Even if the Dragons Rhondorf´s defense has been a massive work in progress, the huge 8 game winning streak had partially blocked the woes on the defensive end, but winning streaks do come to an end. Last week the Dragons Rhondorf were unable to sweep the season series against Grevenbroich as they got revenge for the early season 85-72 loss in Rhondorf. Once again their defense wasn´t satisfactory as they lost 95-88. It didn´t help the Dragons Rhondorf cause either that one of their top players Killian Binapfl wasn´t available as he was playing with BBL team Telekom Baskets Bonn. Not only wasn´t their defense spot on, but they lost another rebound battle. The Dragons Rhondorf with a record of 11-4 returned back home and faced the Deutzer TV who had a record of 7-8 and despite starting the season losing 6 of 8 games had been playing better basketball having won 5 of the last 7 games. The Dragons Rhondorf didn´t have an easy match up as they faced the 9 best defensive team and third best rebounding team in the Regionalliga. The ex Pro A team Dragons Rhondorf also faced three ex players with Germans Anton Geretzki, Patrick Reusch and Joachim Koschade. With Christmas just around the corner, there was also some of that holiday feeling in the Dragon Dome, and despite 38 points by Curtis Hollis the Dragons Rhondorf slept in the first quarter getting down quick and never recovered as ex Dragon Patrick Reusch had his best scoring game in his professional career netting 28 points in the 99-96 victory. It didn´t help the Dragons Rhondorf´s cause either that they shot poorly all night long, their defense failed and Killian Binapfl had an off night as nothing seemed to function for him as he ended with 3 points. The Deutzer TV played a wonderful game showing what basketball looks like when team comes first. They also rebounded very well and their zone stifled the Dragons Rhondorf all night long. “Key in the first half was our defense. Everyone did their role on man to man and when we played zone. We remained patient in the second half even when they began to hit three´s. We took good shots and did a good job reading their defense and taking advantage of it”, stressed ex Rhondorf guard Patrick Reusch. “.They got up early and we took bad shots. We gave up way too many transition baskets and gambled too much”, stressed Texas native Curtis Hollis.
It was the homecoming of three ex Rhondorf players with Anton Geretzki, Joe Koschade and Patrick Reusch. Reusch had the game of his life netting 28 points and was thrilled to be back in an old living room. “It was a good feeling to be back. It is always a good atmosphere here. It felt like I was back in an old living room. I´m happy that we came out with a win. It was a different feeling than usual and I was extra motivated for this game”, stated Patrick Reusch. The Deutzer TV got quick production from German veteran Florian Schultz who scored twice while Rhondorf got a bucket from Slovenian big man Jure Besedic and free throws from Curtis Hollis for the 4-4 tie. But the Deutzer TV then marched away from the Dragons Rhondorf going on a lethal 14-3 run to lead very comfortably 18-7 after 10 minutes. Both teams weren´t hitting three´s well, so the Deutzer TV found unique ways to score inside and the back door cut was very effective. The guests did a good job of executing at both ends of the court sharing the ball well as Philipp Pfeifer, Lennart Bonner, Ben Uzoma and Reusch scored as the Dragons Rhondorf gave up way too many easy baskets inside. Also on defense their zone was annoying Rhondorf and 206cm big Man Lennart Bonner rejected Binapfel back to back. Rhondorf was hurrying their offense too much and coughing the ball up at a high rate. “We had too many turnovers and took bad shots. Too many guys wanted to be the hero, which got us in a big deficit. We had no communication or help defense and constantly got beat”, stressed Texas native Curtis Hollis.. The Deutzer TV shot 43% from the field and 0% from outside and had 15 rebounds and 0 turnovers while the Dragons Rhondorf shot 11,8% form the field and 0% from outside and had 13 rebounds and 4 turnovers.
In the second quarter the Deutzer TV continued to play their exemplary team basketball and began to lead in double digits. The Dragons Rhondorf got some production from Besedic who got going and scored 2 buckets and Hollis scored a lay in. The Dragons Rhondorf had a terrible phase on defense as they allowed countless easy baskets inside. Germans Julian Litera and Ben Uzoma had dunks for the 24-13 advantage. The Deutzer TV continued to defend with passion and practice beautiful team basketball. The Dragons Rhondorf had little offensive production except for Hollis who scored 3 baskets and Besedic who supplied 2 baskets, while the Deutzer TV continued to crush the Dragons Rhondorf with back door baskets time in and time out. Uzoma continued to be that big body inside and he used the mismatches and scored twice while ex Telekom Baskets Bonn 2 German Paul Horschler hit a trey as the Deútzer TV led 32-23. The guests continued to keep that nice double digit cushion continuing to get easy baskets in the paint as Boner made a hard two handed dunk and also finished with a hook shot while Schultz snuck in for a back door lay getting fed by Pfeifer who shone with his passing qualities getting 6 dimes. The Dragons Rhondorf had too little offensive punch and with Binapfl cold and the team three´s not falling, they had difficulty getting their offense going. The Dragons finally hit their first trey in the end phase of the second quarter from Spanish guard Enric Garrido Foz, but the Deutzer TV still led 44-34. “They played hard and hit shots. Their big man Boner killed us. You could see that they wanted to win bad”, stressed Curtis Hollis. The DeutzerTV shot 52,9% from the field and 14,3% from the three point line and had 21 rebounds and 7 turnovers while the Dragons Rhondorf shot 33,3 from the field and 16,7% from the three point line and had 20 rebounds and 10 turnovers.
