After a two week break, it was finally time to play Pro B basketball again, but the Fraport Skyliners Juniors had a huge obstacle as they met second place club TG s.Oliver Wurzburg. They had had a unsatisfying 10th place finish last season, but this season ex Juniors head coach Eric Detlev who coached the Pro B program in Frankfurt from 2012-2017 has done a fantastic job building a new winning culture in Bavaria as the team scores the most points in the entire league with 90, is second best in rebounds at 34 and first in assists with 21. A big reason for the success is the inspiring play of their two imports American Cameron Hunt and Lithuanian small forward Rytis Pipiras who average almost half the team´s points. But they also have been inspired by their fast developing German big man Jonas Weitzel. The Fraport Skyliners arrived in the contest with a bitter 5 game losing streak as their defense continued to be a massive work in progress allowing 82 points per game and 90 points during their losing skid. Frankfurt had surprisingly won the first game in Wurzburg in a 101-94 shoot out where Bruno Vrcic and Cosmo Gruehn exploded for 58 points combined on 13/19 shooting from the parking lot but in the return contest in Frankfurt, TG s.Oliver Wurzburg got revenge crushing the Fraport Skyliners Juniors 99-67. The guests did a great job controlling the boards, taking care of the ball and defending like a team something Frankfurt couldn´t do right all night long. After the big win, the Wurzburg players went into the stands to celebrate with the many fans that made the trip to Frankfurt. After the celebrating died down a bit, Texas native Cameron Hunt was able to reflect on the team´s 11th win of the season. “We didn´t start so well, because we hadn´t practiced together in a while. We have many good shooters and we made shots. Even when we aren´t making shots, we always rely on our defense. We rebounded very well and were able to get out on transition a lot”, explained Cameron Hunt. The losing woes of the Fraport Skyliners Juniors continued as the club continued to be up and down and any signs of defensive improvement continued to be absent. After the loss a disappointed Nigel Pruitt tried to explain why the team lost again. “Our first half was good. We were only down by 8 points. If you can play consistently for 40 minutes, then you will have good chances of winning. It was another roller coaster ride for us. We came out flat in the second half and we showed that we can´t rebound. They played like a team and we didn´t”, stressed Tennessee native Nigel Pruitt.
The BCM the home gym of the Fraport Skyliners Juniors is usually so quiet that you could hear a conversation in the top row, but on this day, the gym atmosphere was incredible. It must have felt like a home game for TG s.Oliver Wurzburg because their fans made noise noise noise like it had never been heard before in that gym. But the loudness didn´t effect the Fraport Skyliners Juniors in the first minutes as the home team cruised out on a quick 10-1 lead as Pruitt was all over the court hitting two three´s and swatting away 2 balls while 17 year old guard Len Schoormann made a finger tip roll lay in and ex Chemnitz center Aaron Kayser made a pretty left handed hook shot. It was a pleasure watching Frankfurt ball with a high intensity while the guests still seemed like they were on the bus snoozing. “Frankfurt hit some tough shots, but we knew that if we kept contesting that we would find our rhythm which we did”, stressed Cameron Hunt. But Frankfurt couldn´t keep the intensity going consistently as TG s.Oliver Wurzburg raced back on a 8-0 run to cut the Frankfurt lead to 10-9. Ex BG Goettingen guard Philipp Hadenfield got the guests their first field goal at the 7,45 minute mark and then it was the Cameron Hunt show as he scored 3 consecutive buckets with a pull up jumper, left handed lay in and step back jumper showing exactly how much he had in his offensive arsenal. Frankfurt held on to the lead as Nigel Pruitt continued to be the Frankfurt energizer scoring another lay in and three pointer for the 15-11 lead. One of TG s.Oliver Wurzburg´s best players is Lithuanian forward Rytis Piparas, but he would have a cold day and German Fynn Fischer who reached the 2017 NBBL final 4 took responsibility and led the guests on a 13-3 run scoring 5 buckets as Wurzburg led 24-18. Fischer is playing his second season with the club and not only showed his knack of securing offensive rebounds and mastering put backs, but also displayed a fine mid range game. “We started well, but then they threw the first punch and we didn´t respond. We couldn´t rebound the ball”, stressed Nigel Pruitt. TG s.Oliver Wurzburg shot 55% from the field and 0% from outside and had 17 rebounds and 6 turnovers while the Fraport Skyliners Juniors shot 44% from the field and 33% from outside and had 7 rebounds and 4 turnovers.
