Only a few days ago, it was carnival time in the Rhein area of Bonn/Bad Honnef and you had many many people dressed up in funny and in some cases memorable costumes acting crazy and just enjoying life while others in other parts of Germany were carnival free and going about their daily business. If the carnival craze had infected Americans Kameron Taylor and Brandon Watkins was unknown, but seeing a Taylor prancing around in a Trump costume or Watkins donning a OJ Simpson costume would have been enjoyable, but with only a few weeks left in the Pro B regular season, they most likely were already mentally locked in to the big game against the ScanPlus Baskets who are in first place while the Dragons Rhondorf had one victory less and were parked in second place. Watkins wasn´t with the team yet in October, but Taylor was and had bad memories of the 103-72 blow out loss in Elchlingen as they met an offensive powerhouse that averaged 28 points for the course of three quarters. The ScanPlus Baskets shot over 50%, dominated the boards and forced Rhondorf to cough up the ball an annoying 24 times. It was a game to forget for the ex Pro A team Dragons Rhondorf as they couldn´t find a defensive remedy on this day to combat the lethal offensive arsenal from the southern German team. Watkins most likely saw film from that horrible loss and also got some extra information from Taylor as both Americans and their German teammates were seeking revenge and wanted to extend their good home record to 10-1. As always it was a full packed house as the Dragon Dome was electric and burning with basketball passion as it was loud and the type of atmosphere that is rarely seen in the Pro B except if your in Rostock, but the home team Dragons were unable to keep their almost immaculate home record as they got overpowered by the ScanPlus Baskets 92-69. The Dragons Rhondorf did the best they could despite being without three key players, but just couldn´t withstand the potent consistent offense of the ScanPlus Baskets for 40 minutes. “Good defense was key for the win. In the last games we had been shooting too many three´s and we wanted to stabilize our inside game tonight and did. We had good communication and when we play good defense then our offense works. It was obvious that they had a hard time without Viktor Frankl-Maus, but we showed we could dominate in the first game where they were complete. Our ball movement was good as well as our pick and roll. It was fun to play”, stressed ex Ehingen guard Brian Butler. After the loss, a disappointed Brandon Watkins reflected on the 40 minutes, but was still proud how the team played despite the many injuries. “It was a tough game and we were missing key players. But guys that don´t usually play stepped up. These young guys know how to contribute now and it was a good learning experience. They are a good team and hurt us with their pick and roll. Our help side wasn´t good as they kept attacking it. We will have to work on it so other teams don´t do that”, stressed ex West Virginia(NCAA) forward Brandon Watkins.
The Dragons Rhondorf were without their starting point guard Viktor Frankl-Maus who had the flu, while Germans Yannick Kneesch and Anton Geretzki were out with injuries. Despite the many losses of Rhondorf, top team ScanPlus Baskets couldn´t compensate from it right away as they came out flat and nervous as they were stopped on their first four possessions. Rhondorf took the quick 5-2 lead as German Valentin Blass who played 14 BBL games with Bonn hit a 15 footer and German Patrick Reusch who slipped into the starting rotation at point guard dropped a trey from the left corner. However the ScanPlus Baskets found out of their funk as German veteran Kristian Kuhn whp played 24 BBL games with MBC scored on the fast break and ex BG Karlsruhe guard Hayden Lescault scored in the paint for the 6-5 advantage. The teams would trade leads four times as the Dragons Rhondorf did a good job keeping up with the favorite from Elchingen. The ScanPlus Baskets attacked the paint area time after time after time hoping to get their bigs in early foul problems. Lescault and Kuh scored inside while Rhondorf got buckets from ex Seton Hill(NCAA2) standout Kameron Taylor and German Alexander Moeller who has 2 BBL games on his basketball account. With the game dead locked at 14-14, there would be four more lead changes as the ScanPlus Baskets got strong production from Brian “air” Butler and ex Fraport Skyliner Filmore Beck. Reusch had a strong first quarter as he tied the score at 19-19 with a jumper, but then the ScanPlus Baskets broke away which would set the tone and something that the Dragons Rhoondorf would never recover from. The ScanPlus Baskets went on a swift 8-0 run as Beck who was dropped 32 points in Langen on seven three´s in 2014 hit a trey as did ex Alba Berlin guard Marko Kristanovic who followed it then with a lay in where Beck earned the dime. Rhondorf got a Moeller lay in and Blass free throws, but they trailed 29-24 after 10 minutes. “It took the ScanPlus Baskets a little time to get used to the atmosphere, but they did find their rhythm stayed calm and played good pick and roll. They did a good job to get Rhondorf to collapse to get open looks. It hurt that Frankl-Maus was missing, but Patrick Reusch did a good job in his absence taking responsibility and being aggressive. The switching of the ScanPlus Baskets defensive formations disrupted Rhondorf´s offensive rhythm”, stressed Telekom Baskets Bonn press secretary Jorg Baehren. The ScanPlus Baskets were shooting an astronomical 76% from the field and 100% from outside and had grabbed nine rebounds, but had six turnovers while the Dragons Rhondorf were shooting 50% from the field and 14% from outside and had four rebounds and three turnovers.
