Sometimes one does realize how time flies when a player returns back to a place he once played in almost two seasons ago as players have come and gone and even the floor was redone in the BCM gym in Frankfurt, but with all the traveling to different arena´s in the last years, it wouldn´t be a surprise if Hayden Lescault didn´t notice this. In the 2015-2016 season, the 25 year old 192cm shooting guard from Folsom, California who had a stellar career at Point Loima(NCAA2) embarked on his professional basketball career to Germany where he suited up for BG Karlsruhe and had a solid rookie campaign averaging 13.8ppg, 3.4rpg, 2.6apg, FGP: 55.1%, 3PT: 36.2%, FT: 71.8%. After a season away from Germany, he got a taste of a new style of basketball with the Glasgow Rocks (United Kingdom-BBL), but also witnessed a whole new kind of life in Scotland that was very much different than the carefree life in California that he had been used to. Lescault came back to Frankfurt for his second time as in his rookie season he helped beat Frankfurt at home scoring 27 points in a big 76-59 win, but couldn´t find a groove on the road losing 77-70 as he produced only 12 points in 20 minutes. Two seasons ago he was surrounded by veterans like Rouven Roessler, Jeremy Black and Marcus Smallwood and it´s no different this season as he has four guys on his team 30 or older and a fine mentor in 37 year old Marin Petric who has been a professional since 1997 and has played for 13 teams. The faces on the Frankfurt side had changed as only one player was still on the court with Garai Zeeb who had been instrumental in the win in Frankfurt in 2015 with 14 points and nine dimes. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors came into the game playing up and down basket and were confronted with the best team in the Pro B south ScanPlus Baskets who entered the game with a 7-1 record sporting an offensive powerhouse averaging 85 points, averaging 37 rebounds per game and holding their own on the defensive end allowing 73 points per game. The guests had the huge advantage on paper, but with 17 seconds to go there was not big difference as the game was tied and the ScanPlus Baskets with the ball gave it to Mr moneyball Hayden Lescualt who like Kameron Taylor two weeks ago put another dagger in the hearts of the Fraport Skyliners Juniors winning with a buzzer beater 87-84. However there was one little difference. In Rhondorf, Frankfurt saw nothing but net, but in their own gym had to watch the ball dance on the rim for a few seconds feeling like an eternity before it trickled in wondering on who´s side the basketball God really was. “I wanted to be aggressive today. We had never won here and really wanted to win to get the monkey off our back. I have had one or two buzzer beaters in college, but this was my first professional one. We had a high ball screen and I was supposed to read what the defense gave me. My guy kept sagging off me thinking I might drive, but he gave me enough space to shoot it. When I let it go, it felt good, but then it trickled around the rim and went in finally. We had some luck from the basketball God. I love this gym today”, smiled California native Hayden Lescault.
For the second time in a row, Fraport Skyliner Junior forward Alex Fountain had to react to a second buzzer beater within two weeks and one could tell from his expression, this was harder to swallow. “I can´t remember losing on two buzzer beaters ever in a season. They are a good team and made the plays. These kind of things happen in basketball. I feel that there had been a miscommunication between coach and us on the last play. We did a good job on the last shot. It was contested, but losing this game was tougher because the way it bounced around the rim at the end”, stressed Alex Fountain.
The ScanPlus Baskets controlled the game for 40 minutes, but were never really able to totally shake off the Fraport Skyliners Juniors who fought the whole game. In the fourth quarter, it looked like the game was decided as the ScanPlus Baskets led by 14 points, but Frankfurt fought back and weren´t rewarded as they were hit with the annoying unwanted buzzer beater by Lescault. After the loss, Fountain didn´t have much time to summarize the game, because he was catching the bus to Bamberg with his EasyCRedit BBL colleagues of the Fraport Skyliners for the game on Sunday, but saw some positives despite the bitter ending to the game. “We had better energy as a group. Our offensive flow was better and on defense we had let ups at the start, but it was better in the fourth quarter. I feel that we are continuing to improve and almost beat the best team in the Pro B south. This game showed that we can beat anyone”, stressed ex Houston Baptist(NCAA) forward. The ScanPlus Baskets played an overall strong game and might have underestimated Frankfurt in the fourth quarter, but overall played their typical strong offensive game and controlled the boards with authority. After the game, despite having just stroked home a winning buzzer beater, American Hayden Lescault was content with a few things in his team´s game. “One of our big strengths is our high pressure defense. Today we got a lot of fouls called against us which changed our defensive schemes and we got lax on defense which slowed down our offense. We did a good job attacking their bigs tried to get inside on us. Our high pressure defense tends to shock other teams”, warned Hayden Lescault.