In the second quarter TG s.Oliver Wurzburg continued to have the lead and control the game leading mostly by double digits, but Frankfurt had some good phases where they were able to execute on offense and even cut the guests lead to 4 points, but at halftime Frankfurt was down 46-38. TG s.Oliver Wurzburg sped out on a quick 4-0 run to extend their lead to 28-18 as Fynn Fischer continued to be active in the paint making free throws and a tap in. Frankfurt lacked the physicality of Wurzburg and couldn´t find a remedy for it. Even if Frankfurt didn´t have all guys on the same page there were phases where a few played with that special intensity. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors played their best basketball in the second quarter going on a lethal 14-8 run to cut Wurzburg´s lead to 36-32. Pruitt continued to take responsibility on the offensive end nailing two three´s while Schoormann contributed 6 points. Wurzburg lost a little concentration on the defensive end. Down the stretch, both teams were able to execute well on offense. Hunt was able to display a great balance between scoring and finding his teammates as he hit a three and lay in while Frankfurt was able to stay at bay getting two clutch three´s from captain and ex USC Freiburg forward Cosmo Gruehn, but Frankfurt still trailed 46-38. TG s.Oliver Wurzburg shot 50% from the field and 13% from the three point line and had 24 rebounds and 8 turnovers while the Fraport Skyliners Juniors shot 45% from the field and 41% from the three point line and had 18 rebounds and 12 turnovers.
The turning point of the game occurred in the third quarter as TG s.Oliver Wurzburg exploded on offense scoring 33 points to have the 79-57 advantage. Fischer continued to be a beast as he scored the first 4 points of the third quarter with a lay in and a 20 foot jump shot for the 50-38 lead. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors were able to execute well on offense continuing to get production from guys like Schoormann, Kayser and Pruitt, but they just couldn´t get over the hump and were always trailing by double digits. Plus Frankfurt also had absolutely no clue how to slow down Cameron Hunt. He had his second stretch of the game where he gave scoring in bunches a new meaning as he scored 3 consecutive buckets to give the Bavarian club the 61-46 lead. In the stretch run of the third quarter, TG s.Oliver Wurzbrug heightened their offense a bit more going on a 18-8 run to lead 79-57 after 30 minutes. Wurzburg let the three fly getting two trey´s from ex BBL player Julian Albus who has 85 BBL games on his resume and Hadenfeldt also scored from the parking lot. When young Fynn Fischer took a breather, it was time for the other young Wurzburg big man Jonas Weitzel to get to work and did scoring twice in the paint and registering free throws. “We got more stops and were able to run as well. We sped up the game and were more physical then them”, added Cameron Hunt. “We experienced the snowball effect. First we didn´t rebound and then we didn´t defend. Hunt got hot. We couldn´t guard him”, expressed Nigel Pruitt. TG s.Oliver Wurzburg shot 52% form the field and 31% from the parking lot and had 34 rebounds and 9 turnovers while the Fraport Skyliners Juniors shot 46% from the field and 37% from the parking lot and had 27 rebounds and 18 turnovers.
The contest was already decided in the fourth quarter, but TG s.Oliver Wurzburg continued to play their game and also defended better holding Frankfurt to 10 points. Young German Noah Camden made his Frankfurt debut after beginning the season with the wiha Panthers and recently had a very short stay with BBC Coburg. In his Frankfurt debut he scored 6 points and grabbed 5 rebounds including 4 offensive rebounds in 15 minutes. He gave Frankfurt some physicality that they have been missing this season. Kamdem should give the club vital energy from the bench with that added touch of physicality. Mr triple double Tim Eisenberger who registered 7 triple doubles in the Regionalliga scored twice as he ended the night with 6 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals while Rytis Pipiras who started slowly finished with 11 points 5 rebounds and 2 assists. He also showed his shooting range hitting a 20 footer and trey. Hunt entered the fourth quarter with 21 points, but wasn´t finished yet as he contributed 7 points in the last frame to finish with 28 points. Wurzburg had the 30 point lead after Eisenberger threw up an alley op inbounds pass to Hunt who tapped it in. Jazz Bains closed out the game with a penetration lay in for the 99-67 end result. “We stuck with our game plan and focused on the pick and roll defense and did a good job with it”, expressed Cameron Hunt. “When you looked at the scoreboard and saw the big lead, it was emotionally draining. We stuck to our concept on offense and defense even if we were losing. I felt we played a little selfish at the end”, stressed Nigel Pruitt. TG s.Oliver Wurzburg were led by Cameron Hunt with 28 points and 7 assists. Fynn Fischer added 20 points and 7 rebounds and Rytis Pipiras and Juilian Albus scored 11 points a piece while the Fraport Skyliners Juniors were led by Nigel Pruitt with 20 points and Cosmo Gruehn added 13 points. TG s.Oliver Wurzburg shot 52% from the field and 32% from outside and had 43 rebounds and 9 turnovers while the Fraport Skyliners Juniors shot 39% from the field and 30% from outside and had 39 rebounds and 21 turnovers.