Not only in the EasyCredit BBL is the exciting and emotional Hessen derby between the Fraport Skyliners and Giessen 46ers, but also in the Pro B the two farm teams of the BBL clubs also have battled each other for some years. Both Pro B clubs met in the first game of the season in Giessen where the Fraport Skyliners Juniors suffered an agonizing 80-63 loss where they were badly outrebounded and gave up 13 offensive rebounds and coughed up the ball 17 times. Frankfurt had played a lot better in recent weeks having won two of their last three games including a solid come from behind win at home against the Morgenstern BIS Baskets Speyer where they defended with passion again and had more options on offense while Giessen also has played a lot better after their horrible start where they lost four of their first five games have rattled off 9 wins in 12 games since the bad start. The Fraport Skylines Juniors sought their second win in a row while Giessen wanted to start a winning streak after losing to Orange Academy last weekend and Frankfurt put on an offense show and stepped up their defense in the fourth quarter outscoring the guests 29-16 to celebrate a big win as they moved back into the playoff spots with a comfortable 104-82 victory. After the huge win, Nigel Pruitt didn´t have much time to chat, because he was preparing to travel to Bamberg with teammates Len Schoorman and Aaron Kayser as they will be a part of the BBL roster for the game tomorrow as the club still has many injuries. Pruitt finished with 15 points and hit big three´s in the second half and ran the pick and role perfectly with Kayser and was elated about the two game winning streak. “”This was a great team effort where all were ready to play. We showed true dedication to defense where we were able to stop guys 1-1 and we rebounded well. Playing good defense gave us confidence on offense and everyone was ready to make plays”, stressed ex Kenneshaw State forward Nigel Pruitt. Depant Giessen 46ers Rakelos made their runs during the game, but when the Fraport Skyliners Juniors went on runs in the second half, they were unable to follow them and fell apart on defense. After the contest a disappointed Watt Lohaus explained what went wrong. “We made too many mistakes, but were able to stay close in the first half. We began well in the third quarter pushing the ball and getting stops, but we continued to make too many mistakes and gave up too many offensive rebounds. We had a lack of defensive execution in the second half”, warned ex N Iowa(NCAA) guard Wyatt Lohaus.
Both teams traded buckets in the first few minutes as Germans Calvin Schaum and Cosmo Gruehn connected for Frankfurt and Leon Okpara and veteran Johannes Lischka who has 205 BBL games on his resume scored for Giessen as the game was deadlocked 4-4. The game would be a game of runs and the Fraport Skyliners Juniors went on the first one scoring 10 unanswered points to gain the 14-4 advantage. Frankfurt took apart the paint area getting easy baskets. New guard Bruno Peric scored on a lay in, Pruitt scored twice with a transition lay in and jumper and Kayser made a lay in off the lob pass and Gruehn hit a jumper on transition. Frankfurt was moving the ball well and executing well while stepping up their defense. However the Fraport Skyliners Juniors were unable to keep the momentum as Giessen retaliated and slapped Frankfurt with a 10-2 run in the face trailing only 16-14. Giessen played with high intensity on offense and was more patient and lived of the mid range game as Lischka and Okpara made shots and Lohaus nailed a trey. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors would keep the narrow lead as both teams refrained from defense as both teams offenses continued to execute with ease. Frankfurt got much needed production from ex PS Karlsruhe center Noah Kamdem with 2 baskets while Giessen continued to get consistent scoring from Lischka and Lohaus. Lohaus snuck inside and made an offensive rebound and put back. Maxi Begue closed out the first quarter with a lay in for the 26-23 Frankfurt lead. “They focused on our shooters so we established our inside game having more room in the paint. Once we got our inside game going, they didn´t know what to do”, stressed Nigel Pruitt. The Fraport Skyliners shot 71% from the field and 0% from outside and had 7 rebounds and 3 turnovers while Depant Giessen 46ers Rackelos shot 57% from the field and 50% from outside and had 6 rebounds and 3 turnovers.
Both teams had runs again in the second quarter, but after 20 minutes it was the Fraport Skyliners Juniors that had the lead again at 48-42. German big man Tim Uhlemann got Giessen on the board first with a lay up to trail Frankfurt 26-25. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors then exploded with a 12-2 run to extend their lead to 38-27. In the run, Frankfurt displayed their versatile inside out game getting back to back three´s from Pruitt and Peric and also got free throws from Kamden, a lay in from Kayser and lay in from Alvin Onyia. Frankfurt continued to bang the ball inside, but also added that outside presence and were able to execute. Frankfurt also clogged the zone better not allowing Giessen inside as easily as in the first half. But like in the first quarter, Giessen was able to counter and follow Frankfurt´s run with their own and creep back into the game with a 9-0 run to trail only 38-36. Giessen continued to glow with their mid range game getting key baskets from Okpara, Lischka and Lohaus. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors closed out the second half strong and kept the lead keeping Giessen a bit off balance. Frankfurt continued getting easy baskets inside from Kayser and Kamdem while Giessen got another basket from Lischka while Lohaus closed out the second quarter with a trey trailing Frankfurt 48-42 at the break. “We tried to contain Lischka as best as possible, but he is a veteran with a big body and knows how to play. He kept them in the game. We forced him to take tough shots. He can´t hit contested shots for 40 minutes”, added Nigel Pruitt. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors shot 63% from the field and 38% from the three point line and had 16 boards and 5 turnovers while the Depant Giessen 46ers Rackelos shot 50% from the field and 33% from the three point line and had 16 boards and 6 turnovers.