The ScanPlus Baskets were without Greg Graves while the Fraport Skyliners Juniors were without Isaac Bonga, Armin Trtovac who will miss 4-6 weeks due to injury and Jasmine Knothe. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors were missing some key pieces and it showed quickly as they fell behind 6-0. The ScanPlus Baskets didn´t waste any time tearing apart Frankfurt´s pain area getting easy buckets inside from ex Heidelberg center Kristian Kuhn who played 24 BBL games with MBC and ex BG Karlsruhe guard Hayden Lescault. That basketball is always a game of runs showed quickly as Frankfurt followed up the ScanPlus Baskets 6-0 run with their won 4-0 run as ex Ehingen center Tobias Jahn scored inside and Grai Zeeb made a steal feeding Alex Fountain for the hard two handed dunk as Frankfurt trailed 6-4. However the aggressive defense of the ScanPlus Baskets disrupted Frankfurt´s game as it also powered their offense going on a 10-4 run to extend their lead to 16-8. The ScanPlus Baskets continued to dominate in the paint getting four buckets inside with two from Lescault, one from Croatian Jere Vucica and Kuhn. Frankfurt was too lax on defense giving up easy basket after easy basket as their one on one defense was less than satisfactory. Even after Frankfurt took a time out, they were able to score consistently, but just had no solution how to get some stops. The ScanPlus Baskets continued to shy away from the three point line, and do their thing inside as Lescault continued to score at ease amassing 10 points in the first quarter and Vucica scored inside and hit that rare three pointer. Frankfurt got some free throws from four year man Konstantin Schubert and ex Kronberg guard Felix Hecker and a layin by Jules Akodo, but trailed 25-14 after one quarter. “The ScanPlus Baskets are a very tough and physical team and had a lot of experience. You could see that Frankfurt was missing a big man and it was tough to match up”, stressed Fraport Skyliner Philip Scrubb. The ScanPlus Baskets were shooting 69% from the field and 100% from outside while the Fraport Skyliners Juniors were shooting 25% from the field and 28% from outside. The ScanPlus Baskets had the 15-6 rebound edge, but had five turnovers while Frankfurt had no turnover.
In the second quarter the Fraport Skyliners Juniors got back into the game, but couldn´t take their first lead of the game as they trailed by a bucket at halftime. Alex Fountain got Frankfurt off to a fast start sinking a trey and cutting the ScanPlus Baskets lead to 25-17. However the ScanPlus Baskets imports Edin Alispahic who played the last two seasons with Schwinningen used his 208cm´s and 108 kilo´s to muscle home a put back and ex Western Alabama (NCAA) forward Jere Vucica hit a trey giving the ScanPlus Baskets their biggest advantage of the game 30-19. Basketball wouldn´t be normal without a run and the Fraport Skyliners Juniors rebounded from the deficit going on a timely 10-2 to cave in the ScanPlus Baskets lead to only 32-29. Fountain powered the run with four points while Schubert scored inside and Akodo hit free throws. Frankfurt increased their intensity on the defensive end and made some big hustle plays that were key in the run, After a ScanPlus Baskets time out, they continued to score consistently, but so did Frankfurt staying on their heels until the break and couldn´t take their first lead just yet. 2017 EasyCredit BBL slam dunk champion Brian Butler had been very quiet, but finally hit his first field goal to give the guests the 35-29 lead. Frankfurt then rattled off a quick 4-0 run powered by ex Bremerhaven guard Garai Zeeb who hit a runner and then made a big heads up play grabbing the rebound and like having eyes in the back of his head flung a quick touch down pass to Fountain who was at the head of the pack making a lay in as Frankfurt trailed only 34-33. Lescault continued to feed his stats with baskets as did Akodo as both traded two scores, but Frankfurt still trailed 39-37. After a 15 footer and free throw by Alispahic, it seemed like that was the last scoring of the quarter, but Akodo made an acrobatic finger tip roll lay in as Frankfurt trailed only 43-41. “Frankfurt defended and rebounded better in the second quarter despite the size factor. Key was for Frankfurt their effort at getting 50/50 balls and rebounding from guys that not necessarily would have scored a lot”, stressed Philip Scrubb. The ScanPlus Baskets were shooting 48% from the field and 20% from the three point line while the Fraport Skyliners Juniors were shooting 40% from the field and 40% from outside. Frankfurt rebounded better as they trailed on the boards only 22-17. The ScanPlus Baskets had seven turnovers while Frankfurt had three turnovers.
