The Fraport Skyliners Wake Up In The Third Quarter As Tai Webster Steers Them Past the Basketball Lowen Braunschweig 78-71

So far in the pre season and in the first two games, Fraport Skyliner guard Philip Scrubb has been exceptional and his scoring brought back memories to his days at Carleton(CIS) where he was that complete player, but also that consistent scorer that many deemed the greatest Canadian college player that ever played during his illustrious career from 2010-2015 where he won 7 titles and averaged 18,0ppg in his last three seasons. Many who see Scrubb as a type of savior this season as having that ruthless and annoying sniper like in the last years with Sean Armand and AJ English is missing and will need the ultimate Scrubb scoring production in many games this season. After dropping a solid 21 points in the victory in Jena and 25 points in the home win against BG Goettingen, the Canadian was brought down from his scoring crest in the disappointing 79-62 loss in Ludwigsburg as those southern German teams aren´t the most appetizing for the 2016 Fiba Europe cup winner as he last suffered such a drought in the 2016 BBL semi-finals 3-1 loss to ratiopharm Ulm where he averaged only 7,0ppg and his scoring diminished in every game where the only positive thing was his 7/16 shooting from downtown as at least his stroke hadn´t been totally dismantled, but his shots were simply cut down. Last Sunday, the MHP Riesen Ludwigsburg also had done their scouting and did a super job taking Scrubb out of the game and just limiting his game. The Canadian finished with only six shots on 1/7 shooting. When you aren´t getting shots and when they aren´t falling, one tends to attempt to help out in other areas and he did hauling down six rebounds and dishing out three assists. However it is apparent when Scrubb isn´t an offensive presence, the Fraport Skyliners struggle and this will continue to be a big key of opposing teams to do in putting a dent in the Frankfurt offensive game plan. The Fraport Skyliners with a 2-1 record welcomed the 1-2 Basketball Lowen Braunschweig who roared into the Fraport arena with a bitter 76-73 loss to the Telekom Baskets Bonn and after a slow first quarter, Frankfurt erupted in the third quarter finding their game again disposing of Braunschweig 78-71. After the third win of the season, Philip Scrubb had rebounded from his poor Ludwigsburg game scoring 11 points, but for a second consecutive game, his shot was off the mark as he went 1/5 from downtown, but reflected on his game and was happy that the club had pulled out a hard fought win. “We came out slow on defense and they were getting easy lay ups and we had no offense. But in the second half we got stops and started to get out on transition and got easy buckets. I always try to come out aggressive in each game. It isn´t all about scoring. Tonight I wanted to be aggressive and not force anything and just make the right plays. Teams are starting to take away my catch and pop shot more, but that opens it up a bit for me being able to get in the paint and get other guys shots”, warned Philip Scrubb. The Basketball Lowen Braunschweig played a very strong first half, but collapsed in the third quarter and never recovered. “It was tough playing in Frankfurt. They were tougher than we and were very physical in the third quarter. We missed too many plays and suffered too many turnovers”, stressed Braunschweig center Scott Eatherton.

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Miles Schmidt-Scheuber has covered the Cinderella career of Deandre Lansdowne since he played in the Pro B with Herten via Pro A team Hamburg Towers. The American has adjusted well to the BBL as he dropped 11 points and dished out 6 assists in a 78-71 loss in Frankfurt

3,340 patrons turned out for a rare Wednesday night BBL battle as German national coach Henrik Roedl was on hand as was Finish national coach Henrik Dettmann. The Fraport Skyliners were without Niklas Kiel again while German Richard Freudenberg was back again. The Basketball Lowen Braunschweig caught the Fraport Skyliners flat footed at the get go storming out to a quick 7-2 lead as ex SE Missouri St. (NCAA 26 year old American Jarekious Bradley showed his vast scoring qualities sneaking inside for an easy layup as Ex Hamburg guard Deandre Lansdowne supplied the dime and then nailed a trey. Lansdowne took advantage of transition getting a lay in. However Frankfurt quickly found a rhythm thanks to BBL rookie Tai Webster who got going as he tied the score at 7-7 scoring in the lane and nailing a jumper. Basketball runs dominated the first quarter as Braunschweig regained their composure going on a 6-2 run to retake the13-9  lead. In the run, they got vital production from ex Northeastern center Scott Eatherton who is a tough cookie to crack one on one as he blew by Mike Morrison from the wing, Lansdowne hit a free throw and ex Giessen guard Tim Schwartz connected on a trey. Both teams were battling back and forth as Frankfurt had a sudden spurt of offense taking the 14-13 lead as Jonas Wolfath-Botterman made an easy lay in after wonder child Isaac Bonga made a difficult pass in traffic and Webster scored again in the lane as he is almost unstoppable on the penetration. However Braunschweig ended the first quarter getting the lead back as Bradley finished a tasty tip in dunk and ex Lietuvos Rytas Vilnius guard Zygimantas Janavicius hit a tough off balance runner as Braunschwieg led 17-14. Frankfurt was led by Webster while Bradley carried Braunschweig. “We have been starting off slow in recent games. They shot very well not letting us get out on transition”, stressed Fraport Skyliner Philip Scrubb. The Basketball Lowen Braunschweig were shooting 57% from the field and 40% from outside while the Fraport Skyliners were shooting 37% from the field and 0% from outside. Braunschweig had the 10-7 rebound edge, but four turnovers while Frankfurt only had one turnover.

