailed a three pointer. Oldenburg dropped a jumper from the corner as Frankfurt led 24-27. TV Langen took advantage of unneeded Frankfurt fouls as Tom Alte got to the free throw line twice cutting the Frankfurt lead to 24-19. Then it Was Max Merz who surprisingly got much playing time against TV Langen as he had to depart early Sunday morning for a 5 hour car ride and 3 pm game with the Fraport Skyliners against Bremerhaven as he nailed a high floater that hit the top of the back board and fell in the cup for the 26-19 Frankfurt advantage. Freer and Richter hit free throws in the last minute, but it was 30 year old TV Langen role player Cedric Quarshie who nailed a three pointer with 5 seconds to play as Frankfurt had the tight 27-24 lead at half time. “It might only have been a three point lead, but Frankfurt was clearly the better team. Frankfurt played very good against the zone while TV Langen got free throws because of dumb Frankfurt mistakes. Okeke played very well. He helps us most on defense putting unending pressure on the guards. He is such an unselfish player and just a team player”, added Jakob Merz. Frankfurt was shooting 36% from the field and 14% from the three point line while TV Langen was shooting 3% from the field and 14% from the three point line. Frankfurt had the 22-17 rebound edge and 10 turnovers while TV Langen had 11 turnovers.
In the third quarter, the Fraport Skyliners Juniors broke the game open going on a huge run and deciding the game. After Freer started the second half with a free throw, it was Lennart Okeke who nailed home a three pointer as Frankfurt led 30-25. Woody who was shut down well from Frankfurt scored inside as Schneider fed him nicely as TV Langen trailed 30-27. Kiel and Jan Moritz Overdick then traded buckets as TV Langen clung on the door step of Frankfurt 32-29. However then Frankfurt marched on a 19-3 run to lead 51-34. In the run, Frankfurt continued to hit their shots very consistently and TV Langen couldn´t get anything going on offense. In the Frankfurt run, Kyle Fossman kept melting Alaska icicles in thought with his hot scorching shooting, Marius Nolte was a real force and showed his presence inside as Woody couldn´t contain the Paderborn native as he scored twice as did Max Merz who once showed beautiful tip toeing ability dancing by Quarshie. Before TV Langen really knew what had happed the Fraport Skyliners led 51-34 and the first TV Langen fans were wondering what football surprises were in store in the Saturday night ZDF sports show. TV Langen continued to miss and miss as bricks were on the menu while head coach Kostic also gave his youth extended minutes. “We slept at the start of the third quarter. We just didn´t come to terms with the aggressive pressure defense from Frankfurt. Fossman hit a few jumpers and they were gone”, added Maxim Schneider. “We started to hit more open shots than in the first half and kept defending aggressively and one could see that we wanted to win the game”, stressed Max Merz. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 44% from the field and 31% from the parking lot while TV Langen was shooting 30% from the field and 14% from the parking lot. Frankfurt had the 32-22 rebound lead and both teams had 13 turnovers a piece.
It is no secret that at any level in basketball, exerting energy and coming back hurt the team trailing. TV Langen couldn´t go on a run in the fourth quarter and easily lost the fourth quarter 18-10. Frankfurt continued where they left off in the third quarter jumping out on a 11-4 run to lead 62-41. Frankfurt kept dropping three pointers at regularity as ex Fraport Skyliners Andrew Rautins did in practice and games as Fossman and Okeke hit from outside. Richter also scored inside and Merz hit free throws. Young German Jan Moritz Overdick who is 17 years old and 207cm showed that he can hit from outside and also did a fine job getting to the free throw line for TV Langen. Frankfurt kept keeping Woody away from the bucket and down the stretch, Richter scored and Marius Nolte took his bread and butter to work as he scored inside twice. Frankfurt closed out the game and kept TV Langen to their lowest point total of the season at 49 points. “I don´t think that we were tired at the end. Frankfurt just took us out of the game early and we couldn´t react. We weren´t motivated enough to come back”, stressed Maxim Schneider. “TV Langen played their youth and we had a lot of experience on the court and it was obvious that we wouldn´t give this game out of our hands”, expressed Max Merz.
The Fraport Skyliners were led by Kyle Fossman and Tim Oldenburg with 14 points a piece. Max Merz added 11 points, four rebounds and five assists. TV Langen was led by Nick Freer with 16 points. Martinis Woody continues to be a riddle as he was kept under his season average of 8,0ppg with 7,0ppg. “Teams are doubling him and not letting him get the ball. WE aren´t getting him the ball and penetrating as much as we would like. We have to improve this and get him the ball in good situations. We also have to play more as a team and talk more on defense and just hustle”, warned Maxim Schneider. Frankfurt shot 44% from the field and 33% from outside while TV Langen shot 32% from the field and 17% from outside. Frankfurt won the rebounding duel 39-29 and had 17 turnovers while TV Langen had 18 turnovers. Frankfurt hopes that they can take this current level into the next games and not get back to bad habits against Wurzburg and Iserlohn. “We are a young team and it isn´t easy to be consistent. We want to keep this level, but it is important that we continue to play with heart and just work hard”, explained Max Merz.