If one would have spontaneously asked Fraport Skyliner Quantez Robertson if the numbers 34 and 35 had any special mathematical meaning, the ex Auburn star would probably have given his typical Tez smirk and replied, “were those some of the most points that NCAA teams won by in the first round of March Madness”? Actually Robertson was involved with one of these numbers last weekend. Last weekend it was a story of two tales concerning the basketball fate of the Fraport Skyliners and BG Goettingen as one team destroyed their opponent while the other team stunk up the building. 2010 Eurochallenge winner BG Goettingen got severely rattled at home 101-66 to this season´s big surprise team medi Bayreuth as the Bavarian team had five players scoring in double figures and Americans Demon Brooks and Joseph Lewis combined for 43 points as the club won the rebound duel and dominated in the paint shooting at a high percentage. The Fraport Skyliners on the other hand rebounded from a bitter loss in Ludwigsburg manhandling the Basket Lowen Braunschweig 92-56 as they led from the get go never looked back as the club was led by Shawn Huff with 17 points and Quantez Robertson and Shavon Shields added 16 points apiece. Frankfurt dominated the rebounds and spread the ball around the way a team led by Gordon Herbert should. One hot team Frankfurt was meeting cold team BG Goettingen, and the Fraport Skyliners were able to get revenge from their loss in Goettingen earlier in the season as they had a strong fourth quarter disposing of BG Goettingen 81-67. After any game in Frankfurt it is customary for the players of Frankfurt to sign autographes for the fans and after 15 minutes the last two Americans left were Quantez Robertson and Mike Morrison who were joking around and were in such good spirits that they could easily moonlight with their own sitcom once their playing days are over. “Having a sitcom would be fun. I would be beating up Mike all the time. All Mike is doing on road trips is eating and drinking juice. Sometimes I just need to get away from him”, joked Quantez Robertson. However when talk came about the two numbers 35 and 34, the Ohio native joked that math wasn´t his strong suit in school. “I wasn´t good at math. From those two numbers you mentioned, I remember 34 being my old baseball jersey in school and 35 was just out there”, smiled Quantez Robertson.
Even if there was a game to be played, Skyliner fans of old had one thing on their mind and that was Skyliner legend Chris Williams who had surprisingly passed away four days ago at only the age of 36 due to blood clotting to the heart. Williams played only two years with the Skyliners, but in those two years was instrumental in the team winning a their only league title to date in 2004 and reaching a league final in 2005. He belonged to the top power forwards in the BBL and was named league MVP. He also will be remembered as possibly being the best player in the history of the organization. The club organized a minute of silence before the tip off and there was one person who was extremely sad and probably had millions of thoughts flowing through his mind in that minute which probably felt like 10 minutes. That person was Skyliners head coach Gordon Herbert who had coached Williams for one season and remembered the Alabama native very well despite having coached him 13 years ago. “I was thinking about the kind of person he was. He was a great teammate and was very sociable. His death really shocked me. His death made me realize just how short life can be. I still remember exactly where he was on the floor when he made that amazing cross over dribble and dunked the ball in the final. Tyrone Ellis helped him become a better professional and taught him how to build his career better”, stressed head coach Gordon Herbert. Fraport Skyliner guard AJ English was pleased about the win knowing that coach Herbert wanted a better performance in the second half, but at the same time shocked how quickly a life can end when confronted with the Chris Williams death. “Alex Ruoff kept them in the game. He hit some difficult shots. I remember watching him as a kid when he was at West Virginia. We stepped it up in the fourth quarter, got defensive stops and kept moving the ball and made shots. We started slow, but picked it up in the fourth quarter. I saw Williams face the last days as there was a lot of talk, but didn´t know who he was. It is very sad how he died. I know the feeling as I have lost guys like that. For BG Goettingen it has been a tough season and after being destroyed at home by medi Bayreuth last weekend, they stayed with Frankfurt for 30 minutes, but lost control of their energy in the fourth quarter. “We ran out of gas in the fourth quarter. Frankfurt made a big run and on defense they pressured us much and we turned the ball over too much and made everything uncomfortable for us. That was a very sad story with Chris Williams. His sudden death puts life and basketball in perspective. It´s not always about winning and losing”, stressed BG Goettingen forward Adam Waleskowski.
