If one had been out on a rare Saturday night and not had the pleasure to watch a basketball game in some gym in Germany, but rather sat through the 151 minute Batman Vs Superman the Dawn Of Justice to see if the world will be back to normal with the help of the Ben Affleck character Batman bringing the Superman character Henry Cavill back down to earth and then come home to read the unbelievable 107-38 massacre of a score in Weissenhorn, it wouldn´t have been difficult to guess that the team on the losing side would have been the Fraport Skyliners Juniors. Of course some kind of flu could have broken out with both teams, but the chance that it was the Frankfurt team was simply greater, because the Beko BBL team had been together in London, England on a 4 day team building seminar where many of the double license players that also compete for the farm team were away seeing a new way of life in the Reykjavik on the Thames. On any night when the Fraport Skyliners Juniors have all or most of their double license players on board, they can beat anyone in the league. In game one, the Fraport Skyliners Juniors were without the baby twin towers Johannes Richter and Niklas Kiel as well as Germans Tim Oldenburg, Stefan Ilzhoefer and Max Merz and Lithuanian Tomas Dimsa and together these fine six players average 76 points per game. It also didn´t help the Frankfurt cause in game one that second top scorer American Travis Thompson mustered only nine points and went one for nine from the parking lot. The Fraport Skyliners juniors now were faced with a do or die game at home and would need to win two games in a row to advance at home within 72 hours. Recently the Fraport Skyliners had a do or die game in the Fiba Europe Cup and got by Israeli team Maccabi Rishon and now their farm team wanted to follow the tradition in 2016 with continuing the positive trend and also pull a do or die win stunt and did coasting by the Weissebhorn Youngsters 77-64. The game meant a lot to Alaska native Travis Thompson who hadn´t had luck in school with these must win games and also was looking for some revenge on his terrible 1/9 shooting day in game one in Weissenhorn. “I had had my share of do or die games in college, but didn´t have too much luck in those type of games. I wasn´t ready to go home the 4,651 Miles to Alaska, but still wanted to stay here. I really like it here and my teammates”, smiled Fraport Skyliner Junior Travis Thompson. For California native Chris Anderson, he felt like Quantez Robertson as his legs got an extra workout as he logged 39.33 minutes which topped his 28 minutes from last week, but in game two with three key players missing, he was the mega work horse that really had the game in his hands at all times and did a good job in the first half keeping a depleted team close to Frankfurt. “I was definitely more tired today and I knew that I had to step up with guys missing. We battled the whole game and always had to fight back. Frankfurt has great ball movement and shot the ball very well. We played ok on defense and had our runs, but it came down to them shooting better and making the right plays to win”, added Ex university of San Diego guard Chris Anderson. Even if Fraport Skyliners Juniors head coach Eric Detlev had a smile on his face, he rather would have wanted his cute black Labrador to explain what was key to winning game two as he wasn´t pleased with the team play of Frankfurt. “It was important that we won this game so our season could continue. Weissenhorn had no pressure and it didn´t surprise me that they played with heart. We let them play with us. We will have to be a lot better in game three”, warned Eric Detlev.
In the first quarter nobody would have thought that the Fraport Skyliners Juniors had a big advantage on paper as the Weissenhorn Beko BBL license players David Kramer and Joschka Ferner were missing playing against the Giessen 46ers and ex BBL veteran Nils Mittman was also out and after 10 minutes the score was deadlocked at 22-22. Weissenhorn took the quick 5-2 lead as athletic German Marvin Omuvwie scored on a lay in and ex Finke Baskets forward Till Pape buried a three pointer as he was fed nicely by Anderson who had made a pretty crossover in traffic and then kicked it out to the big man in the corner. However Frankfurt quickly found their rhythm going on a 7-0 run to retake the 9-5 lead as 2014 NBBL rookie of the year Niklas Kiel snuck inside for a lay in, Thompson found Tim Oldenburg for a lay in and Lithuanian Tomas Dimsa nailed a three pointer. Weissenhorn knew that they could decide the series on the road and were aggressive from the get go and stopped the Frankfurt run and then ignited their own 10-3 run to retake the lead at 15-12. Weissemhorn mixed it up getting great support from big man Pape with a trey, Bjoern Rohwer running the fast break like a guard and scoring, Omuvwie hitting a floater and Nicolas Moebus a three pointer. Both teams continued to execute well on offense as Frankfurt got three pointers from Ilzhoefer and Thompson and Weissenhorn from Omuvwie. Both teams then closed out the first quarter with 4-0 runs as Frankfurt led 22-18 with buckets from Kiel on the fast break and Johannes Richter free throws and Weissenhorn baskets from Rohwer with a hook shot and Anderson with an acrobatic lay in. “Weissenhorn showed early that they are a good team despite being shorthanded. They took advantage of pushing the ball when we missed shots. We were still finding our rhythm which came as the game went on”, stated Travis Thompson. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors were shooting 47% from the field and 40% from outside while the Weissenhorn Youngsters were shooting 53% from the field and 67% from outside. The rebound battle was tied at 8-8 and both teams had three turnovers a piece.