The Depant Giessen 46ers Rackelos grabbed the lead back at the start of the third quarter, but then Frankfurt inserted Noah Kamdem and the turning point of the game came as he gave the much needed energy and aggressiveness on offense getting Frankfurt the lead back and they would never look back. Giessen came out potent going on a 8-0 run to get the lead back at 50-48. In the run they continued to hurt Frankfurt with their mid range game as Okpara made a runner, Lischka hit another one of his off balance shots and Lohaus made free throws and a pull up jumper. Giessen stopped Frankfurt on it´s first five possessions mixing up their defensive formations sneaking in a press as well. Frankfurt grabbed the lead back and slowly built on it. Huge in the turn around was Noah Kamdem who dominated the paint area giving execution a new meaning and getting vital rebounds. After Schoormann hit a three giving Frankfurt it´s first field goal of the third quarter at the 6,20 minute mark, it was then Kamdem who took over. He scored 7 of the team´s next 14 points scoring three times in the paint including a pretty left handed hook shot. Frankfurt also got another clutch trey from Peric as Frankfurt led 68-58. Giessen got some key baskets from German Tim Koepple and a lay in by Lohaus, but it was Kamdem who continued to be a force and was Frankfurt´s best player in the third frame. He made a key kick out assist to Pruitt for a trey and scored in the paint two more times including hauling down an offensive rebound and making the put back as Frankfurt led 73-64 after 30 minutes. “Noah had a good week of practice. He was mentally aggressive and was hard to stop. Key for him is to continue to get easy lay ups and rebounds. I think that he can continue to do that and still have a big impact in the game. He continues to get better”, stressed Nigel Pruitt. “We gave up offensive rebounds and their pick and roll created advantages for them. When a team starts to have a cushon it becomes hard to stop a team when they are rolling”, added Wyatt Lohaus. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors shot 59% from the field and 44% from the parking lot and had 22 rebounds and 7 turnovers while the Depant Giessen 46ers Rackelos shot 51% from the field and 38% from the parking lot and had 19 rebounds and 8 turnovers.
In the first few minutes of the fourth quarter, it was young German Aaron Kayser and veteran Johannes Lischka who put on a show trading baskets three times. Lischka continued to shine with his unstoppable mid range game making an off balance shot, runner and lay in while Kayser ran the pick and role perfectly twice with Nigel Pruitt, but Giessen couldn´t make any ground still trailing 81-72. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors had a comfortable lead, but didn´t want to threaten losing it, so they slammed the door on Giessen with a 15-4 run to extend their lead to 96-76 and coast home to victory. In the run, Frankfurt got clutch production from 2017 JBBL finalists and new generation players Len Schoormann and Maxi Begue. Begue made an incredible reverse lay up and trey while Schoormann made a transition bucket and free throws. Peric gave added stability with a three pointer and Kayser remained aggressive on the offensive glass getting an offensive rebound and put back. Frankfurt continued to execute well in the last minutes getting a lay in from Pruitt and Onyia. Schoormann made two great assists with a no look pass to Kayser who made a massive two handed dunk and made the pass of the game to Cosmo Gruehn for the 100 points. He got the ball and made a semi full court bounce pass to the German for the lay in. He must of seen Rajon Rondo passes from back in the day when he played for the Boston Celtics. “I saw him, but he was far away. It was tough to throw it with two defenders in the area so I figured that the bounce pass was the more sure pass. I know that Rondo can make that pass”, stressed Len Schoormann. “That was a great pass. I didn´t think that he saw Gruehn. I thought he would dunk”, added Nigel Pruitt. Lischka and Okpara rounded out the scoring for Giessen who had lost their last two games. “We continued to defend well and got stops. Giessen was tired. They didn´t want to give up the three ball so we did the pick and roll”, added Nigel Pruitt. “We continued to make many mistakes. The momentum swung in their run and we couldn´t find any rhythm on offense. They continued to get easy baskets”, stressed Wyatt Lohaus. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors were led by Noah Kamdem with 21 points. Len Schoormann and Aaron Kayser added 19 points a piece and Bruno Peric added 11 points and 6 assists. The Depant Giessen 46ers Rackelos were led by Johannes Lischka with 29 points. Wyatt Lohaus produced 22 points while Len Okpara had 19 points. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors shot 62% from the field and 43% from outside and had 38 rebounds and 9 turnovers while the Depant Giessen 46ers Rackelos shot 46% form the field and 31% from outside and had 30 rebounds and 10 turnovers.