4,200 people were in the Fraport arena on a mild day and witnessed a horrible start by the Fraport Skyliners who were without Germans Niklas Kiel and Max Merz as they fell behind quickly 8-0 as they couldn´t match the intensity of BG Goettingen. In the run, the 2010 Eurochallenge winner got buckets from ex Florida State(NCAA) forward Adam Waleskowski from the parking lot, a lay in from ex Northeastern(NCAA) center Scott Eatherton who got the perfect lob pass from Ruoff, and a trey from Dutch national player Leon Williams. After being stumped on their first three offensive possessions by BG Goettingen, Frankfurt finally got on the board as Florida native Mike Morrison made a running hook shot. Frankfurt found a rhythm on offense as Robertson got a tip in and Finish national player Shawn Huff produced two mid distance jumpers and suddenly Frankfurt trailed only 11-8. BG Goettingen kept the lead and kept executing on offense as ex Wichita St (NCAA) forward Darius Carter found some daylight in the paint making a huge one hand dunk and Williams made his bread and butter mid distance shot as BG Goettingen led 15-11. After an AJ English trey, BG Goettingen continued to score even if their shots were difficult as Williams and Ruoff made shots in the lane as BG Goettingen led 19-12.Frankfurt closed out the first quarter strong going on a 6-2 run to trail 21-18 after 10 minutes. Frankfurt got to the line as Robertson and Shavon Shields scored and German Stefan Ilzhoefer nailed a trey. “I think that Frankfurt might have had some back lash form the Gala last night as they started off slow. BG Goettingen started with a lot of intensity and played good inside out basketball and took advantage of the mismatches. AJ English came in and Frankfurt came back and Shawn Huff just did everything right when he was on the floor”; stressed Fraport Skyliner youth coach Igor Starcevic. BG Goettingen was shooting 53% from the field and 67% from outside while the Fraport Skyliners were shooting 40% from the field and 33% from outside. Frankfurt had the 10-7 rebound edge, but two turnovers while BG Goettingen had one turnover.
In the second quarter there were five lead changes, but Frankfurt had the lead going into half-time. Both teams started off sluggish, but it was Alex Ruoff who continued to dazzle everyone with his difficult shot selection and deadly accuracy as he made two very tough shots in traffic keeping Frankfurt at bay as BG Goettingen led 25-21. Frankfurt then went on a 5-0 run to get their first lead of the day 26-25 as American Kwame Vaughn made a runner and Stefan Ilzhoefer made his second trey of the game. After the game, he was more than content with his six points, three assists and two rebounds in 19 minutes. “I was a little tired from the Pro B game last night. I knew that I would play and went easy into the game. Coach always stresses taking shots and I do. I got some good looks and made my shots. I have confidence, but I first need to do my job on defense and the offense will come by it´s self”, stressed Stefan ilzhoefer. Ilzhoefer teammate AJ English started to beam when he heard the German´s name. “He had been injured for a while, but he has all the tools for his size. I always tell him when he is open to shoot. I would even pass up a shot for him, but I would do that for anyone who had a better look. Well maybe not if Mike Morrison was behind the three”, smiled AJ English. Both teams then traded the lead as Huff and Ruoff traded buckets as BG Goettingen led 32-31. Morrison then executed on a left handed hook shot as Frankfurt grabbed back the lead 33-32 and would never look trail again in the contest. BG Goettingen stayed on their heels as ex Walter Tiger Tuebingen guard and Williams scored, but Shields and Vaughn also connected inside as Frankfurt led 41-36 at the break. “Ilzhoefer played with a lot of confidence and BG Goettingen continued to hit very difficult shots despite Frankfurt´s solid defense”, added Igor Starcevic. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 52% from the field and 45% from the three point line while BG Goettingen was shooting 50% from the field and 50% from the three point line. BG Goettingen had the 17-15 rebound edge, but six turnovers while Frankfurt had five turnovers.