The second quarter remained a fierce battle between both teams as the Fraport Skyliners Juniors had a nasty opponent on their heels that they simply were unable to shoo away like a fly on a hot summer´s night. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors started off hungry in the second quarter going on a 5-0 run to extend their lead to 27-22. The run was started by a Tim Oldenburg lay in and free throw and two free throws from Paderborn native Marius Nolte. Frankfurt stepped up their defense in the opening minutes forcing Weissenhorn to three consecutive turnovers on their first three possessions. However Frankfurt had more difficulty executing on offense allowing Weissenhorn to get new opportunities and Chris Anderson used his biggest strength getting into the lane and scoring twice to cut the Frankfurt advantage to 29-28. Anderson was keeping Weissenhorn in the game with his aggressive offensive mind set while Frankfurt was uncharacteristically leaving open shots on the rim or short. However with a potent offensive team like the Fraport Skyliners Juniors, you will only have so many chances to capitalize on their misses as sooner or later they will start to hit shots in bunches. And that is exactly what they did exploding on a 11-3 run to take the 40-31 lead. In the run, they received a 20 footer jumper from Kiel, Stefan Ilzhoefer jumper and back to back three pointers by Thompson and Garai Zeeb. After a Moebus lay in, it was Thompson who nailed another trey as the Fraport Skyliners Juniors led 43-35 at the break. “It has been unfortunate that both teams were missing key players in the first two games. Both teams played very hard in the first half. I still thought that Frankfurt was moving the ball well and playing good defense. Anderson obviously had to do a lot tonight with scoring, passing and rebounding. He did a good job getting into the lane and finding his teammates and is tough to guard. At the end, he made a nice offensive rebound over our bigs off his own miss”, added Fraport Skyliners guard Jordan Theodore. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors were shooting 41% from the field and 32% from the three point line while Weissenhorn was shooting 48% from the field and 63% from the three point line. Weissenhorn had the 20-16 rebound edge, but 12 turnovers while Frankfurt had five turnovers.
In the third quarter, the Fraport Skyliners Juniors were able to open it up more as further turnovers and the Frankfurt versatile offensive arsenal was growing and growing as Weissenhorn was having more difficulty to cope with it. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors got on the board quickly with two Thompson three pointers to extend their lead to 49-37. However Weissenhorn never gave up and made big buckets in a phase where Frankfurt was lurking to really run away with the game. Weissenhorn went on a 5-0 run to cut the Frankfurt lead to 49-42 as 19 year old Hungarian guard Marcell Pongo dropped a three pointer and Omuvwie scored inside. Frankfurt had success playing their inside out game and always had the option of getting the open three or banging the ball inside on occasion as Oldenburg scored twice and Johannes Richter powered home a two handed dunk as Frankfurt extended their lead to 57-45 and continued to keep Weissenhorn at bay as they couldn´t get stops on defense. After a Pape lay in, it was Richter who nailed a three pointer as Frankfurt led 60-47. Weissenhorn was unable to take the momentum into the third quarter despite free throws from German Lukas Rosenbohm and Chris Anderson as Weissenhorn cut the Frankfurt lead to 62-52. On the last play with 3,4 seconds to play, it was Max Merz that had the inbounds play and found a rapidly moving Tomas Dimsa escape to the other wing who was all open and taking the beautiful ball reversal pass from the German and unleashing a three pointer that splashed like there was tomorrow and Frankfurt led 65-52 after three quarters. “We stuck together and capitalized on defense. We did a good job shutting down Anderson better and making him have to make the difficult pass”, expressed Travis Thompson. “When we dig down on defense, we can get teams to become sloppy on offense. We want to make the game ugly. Our rotations were ok, but they still hit many three pointers”, stressed Chris Anderson. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors were shooting 44% from the field and 36% from the parking lot while Weissenhorn was shooting 50% from the field and 60% from the parking lot. Weissenhorn had the 27-22 rebound edge, but 18 turnovers while Frankfurt had nine turnovers.
In the fourth quarter, fatigue and turnovers were present on both sides as well as less execution keeping the scoring down. Weissenhorn was able to cut the lead down to eight points with two minutes, but Frankfurt then pulled out the win with a 5-0 run to end the game. Weissenhorn had absolutely no clue how to keep Travis Thompson in check as he started the fourth quarter nailing his sixth three pointer of the contest. Weissenhorn was tiring and taking more difficult shots and some even fell like the fingertip roll lay in from ex TBB Trier guard Luca Breu to cut the Frankfurt lead to 68-54. Even when Frankfurt missed shots or turned the ball over, Weissenhorn would cough up the ball right away again as they couldn´t bring any calmness into their game. After a Kiel offensive rebound and put back, Weissenhorn mustered together another run as Anderson hit a three pointer and Pape a lay in as Anderson found him all alone down low cutting the Frankfurt lead to 70-59. Frankfurt then capitalized on an Omuvwie turnover as Dimsa got out ahead of the pack and scored the easy bucket on transition as Frankfurt led 72-59. Weissenhorn then used their absolute last speck of energy as ex Baskets Rendsburg center Bjoern Rohwer scored back to back baskets inside to cut the Frankfurt advantage to 72-64. However time was running out on Weissenhorn and the Fraport Skyliners Juniors slammed the door shut with a 5-0 run as Kiel hit a jumper and Thompson his seventh three of the evening. “Weissenhorn was tired at the end as they were missing key guys. Key in game three will be stopping their transition and rebounding”, stressed Travis Thompson. “We got tired at the end. Every new three pointer they hit made our energy go down a bit more. Their ball movement reminds me a lot of the San Antonio Spurs. Frankfurt is a very good team. Even when I thought that we rotated well, they still had a guy open”, stressed Chris Anderson. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors were led by Travis Thompson with 23 points. Stefan Ilzhoefer had 11 points and Niklas Kiel 10 points and eight rebounds. The Weissenhorn Youngsters were led by Chris Anderson with 17 points, 10 rebounds and six assists. Bjoern Rohwer and Marvin Omuvwie chipped in with 12 points a piece and Till Pape had 10 points. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors shot 41% from the field and 35% from outside while Weissenhorn shot 47% from the field and 47% from outside. Weissenhorn won the rebounding duel 38-31, but had 25 turnovers while Frankfurt had 12 turnovers.