In the second quarter, it seemed like the Basketball Lowen Braunschweig could easily lead by 10-15 points with the amount of mistakes the Fraport Skyliners were making, but in reality they never led by more than eight points as they just couldn´t break away from Frankfurt. Eatherton started off the second quarter with another tough finish a big speciality in his game this time over Wolfarth-Bottermann. Scrubb finally hit his first field goal of the game cutting the Braunschweig lead to 22-18. Whenever Braunschweig was threatening to break away, Frankfurt would crawl back giving an offensive answer. Trailing 26-18, Mike Morrison hit a rare 20 footer off a broken pay and Scrubb found an open Webster who dropped a trey to cut the Braunschwieg advantage to 26-23. The Frankfurt play at both ends was too inconsistent in that after a strong play followed a lousy play that always allowed Braunschweig to add on to their slim lead. Frankfurt also had some fortune as Mike Morrison hit free throws and Quantez Robertson played cherry picker as a third loose ball in the same sequence squirmed right to him allowing him to finish easily cutting the Braunschwieg lead to 28-27. But Braunschweig continued to score and keep the lead as Eatherton scored a lay up in traffic which followed another turnover by Frankfurt which led to a Bradley lay in and 32-27 lead. Frankfurt had a lack of concentration losing some easy balls before getting into the half court offense and had problems with their timing. Braunschweig had stepped up their defense and had become a pest in the passing lanes. Braunschweig played smart playing a zone against Frankfurt´s almost non existent ball movement and were going inside a lot finishing easily. Some of the blame on the offense lay on the shoulders of Tai Webster who was an ace finishing and creating for himself, but lacked finding his teammates better in the second quarter. After a Frankfurt time out Eatherton continued to wreck havoc inside scoring again and Bradley nailed a three for the 37-29 lead. Frankfurt didn´t let the second quarter go totally to waste going into the break with a strong 8-1 run to trail only 38-37. In the run, Frankfurt continued to have little team play and relied on their stellar 1-1 play as Wolfarth-Botterman scored inside, Webster made a fancy acrobatic lay in and Quantez Robertson scored inside with a second remaining. “We weren´t making shots. We were playing too individual as every guy was trying to make the big play. We have to trust our offense and then the easy shots will come”, warned Philip Scrubb. The Basketball Lowen Braunschweig were shooting 49% from the field and 29% from the three point line while the Fraport Skyliners were shooting 45% from the field and 11% from the three point line. Frankfurt rebounded better taking the rebound battle leading 17-15, but had seven turnovers coughing up the ball six times in the second quarter while Braunschweig had only six turnovers.