In the third quarter the Fraport Skyliners played with more confidence and upped their lead, but were unable to hold it as BG Goettingen made a run at the end. Frankfurt started strong going on a 7-0 run to get their biggest lead of the game at 48-38. In the run, the club got a hard dunk from Morrison as Vaughn supplied him the bait, Shields dropped a trey and Mahir Agva connected over the double team. Ex Gonzaga(NCAA) sniper Matis Monnighof scored in bunches, but Vaughn snuck inside as Morrison fed him a perfect pass from the high post as Frankfurt led 53-44. BG Goettingen then caught Frankfurt off guard going on a timely 8-0 run to cut their deficit to 53-52 after 30 minutes. In the run, BG Goettingen got big support from four different players as ex Phoenix Hagen guard Malte Schwatz nailed an open 20 footer from the wing, Sanders supplied Carter with a pass off the penetration which he buried inside, Sanders then sped to the hole as Frankfurt supplied nonexistent one on one defense and Waleskowski scooped down an offense rebound and finished with a turnaround shot. “Basketball is a game of runs and they had theirs at the end and they executed well”, stressed AJ English. “We defended better in that run and caused some turnovers, knocked down shots and Darius Carter supplied important energy from the bench”, added Adam Waleskowski. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 46% from the field and 35% from the parking lot while BG Goettingen was shooting 46% from the field and 43% from the parking lot. BG Goettingen had the 26-21 rebound edge and nine turnovers while Frankfurt had seven turnovers.
In the fourth quarter, the Fraport Skyliners dominated as BG Goettingen looked like a team about three classes behind Frankfurt. The Fraport Skyliners exploded going on a 21-4 run to decide the game leading 74-56. Frankfurt stopped BG Goettingen´s first four possessions and got seven points out of it as Shields made a step back shot, English a lay in and Robertson heaved home a trey as Frankfurt led 62-52. BG Goettingen then got on the board as Williams made a lay in in traffic. However Frankfurt kept their offensive explosion in tact going on a 12-2 run to lead 74-56. In the run, it was Shields and Morrison who scored in buckets suppling the offensive power. Shields owned the paint making a lay in and elegant floater while Morrison let out the beast in him making a lay in and massive two handed dunk. BG Goettingen had non existent defense inside as Vaughn and English continued the onslaught with two buckets near the rim. The game was decided with three minutes to play. BG Goettingen did get some better offensive production down the stretch as Schwarz and Carter nailed three´s and Eatherton who was controlled well for the most part by Frankfurt made a lay in, but Frankfurt didn´t let up and continued to execute as Vaughn drilled home a trey and scored inside as Frankfurt led 79-64. With 1.19 to play Germans Isaac Bonga and Garai Zeeb were inserted. Carter and Huff put the finishing touches on an average Sunday afternoon basketball game, but fans were treated with some entertaining baskets throughout the contest. “We did a good job getting offensive rebounds in the fourth and knocking down shots”, added Quantez Robertson. The Fraport Skyliners were led by Americans Kwame Vaughn, AJ English and Shavon Shields who supplied 15 points apiece. Mike Morrison added 10 points. BG Goettingen was led by Alex Ruoff and Darius Carter with 12 points apiece and Leon Williams had 11 points. The Fraport Skyliners shot 51% from the field and 35% from outside while BG Goettingen shot 47% from the field and 47% from outside. Frankfurt won the rebound duel 33-29 and had only eight turnovers while BG Goettingen coughed up the ball 13 times.