American Jermale Jones from Birmingham of the Licher Baskets may have his first living room where he can enjoy a nice relaxed Sunday with his mom and pop in Alabama, but his current second living room is without a doubt in the Dietrich-Bonhoeffer Gym in Lich where he tries to help lead his team to victory each other weekend. However the American also enjoys visiting other basketball living rooms in the Rhein-Main area as well as in Giessen as one could really call him a Hessen basketball traveler. In the first few months he had been sighted in the Ost Halle in Giessen, the Fraport arena and in the BCM where the Fraport Skyliners Juniors play and usually with his side kick Martinis Woody of TV Langen checking out basketball. So when Jones returns back to the BCM to lace up his sneakers and battle on the court, he may not be so much a stranger because he has been inside the gym on so many occasions. This may be his third season with Lich, but so far has played only once in the BCM and that was last season where he helped the team to victory 77-61 as he contributed 10 points. All in all, Jones has a record of 2-1 and he returned back to Frankfurt to duel in the BCM as now his friend Richard Williams who he had watched a number of times in pre season and in the Fraport arena could sit back and watch him do some tricks on the court. Jones has had a solid season and arrived in the BCM averaging 15 points a game and had scored in double figures in all eight games and didn´t lie as he stated before the game that he really wanted to win here today and was as focused on the court as was NBA legend Charles Barkley back in the day who is also from the home town of Jones Birmingham as the Lich guard scored 21 points securing the win for Lich and Frankfurt suffered their second defeat in a row. After the game Jones was content about the victory and was planning to stay the night to watch the Fraport Skyliners duel the Walter Tigers Tuebingen on Sunday with his side kick Martinis Woody from TV Langen. “The BCM really feels like my living room. I am always in Frankfurt watching basketball when I am bored at home in Lich. I generally feel comfortable anywhere on the court, but especially in the BCM because it is all so familiar to me. I had the Frankfurt game on my mind all week as we had to stop this three game losing streak to build up our confidence again. With our starting point guard Deon Mcduffie out as well as our American Andre Nelson injured, I felt that I really had to step my game up”, stressed ex Lok Bernau guard Jermale Jones. Despite a furious comeback in the fourth quarter, the Fraport Skyliners could of mustered a weak smile hearing the obligatory line”you guys played so hard”, but in the end it was only the win that counted which Lich got. “I thought that we played well as a team, but we all have to give 100% and not every guy did that. I didn’t give 100% either. We have to learn to give 100% from the start. We tried to do too many difficult things instead just running our plays the way we know how”, added Fraport Skyliner Junior Lennart Okeke.
The walking wounded list isn’t only as long as Paris Hiltons Christmas wish list was as a kid, but that of the Fraport Skyliners Juniors injured and being rested list was very long as well as Kevin Bright and brothers Max and Jacob Merz were still out and Kyle Fossman, Johannes Richter and Stefan Ilzhoefer were all being rested for the game on Sunday against the Walter Tigers Tuebingen. With the weather getting colder there are those moments where one just doesn’t want to get out of bed and just stay warm and comfy under the covers as that is what it seemed like the Fraport Skyliners were doing as they were still under the covers as the Licher Basket Baehren stormed out on a 10-1 lead. Long time Lich player Viktor Klassen that is playing his 16th season with Lich and played five BBL games in the late 90s got his team on the board first with a three pointer. Jones took authority quickly scoring the next seven points with four from the free throw line and nailing a three pointer. Frankfurt hadn’t found a rhythm and were just missing shots. However Frankfurt quickly got out bed getting their offensive rolling as German Nikolaj Vukovic nailed a big three pointer, point guard Armin Musovic connected on a pull up jumper and the club did a good job getting to the free throw line as Niklas Kiel and Marius Nolte scored as all of a sudden Lich led only 10-9. Jones kept his hot scoring touch alive scoring on the fast break and making a free throw as he already was in double figures after one quarter. Frankfurt stayed on the heels of Lich down the stretch of the first quarter as 33 year old Marius Nolte took responsibility scored inside against two Lich defenders with his back to the basket. It didn´t look pretty, but it was very effective. He closed out the first quarter with a very spectacular play where he stepped up across the center line like a flashy point guard sprawled into the passing lane picked off the lass and went coast to coast for the dunk. With his office on the first floor and with a clear view onto the BCM court, the German may have picked something up form Richard Williams defense in practice while watching from above. “We stopped communicating on defense and didn’t do what coach wanted us to do in the Skyliner run”, stressed Lich guard Deon Mcduffie. The Licher Basket Baeren were shooting 25% from the field and 25% from outside while the Fraport Skyliners were shooting 36% from the field and 17% from outside. Both teams had 10 rebounds a piec3, but Lich had three turnovers and Frankfurt had ´two turnovers.