In the third quarter The Fraport Skyliners Juniors finally gathered their first lead, but were trailing again at the end of thirty minutes. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors came out of the break with a lot of energy going on a 6-2 run to take their first lead of the game 47-45. Tobias Jahn got aggressive in the paint with a lay in and free throws while Akodo hit a pull up jumper for the 47-45 advantage. After a hard one hand dunk by Kuhn to tie the game at 47-47, Fountain released a trey giving Frankfurt their second lead of the game 50-47. Frankfurt had a better rhythm on offense and on defense cut down on the easy baskets and clogged the paint stopping the opponent to get into the paint easier and get touches. After a timeout, it was time for a run again as Frankfurt lost a little focus allowing the ScanPlus Baskets to escape on a 9-0 run to retake the lead 56-50. In the run the guests were led by Hayden Lescault who scored five points with an easy lay in and trey and Vucica finished a hard dunk. Frankfurt didn´t waste any time showcasing their lethal shooting as 2015 NBBL champion with FC Bayern Munich Richard Freudenberg dropped a trey as did Garai Zeeb dead locking the contest at 56-56. But once again the Fraport Skyliners Juniors couldn´t hold on to their burst of offense as the ScanPlus Baskets showed their potent offense at it´s best going on a strong 9-0 run to lead 65-56. In the run the club got valuable production from many hands with a layin from Lescault, layin from Alispahic, pull up jumper from ex Fraport Skyliner Filmore Beck and a hard one handed stuff from Vucica. Akodo closed out the third quarter with a finger tip roll buzzer beater as Frankfurt trailed 66-59 after 30 minutes. “Frankfurt did a good job hanging around and they shot the ball well. Frankfurt was a scrapy bunch that was hard to close out”, stressed ex Point Loima(NCAA2) player Hayden Lescault. “We did a good job moving the ball and hitting three´s. We continued to defend at a high tempo”, stressed Alex Fountain. The ScanPlus Baskets were shooting 47% from the field and 23% from the parking lot while the Fraport Skyliners Juniors were shooting 40% from the field and 31% from the parking lot. The ScanPlus Baskets had the 35-27 rebound advantage, but had eight turnovers while Frankfurt had seven turnovers.
The fourth quarter saw a big run, a comeback and a buzzer beater which cost the Fraport Skyliners Juniors a second loss by a last shot in the last two weeks. The ScanPlus Baskets started off the fourth quarter getting their offense rolling getting buckets from Alispahic who continued to be unstoppable in the paint and Vucica nailed a trey that split the netting like there was no tomorrow as they led 71-63. Frankfurt didn´t let them break away as they reeled off a 5-0 run as Fountain made an offensive rebound and put back and Zeeb netted a try cutting the opponents lead to only 71-68. The game was totally open again, but then came two amazing runs first by the ScanPlus Baskets going on a 12-0 run to extend their lead to 83-68 as the game seemed decided with 3,29 minutes to play. In the run, the ScanPlus Baskets continued to get easy baskets inside something Frankfurt was never able to control on the day as Alispahic, Lescault and ex Novi Sad guard Stefan Fekete scored inside twice overwhelming Frankfurt with his high energy but controlled play. Filmore Beck who had a poor shooting day going 2/10 hit a big three as well. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors held together and gutted it out going on a 14-0 run to cut the ScanPlus Baskets lead to 83-81 as they swarmed them with a press and played a zone while on offense chipped away profiting from the 5 team fouls of their opponents netting eight free throws and then got back to back three´s from Freudenberg and Schubert as 1.16 minutes was left in the game and Frankfurt was right in it again. Lescault and Akodo swapped free throws to dead lock the game at 84-84. The buzzer beater from Lescault secured the ScanPlus Baskets their seventh win in a row. “We had a big run having an effective offense and ran the break well. They did a good job in their comeback swinging the ball and finding the open man. They pressed us well, clogged the inside and we missed open three´s”. stressed Hayden Lescault. “We were more aggressive in our comeback and I feel they became a little lackadaisical allowing us to come back”, stressed Alex Fountain. The ScanPlus Baskets were led by Hayden Lescault with 31 points, six rebounds and six assists. Jere Vucica added 17 points and Edin Alispahic produced 13 points and 11 boards. The Fraport Skyliners juniors were led by Alex Fountain with 24 points and seven rebounds. Jules Akodo added 19 points and six assists. Gara Zeeb had 11 points and Konstantin Schubert 10 points. The ScanPlus Baskets shot 46% from the field and 29% from outside while the Fraport Skyliners Juniors shot 39% from the field and 39% from outside. The ScanPlus Baskets won the rebound duel 40-37 and had 10 turnovers while Frankfurt coughed up the ball 10 times.