The Deutzer TV continued to control the game in the third quarter and led by as much as 15 points, but the Dragons Rhondorf just continued to chip away and stay in striking distance. The Dragons Rhondorf came out focused in the third quarter going on a 5-0 run to cut the guests lead down to 44-39. Sniper Jonas Falkenstein dropped two free throws and Hollis dropped a trey. But that quick burst of offense didn´t impress the guests as they struck back with a 12-2 run to extend their lead to 56-41. They began the run with a sort of little seen trick play as Pfeifer unraveled a sweet alley-oop pass from the inbounds play to Julian Litera who tapped it in. Reusch scored on the drive, and Litera then scored twice on transition. The Dragons Rhodorf continued to make too many turnovers and forgot about transition defense. Both teams continued to be able to execute, but the Dragons Rhondorf continued to trail by double digits for the most part .Reusch continued to do his things mastering his drive and mid distance shot with success. Foz hit a trey and made a steal and lay up for baskets while Marek Kotieno also was aggressive and scored two buckets. Kilian Binapfl continued to struggle as absolutely nothing was working for him. “It´s tough for him. He only practices with us 1-2 times per week and the rest with the Telekom Baskets Bonn. It´s not fair for us or them. It was one of those days where nothing worked for him. He wasn´t picking his spots well and was forcing things. But he is still young and will bounce back”, stressed Curtis Hollis. In the last minute of the third quarter, the Dragons went on a little run as Hollis scored on transition and cut the guests lead down to 66-60, but Patrick Reusch nailed a buzzer beater trey to lift his Team to the 69-60 advantage. “We almost always play a good third quarter. They began well and aggressive, but we remained patient. We did make mistakes, but also hit big shots”, added Patrick Reusch. “Turnovers hurt us. We tried to do too much. They hit shots”, added Curtis Hollis. The Deutzer TV shot 50% from the field and 18,2% from the parking lot and had 30 rebounds and 10 turnovers while the Dragons Rhondorf shot 40,4% and 23,5% from the parking lot and had 32 rebounds and 19 turnovers.
In the fourth quarter the Deutzer TV continued to keep the lead, but the Dragons Rhondorf never gave up and in garbage time were able to quietly come back as Curtis Hollis showed his basket in bunches ability, but time ran out. There were a few fazes where the Dragons Rhondorf could significantly cut down the lead, but couldn´t then get the stops. The Dragons Rhondorf finally got their long ball going as 37 year old Anish Sharda nailed back to back three´s and Foz also connected as Deutzer TV led only 77-71. But whenever the Dragons Rhondorf were threatening, the guests always had answers. Pfeifer and Boner scored baskets for the 81-71 lead. Rhondorf had their chances missing some open three´s, but they weren´t lacking fighting qualities as they fought back again to cut the guests lead down to 83-79 as Besedic scored and Hollis made a trey. But the Deutzer Tv always had an answer. Veteran Florian Schultz scored 5 unanswered points and boner a lay in for the 90-82 lead. Rhondorf made a late run down the stretch as Hollis scored 4 buckets in a row, but in the end their comeback attempt wasn´t rewarded as time ran out losing 99-96. “We hit big shots at the end which we didn´t make in the first game. We are more of a mature team now. The baskets by Schultz were the deciding moments in the game. He has good nerves”, stated Patrick Resuch. “Reusch broke us down a lot. We just couldn´t get stops and get over the hump”, stressed Curtis Hollis. The Deutzer TV were led by Patrick Resuch with 28 points. Lennart Boner added 19 points and 12 boards and Florian Schultz added 16 points while the Dragons Rhondorf were led by Curtis Hollis with 38 points, 7 rebounds and 8 assists. Jure Besedic added 15 points and 7 rebounds and Enric Garrido Foz added 14 points. The Deutzer TV shot 50% from the field and 29% from outside and had 41 rebounds and 15 turnovers while the Dragons Rhondorf shot 45% from the field and 35% from outside and had 39 rebounds and 19 turnovers.