In the second quarter, a poor start by the Dragons Rhondorf allowed the ScanPlus Baskets to extend their lead as the home team continued to be inconsistent in their execution. Both team´s defenses shone in the first few minutes as no execution happened in the first four possessions. However the ScanPlus Baskets are always dangerous with their deep roster and many weapons that at any time anyone can get hot and Marian Petric did who at age 37 and in his 21st professional season can still play with the best of them nailing back to back trey´s and Slovenian/Bosnian Edin Alispahic scored in the zone to extend their lead to 37-24. Rhondorf continued not to find their rhythm and were getting stopped while the ScanPlus Baskets continued to execute well as Lescault scored again. On the ninth possession, the Dragons Rhondorf finally got their first field goal as Moeller made a lay in to cut the guests lead to 40-27. The ScanPlus Baskets continued to keep the momentum and execute at a good rate hurting Rhondorf inside as they got added buckets from Kuhn, Beck, Lescault and Butler who finished with a two handed dunk on the pick and roll perfectly played by Hayden Lescault. It felt like the 2017 EasyCredit BBL slam dunk winner Butler was dunking almost on every bucket he scored and it looked as easy as Devin Booker sinking three´s at the 2018 NBA Allstar three point contest, but he was sure after 40 minutes that that wasn´t the case. “I did have many dunks today, but there are games where I don’t. I try not to think about it. Lescault and I have a blind understanding on the pick and roll. We were dangerous with it today”, stressed Brian Butler. Rhondorf did finish the second quarter with a mini 4-0 run as Watkins hit a 15 footer and Taylor scored in the lane as the Dragons Rhondorf trailed the SacnPlus Baskets 48-37 after 20 minutes. “The ScanPlus Baskets didn´t have a good start again, but they weren´t doing their bread and butter transition and not finishing well. Rhondorf played better offense with Moeller getting into the game, Taylor getting started, and Reusch carrying the team. Watkins was an important factor on the defensive end. He did a good job against his man in the paint, played well on the help side and rebounded well. He was a real presence in the zone taking away their inside game keeping Rhondorf in the game”, added Telekom Baskets Bonn press secretary Jorg Baehren. The ScanPlus Baskets shot 64% from the field and 63% from the three point line and hauled down 19 rebounds and had nine turnovers while the Dragons Rhondorf were shooting 42% from the field and 11% from the three point line and had 13 rebounds and six turnovers.