After a less than satisfactory first half, it was more than evident that the Fraport Skyliners would come out a changed team and did taking over the game as the turning point came in the third quarter as they charged out on a 15-0 run which hurt Braunschweig and they could never fully recover from. Eatherton actually got Braunschweig on the board first with a massive tip in where the intensity level of Frankfurt on the boards looked meek, but that would change quickly. Then out of seemingly nothing the Fraport Skyliners rattled off 15 unanswered points and halted 6 consecutive Braunschweig offensive possessions to lead 52-40. Scrubb got Frankfurt going nailing a trey as he waited for Bradley to get upinto the Fraport arena sky moved to his right and fired away. Then Wolfarth-Bottermann got easy points inside and Finish national player Shawn Huff nailed a trey as Frankfurt led 45-40. The run continued with a Webster lay in, free throws and a Huff jumper. Frankfurt was a new team that played very controlled on offense and hit their three´s better. Webster did a fine job doing the playmaking as there was less one on one play and more team play. “The second half was the best that Webster has played this season. He was more engaged and got into the plays better”, stressed Gordon Herbert. Key for the Frankfurt turn around was also their much improved defense as they became more physical and their good defense led to good offense. They forced turnovers and a good chunk of their 10 steals and 8 blocks in the game came in this sequence as Robertson blocked a Eatherton dunk and Wolfarth-Bottermann denied Lansdowne on the slam down. 23 year old 206cm ex Tenn Tech (NCAA) forward Anthony Morse halted the big Skyliner run with a fast break bucket. Braunschweig was playing catch up basketball now and couldn´t do that as their defense couldn´t get the fair amount of stops as Frankfurt now could score more at ease something which they couldn´t in the first half. All of a sudden, Mike Morrison was a monster in the paint making a huge two handed dunk and then a hard alley-op dunk for the 58-45 advantage. Bradley did a good job keeping his team in the game somewhat, but Huff and Morrison closed out the scoring in the third quarter as Frankfurt led 62-49. “Coach Herbert told us at half-time to focus more on the defensive end. We started playing harder defense and were locked in. Once we got stops and really dug in and rebounded better our offense also came better. We allowed 11 points. That is how we should defend each quarter”, said Philip Scrubb. “Frankfurt got us out of rhythm and we didn´t get the shots that we wanted. They shot better and got out on transition. Once we found our rhythm, it was hard to come back”, stressed ex Herten guard Deandre Lansdowne. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 49% from the field and 24% from the parking lot while the Basketball Lowen Braunschweig were shooting 41% from the field and 25% from the parking lot. Frankfurt kept the rebound lead 27-21 and had 11 turnovers while Frankfurt had 12 turnovers.

In the fourth quarter, The Fraport Skyliners never relinquished the lead as the closest that Braunschweig got was cutting the Frankfurt lead to seven points. Frankfurt got on the board first as Mike Morrison brought a little Derrick Allen as he made a hectic hook shot, but Braunschweig countered with a mini 5-0 run as Bradley nailed another trey and Eatherton scored inside again cutting the Frankfurt lead to 64-54.After Wolfarth-Botterman free throws, Braunschweig conserved some last energy going on a 6-0 run to cut the Frankfurt lead to 67-60. In the run they got instant power from Janavicius, Lansdowne and Bradley. After the loss, Lansdowne warned that Bradley will make a lot of noise in the BBL this season. “He is a scoring machine. He can do it inside and out and play the positions 2-4. He is a very good passer and uses the mis-matches well. He will be a scoring killer”, warned Deandre Lansdowne. Braunschweig was never totally out of it as even after a Scrubb turnaround and Robertson free throws for the 71-60 lead, they continued to counter as German big man Lars Lagerpusch made a dunk and Janavicius scored in traffic cutting the Frankfurt lead to 72-64. After a mini Frankfurt 4-0 run as Huff scored and Robertson nailed free throws for the 76-64 lead, Braunschweig closed out the game strong with a 7-2 run, but the Eatherton lay in at 1.08 and Lansdowne trey with 30 seconds remaining wasn´t enough as Frankfurt wormed out of their den with the hard fought 78-71 victory. “They had a little run at the end, but we had confidence in our defense and got stops when we needed to. We built that confidence on defense in the third quarter through talking and team defense”, warned Philip Scrubb. “We lost confidence at the end. We had them on their heels, but we didn´t fully want it. I think we could have got a lot closer if we had pushed each other more, but we weren´t there mentally”, added Deandre Lansdowne. The Fraport Skyliners had six guys in double figures and were led by Tai Webster with 16 points. Quantez Robertson had 15 points while Mike Morrison had 14 points. Jonas Wolfarth-Bottermann added 12 points while Philip Scrubb produced 1 points and Shawn Huff supplied 0 points. The Baskets Lowen Braunschweig were led by Jarekious Bradley with 21 points while Scott Eatherton had 16 points. Deandre Lansdowne produced 11 points and six assists. The Fraport Skyliners shot 48% from the field and 21% from outside while The Baskets Lowen Braunschweig shot 47% from the field and 30% from outside. Frankfurt won the rebound battle 32-30, but had 15 turnovers while Braunschweig coughed up the ball 16 times.

 

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