Last Weekend a new star was born in the Pro B with Swedish shooting star Elijah Clarance who hit the Dragons Rhondorf on the road for 21 points and really demonstrated his wide array of offensive skills, but what really stood out was his amazing and unending athleticism that the opponent was unable to come to terms to. His shooting which tends to be off the radar functioned well as did his rebounding and passing game, but his dunking most likely remained in the minds of many. At the start of the third quarter, he scored back to back buckets in a span of 30 seconds. His second basket was a lay up, but the first one was a hard left handed dunk with authority that captured the attention of his teammates on the bench as they jumped off their seats so quickly after the jam as if someone had secretly filled their seats with hot coals. His quick first step and getting around his man paved the way for the “good night” feeling right before he flew to the basket with the dunk. He didn´t score 40 points, but just the way he played and handled himself displaying a type of special self confidence and finishing so strong at the rim made his performance really stand out. Even though he is mainly seen as playing for the farm team, one has to honestly ask how long it will still be before he makes his BBL debut for Gordon Herbert. He has had some very good test games for the BBL game and sky is the limit for the 20 year old. After he helped lead the Fraport Skyliners Juniors to their first win of the season on the road, he returned home to the BCM to show the home town fans some more added stellar play. Not only was Clarance a theme to the game, but also Wurzburg head coach Eric Detlef who was returning to an old stomping ground as he had coached the Fraport Skyliners Juniors from 2012-2017. After 40 minutes the Fraport Skyliners Juniors had squeezed out a hard fought 74-68 win against TG s.Oliver Wurzburg. After the match Swedish shooting star Elijah Clarance was happy the team got the win, but one could sense in his tone and body language that he wasn´t pleased with the play of the team. “They came out with a lot of energy and played well. We matched their energy well in the first quarter, but not so well in the second and third quarters. We picked it up at the end of the third again and kept it a bit in the fourth. We took care of the ball well and executed at times, but made mistakes”, warned Fraport Skyliner Junior Elijah Clarance. Wurzburg head coach Eric Detlev was smiles after the loss, but was also content how well his team kept up with the much stronger Frankfurt team on paper. “I was happy to be back. I had good times here. I told the guys if Frankfurt plays well together then nobody can beat them, but if they don´t play well together than there is a chance. They had 22 more shots. Usually you would lose by 20 points when that happens. Guys like Clarance and Freudenberg are too good for the Pro B. This loss was a good lesson for us. Our mentality is very good. One could see that we were frustrated. With a little luck we could of won, but we couldn´t handle the pressure”, stressed head coach Eric Detlev.
For the second straight game German Maxie Begue was in the starting five for the Fraport Skyliners Juniors and Swede shooting star Elijah Clarance came from the bench. Ex Bremerhaven German Garai Zeeb got aggressive early getting to the rim in quick fashion and scoring on a reverse lay up and the free throw for the fast 3-0 advantage at the 9.51 minute mark of the first quarter. However TG s.Oliver Wurzburg came roaring back as they got back to back baskets from rookie Dexter Sienko who had a stellar career at Regis University(NCAA2) making a lay in and 24 year old 191cm guard Lennart Stechmann who played 4 BBL games with BG Goettingen showed his quickness making a finger tip roll in for the first lead for TG s.Oliver Wurzburg 4-3. However the Fraport Skyliners Juniors then exploded showing how lethal their offense can become at the blink of an eye as they rushed out on a 12-1 run to take the commanding 15-5 lead. Their three point accuracy took over as ex St Johns(NCAA) forward Richard Freudenberg dropped two trey´s and ex Freiburg forward Cosmo Gruehn also connected. Frankfurt´s guard terror was also on fire as English player Jules Akodo scored twice as Frankfurt displayed their wide variety of different options on offense and their execution was spot on. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors kept the momentum for the rest of the way as Clarance entered the game at 3.50 and scored a nifty left handed lay in and also served up a dime finding the wide open German 16 year old NBBL top player Calvin Schaum and riffling him the perfect pass for the easy bucket. After 10 minutes the Fraport Skyliners Juniors had the comfortable 24-15 advantage. As always Fraport Skyliner legend in the making Quantez Robertson was in attendance and was recovering rorm the tough 83-76 loss in Ludwigsburg after scoring 20 points, getting 5 boards, 4 assists and 5 steals. “Frankfurt moved the ball well and were getting good looks. Freudenberg was getting to the foul line and making shots”, stressed ex Auburn(NCAA) standout Quantez Robertson.