In the third quarter the ScanPlus Baskets continued to play their consistent game, executed well and defended with passion extending their lead to as much as 19 points. The ScanPlus Baskets had a strong start unlike in the first two quarters going out on a 13-5 run to extend their lead to 61-45. In the run, the guests continued to dominate in the paint as ex Cuxhaven center Kuhn scored twice including on transition where he ran the floor like a guard. Butler continued to be a beast as he registered two hard dunks including on an ally-op fed from Lescault. Lescault also dropped a trey in the ScanPlus Baskets attack while Rhondorf got production from Taylor who grabbed an offensive rebound and made the put back and Michel scored in the paint and had a quiet night scoring only five points. The ScanPlus Baskets were playing their game executing the pick and roll and getting easy transition baskets while the Dragons Rhondorf continued to have problems with the ScanPlus Baskets switching defense formations. After a time out, the Dragons Rhondorf returned rejuvenated and shocked the guests with a 7-0 run to cut the guests lead to 61-49 as Watkins made a dunk waiting for Lescault to get off his feet, Michel drained a trey and Blass scored on transition with a lay in. Watkins was instrumental in the run and finished with 6 points, eight rebounds, two steals and three blocks. “I was active today, hit a few jumpers and had a dunk. For me it´s most important to always be active on defense, block shots and get as many rebounds as possible. I´m doing my part. The points will come”, warned Brandon Watkins. However the Dragons Rhondorf couldn´t hold the momentum and let up a bit allowing the ScanPlus Baskets to go on a 10-3 run to lead 71-52 after three quarters. In the run, the ScanPlus Baskets got valuable support from Alisphaic, Fekete and Lescault with two pointers while Petric hit another trey. “Basketball is a game of runs. They went on a run, and we did a good job coming back, but we didn´t worry about them, but only us”, stressed Brian Butler. “Basketball is a game of runs. They responded well being calm and collective. They knew how to blow the game out of the water. They did a good job getting g their shooters open while also playing the pick and roll well”, said Brandon Watkins. The ScanPlus Baskets were shooting 61% from the field and 50% from the parking lot while securing 25 rebounds and had 10 turnovers while the Dragons Rhondorf were shooting 42% from the field and 14% from the parking lot while getting 18 rebounds and had 10 turnovers.
In the fourth quarter the ScanPlus Baskets were able to extend their lead to as much as 30 points and were easily able to pull out the win. The ScanPlus Baskets opened up the fourth quarter with a quick 6-0 run to extend their lead to 77-52. The first few minutes showed that the ScanPlus Baskets had that huge experience edge as 37 year old Petric finished on the fast break while young German of Rhondorf David Falkenstein who has played only a few pro B games this season as he mostly plays for Regionaliga team Bonn 2 missed on the fast break. Lescault hit a jumper and Petric a floater as the guests offense was smooth and running like a well oiled machine. Rhondorf was playing with many inexperienced bench players, and had no rhythm on offense getting difficult shots. Rhondorf finally got on the board as Moeller scored consecutive buckets in the paint, but the ScanPlus Baskets continued to execute as Petric continued to score at ease hitting his fourth trey and also made a lay in extending their lead to 88-58. Butler made another dunk on the pick and roll as this time the dime server was Kristanovic as Rhondorf trailed 90-59. With the game already more than decided, the Dragons Rhondorf did close out the game in positive fashion going on a 10-2 run to make the end result of 92-69 look a little better. In the run, Rhondorf was aided by Moeller with a tap in, Blass lay in on transition and Taylor lay in. Taylor and Reusch also connected on free throws as Rhondorf suffered only their second loss of the season at home. “We played good zone and they didn´t hit much from outside the whole game. We continued to play good defense until the end and moved the ball well”, stressed Brian Butler. “We were a bit fatigued. We did a good job fighting the whole game despite having three guys out. We just didn´t hit enough shots”, added Brandon Watkins. The ScanPlus Baskets were led by Brian Butler with 19 points and 12 rebounds. Marin Petric added 18 points, Hayden Lescault had 17 points, and Kristian Kuhn contributed 12 points. The Dragons Rhondorf were led by Kameron Taylor with 17 points, Alexander Moeller added 15 points, Patrick Reusch steered 13 points and Valentin Blass had 12 points. The ScanPlus Baskets shot 60% from the field and 47% from outside and hauled down 37 rebounds and had 16 turnovers while the Dragons Rhondorf shot 38% from the field and 115 from outside and had 33 rebounds and 12 turnovers.