In the second quarter, the game remained tight in the first four minutes, but Lich then was able to extend their lead by 12 points at halftime. In the first quarter it was Jones that was thorn in the side of Frankfurt and in the first minutes of the second quarter it was the other American Elijah Allen from Columbus, Ohio that used his aggressiveness to his advantage scoring three straight times in the paint with the penetration. Despite his three buckets, it was Marius Nolte who stole him the show as he made a second steal at center court like a point guard and went coast to coast for the bucket. “It was amazing to see our oldest player Marius Nolte show this energy and will which I usually only knew from Tim Oldenburg. I was surprised, but happy he could make this play”, stressed Lennart Okeke. 17 year old 2014 NBBL rookie of the year Niklas Kiel tied the game at 22-22 with a nifty spin move and left handed lay in. This burst of energy from the German could have been needed in the last minutes as Frankfurt was flat and allowed the Licher Basket Baeren to end the second quarter with the momentum and a crushing 14-2 run to lead 36-24. In the run, Lich showed exceptional team play as no American scored for them. They got strong production from 31 year old Daniel Dorr that connected on two mid distance jumpers, Malte Herwig hit free throws and 22 year Eric Curth who played 24 Pro A games for BG Karlsruhe and Heidelberg nailed two three pointers from the corner. “Lich did a good job on defense not giving Frankfurt easy buckets. They did a good job attacking the rim and finding the open man”, stressed Fraport Skyliner Quantez Robbertson. “We executed very well at the end finding the open guys. It was important that we could show that we aren’t always dependent on our Americans. When we can be more dangerous with our Germans then we are more dangerous as a team”, added Lich guard Deon Mcduffie. The Licher Basket Baeren were shooting 46% from the field and 47% from the three point line while the Fraport Skyliners Juniors were shooting 32% from the field and 10% from the three point line. Lich had the 19-16 rebound edge, but 10 turnovers while Frankfurt had seven turnovers.
In the third quarter, runs were on the menu and the Licher Basket Baeren continued to have a big lead as Frankfurt was unable to put a dent into it. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors came out of the locker room very focused jumping on Lich quickly going on a 7-0 run to cut the lead to 36-31. Kiel started the run with a lay in as his quick first step was half the rent to the bucket, Vukovic then used his bread and butter his three pointer hitting nothing but net and Marius Nolte snuck inside for a reverse lay up. Lich quickly put an end to the Frankfurt run with their own 9-0 run to extend their lead to 45-31 as once again Frankfurt had a mountain to climb up in their come back attempt. In the Lich run, it was Curth who cut inside as Jonathan Malu found him with a bullet pass form the double team, Dorr scored twice and Jones made a pull up jumper. The game was very up and down as defense had taken a back seat for a few minutes. Frankfurt continued to fight, but every time they hit buckets, Lich matched their offense as the home team couldn´t really get any closer. Frankfurt went on a mini 4-0 run to cut the Lich lead to 45-35 as Kiel hit free throws and Tim Oldenburg scored inside getting a quick pass form Musovic. Lich continued to get timely production as Jones hit a pull up jumper and Curth fed Dorr with a drop a dime pass while Frankfurt got a bucket from Musovic cutting the Lich lead to 49-39, but 18 year old Vinzent Zimmer hit a last second three pointer from the corner as Frankfurt trailed 52-39 after three quarters. “We did a good job keeping the lead in the third quarter. We continued to execute and played possession by possession and just got needed stops”, stressed Jermale Jones. The Licher Basket Baeren were shooting 46% from the field and 38% from the parking lot while the Fraport Skyliners Juniors were shooting 33% from the field and 14% from the parking lot. Lich had the 30-25 rebound edge, but 15 turnovers while Frankfurt had nine turnovers.
In the fourth quarter, the Licher Basket Baeren were able to keep their comfortable lead until the last five minutes where Frankfurt started their last come back, but came up short at the end as time ran out. Just like at the begin of the third quarter, Frankfurt pulled off another quick start to the fourth quarter going on a 5-0 run to cut the Lich lead to 52-44. Okeke hit a giant three pointer and Oldenburg showed grit on the offensive glass getting a tip in. This first come back attempt by Frankfurt was squashed by Lich as they returned with a mini 4-0 run to lead 56-44 as Curth dropped a step back jumper and Ugur Kulhan connected on a jumper. After Nolte made two free throws, Jones who played at Tuskeegee(NCAA2) did some more damage hitting a three pointer and then made a runner bank shot as Lich led 61-46 and hope for Frankfurt to escape with a win dwindling. However Frankfurt had one last comeback left and the needed energy to go on a massive 13-0 run to cut the Lich advantage to only 61-59 with a minute to play. In the run, Frankfurt got big production from Tim Oldenburg that really sparked the club with his energy as he scored two buckets inside. Kiel hit a jumper and Musovic scored first and last in the run. “Frankfurt got us out of what we did best and they ran the floor and just played harder than us”, explained Jermale Jonnes. “We were 100% concentrated on defense and pressured Jones a lot. Our offense was structured and we used our chances and hit shots. We got more extra passes and shots. The way we played in this run is how we should play the whole game”, added Lennart Okeke. After a Dorr miss, Frankfurt had 40 seconds left to tie or take the lead, but German Michael Fuss coughed up the ball which led to Jermale Jones free throws and the victory. “I thought that we were too motivated on the last play. We had no options as no one was open. I feel as a team we didnt play smart on that play”, expressed Lennart Okeke. “We were all focused on that play and were thinking just one more play. Each guy dug deep on that play and kept our composure and got the needed stop”, stressed Jermale Jones. The Licher Basket Baehren were led by Jermale Jones with 21 points. Daniel Dorr produced 11 points and Eric Curth contributed 10 points. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors were led by Marius Nolte with 13 points. Tim Oldenburg Armin Musooovic and Tim Oldenburg each steered 11 points a piece. Lich finished the day shooting 45% from the field and 35% from outside while the Fraport Skyliners Juniors finished shooting 33% from the field and 18% from outside. Frankfurt won the rebound battle 38-37 and had only 10 turnovers while Lich had 19 turnovers. Despite the loss, there was as always positives to see from the Frankfurt game. “Our biggest strength was staying together and always fighting back”, stressed Lennart Okeke.