In the second quarter the Fraport Skyliners Juniors kept their rhythm and momentum for the first half of the quarter, but then lost intensity as TG s.Oliver Wurzburg came fighting back and went into the break down only by 8 points. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors went on a quick 5-0 run as Clarance demonstrated his sound shooting stroke hitting a trey and new Skyliner Aaron Kayser who is a 19 year old 205cm center that last played with the NINERS Chemnitz (ProA) scored his first Frankfurt points in the paint as TG s:Oliver Wurzburg trailed 29-15. The guests had considerable difficulty generating solid offense so they had to rely on their import Dexter Sienko to supply the offensive goods and he did nailing a couple of three´s while 17 year old 202cm forward Michael Javernik also dropped a three as TG s.Oliver Wurzburg suddenly only trailed 34-29. However when Frankfurt needs instant points one can always rely on the athletic beast Elijah Clarance as he scored in traffic. But TG s.Oliver Wurzburg stayed on the heels of Frankfurt and scored on a Stechmann runner and 20 year old 203cm center Josef Weitzel who had 9 points and 10 rebounds against Coburg last week made free throws cutting the Frankfurt lead to 36-33. However the Fraport Skyliners Juniors found some offensive daylight again closing out the second quarter with a 5-0 run to lead 41-33 at the break. In the run it was Clarance again that was aggressive inside getting a tap in and big man Armin Trtovac who had mismatches to his advantage all night long also scored. “Frankfurt stopped moving the ball and weren´t executing well. They had too many possessions where the shot clock was down and they got garbage shots. They didn´t go inside enough to Trtovac”, warned Quantez Robertson.
In the third quarter TG s.Oliver Wurzburg came roaring back and even had the lead, but lost it quick again and could never get over the hump and really threaten Frankfurt. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors began mediocre into the third quarter allowing TG s.Oliver Wurzburg on a quick 11-2 run as they stole the lead back at 44-43. Frankfurt couldn´t execute on their first four possessions and TG s.Oliver Wurzburg took advantage of it. In the big Wurzburg run, they were fortified by Sienko who really used his speed to get inside and score easily as he made two buckets. Also ex MTSV Friendsfactory Schwabing (Regionalliga) 19 year old 208cm power forward Fynn Fischer also was key in the run as he made free throws and scored in the paint while Stechmann hit another trey. Just when it became threatening for the Fraport Skyliners, it was Clarance who as always this season had the green light and made a pretty floater that was perfectly timed. Trtovac followed that with a lay in and German Konstantin Schubert who is in his fifth season with Frankfurt made a lay in going coast to coast. Schubert has been fighting for minutes this season mainly due to the arrival of Clarannce, but he was super efficient coming from the bench scoring 10 points in 17 minutes. TG s.Oliver Wurzburg continued not to give up and stayed close, but just couldn´t step up their defense the way they wanted to. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors kept the lead and Clarance has at least 1-2 amazing plays a game and one was a great hustle play after losing the ball at mid court from behind and getting back and making the huge block. “I didn´t see him behind me and he stole the ball. I didn´t give up on the play and sprinted back and was able to get the block”,added Elijah Clarance. “He shows a lot of energy at both ends of the court. He can score inside and out and is a good defender. He is too good for this level. We have 6 imports in the BBL and if we get an injury, he would be a good addition for us”, stressed Quantez Robertson. Frankfurt continued to do damage inside as well as Schaum and Schubert scored and the Fraport Skyliners Juniors had the slim 57-52 advantage after three quarters. “We had a lack of focus, were slow on our rotations and let them go middle too much”, stressed Elijah Clarance. “We brought more energy, took care of the ball well and forced them to turnovers”, added Dexter Sienko.
In the fourth quarter the Fraport Skyliners Juniors almost threw away the game, but they were fortunate that TG s.Oliver Wurzburg were unable to generate any consistent offense and also couldn´t get Sienko open shots. The Fraport Skyliners couldn´t execute on their first seven possessions, but Wurzburg couldn´t get more points than just a Philipp Hadenfeld pull up jumper and a Weitzel offensive rebound and put back as Frankfurt still led 57-56. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors finally got their first field goal of the last frame at the 5.46 minute mark as Zeeb drilled home a trey. Sienko was getting less touches and looks as Akodo was keeping a close eye on him. “I should have been more aggressive at the end”, stated Dexter Sienko. After Akodo and Stechmann traded baskets, it was Clarance who went to the rim and tried to dunk with two hands, but layed it in and Freudenberg nailed three free throws as Frankfurt led 66-58. Frankfurt continued to allow Wurzburg to hang around as German Nils Leonhardt hit a pull up jumper cutting the Frankfurt lead to 70-64. Wurzbuurg needed a stop, but then Frankfurt broke their back as Schubert hit a buzzer beater three to extend their lead to 73-64 which decided the game. “That was a big tough shot from Frankfurt that we couldn´t recover from”, added Dexter Sienko. Sienko did hit a trey down the stretch, but it was too little too late. “We found our rhythm at the end. The three from Schubert was a big shot”, stated Elijah Clarance. “We couldn´t take advantage of their misses. For some reason we just weren´t focused as much. We had a good chance at the end, but couldn´t use it”, said Fynn Fischer. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors were led by Elijah Clarance with 17 points. Richard Freudenberg added 11 points while Jules Akodo and Konstantin Schubert supplied 10 points a piece. TG s.Oliver Wurzburg were led by Dexter Sienko with 22 points. Nils Leonhardt had 10 points. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors shot 39% from the field and 25% from outside while Tg s.Oliver Wurzburg shot 49% from the field and 46% from outside. Wurzburg won the rebound duel 34-32, but they coughed up the ball 26 times while Frankfurt had 14 turnovers.