The TSV Oberaching Tropics Let It Splash In Crunch-Time Toppling The Fraport Skyliners Juniors 93-86

In the past years since the Fraport Skyliners Juniors have been playing in the Pro B there have been many interesting players that have played here like Johannes Voigtman, Danilo Barthel and Isaac Bonga that have progressed to the Euroleague and NBA, but also guys that have remained and due to certain circumstances come back. One of those is TSV Oberaching head coach Mario Matic who coached Nordlingen for some years in the Pro B and knows the BCM too well. But also some of the young bucks like Justin Headley and William Bessoir played NBBL in the last years. Matic and Headley were ready for action and had revenge on their minds after losing the first contest in their own living room 89-71. In that game the Fraport Skyliners lit it up form the parking lot dropping 12 three´s and easily won the rebound and bench battle. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors came into the game with a lot of self -confidence having won three games in a row and last weekend beat Baunach on the road thanks to 32 points and 10 three´s from American Nigel Pruitt while the TSV Oberaching Tropics entered the game having lost 7 of their last 9 games including a shoot out last weekend against Hanau 101-93. But on this mild Saturday evening which felt more like April than February, the Bavarian side came to play despite having severe injury woes and had control for most of the game and then when Frankfurt cut the contest  to 2 points in crunch-time, they instantly let it splash toppling Frankfurt 93-86. For the TSV Oberhaching Tropics, it was a huge win as they continue to battle to get into good position in the playdowns so they have some leverage in the 6 game competition for the last 4 teams wanting to return to the Pro B next season while 2 move back to the Regionalliga. After the victory American point guard John Boyer of TSV Oberaching Tropics who once had 13 steals in a Regionalliga game reflected on the 40 minute affair. “We have ben playing better the last games despite having injuries so we have been banking on our team chemistry. We stayed together and were always able to answer when they went on runs. We hit big shots at the end when we needed them, secured rebounds and hit our free throws”, stressed ex Buffalo(NCAA) guard John Boyer. It was a tough loss for the Fraport Skyliners Juniors as their 3 game winning streak was snapped. They had been playing better defense the last weeks, but on this night got back to bad old habits and couldn´t make key stops in crunch-time. “We gave up way too many points tonight. When you give up many points, it is hard to find a good rhythm on offense. The first and third quarters were good. We were able to defend better in the third quarter”, added Fraport Skyliner Junior forward Cosmo Gruehn.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing Omari Knox after dropping 28 points in the win

The first quarter was a tight affair that saw both teams find their offensive rhythm quickly and there were 7 lead changes, but at the end of 10 minutes, the Fraport Skyliners Juniors had the slim 23-20 advantage. Frankfurt was without Bruno Vrcic and Konstantin Schubert while the TSV Oberaching Tropics were without 6 players including their vital big man Moritz Wohlers who played in the BBL more than a decade ago with the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven. The Bavarian side got quick buckets from German Janosch Koegler and Serbian big man Miljan Grujic, but Frankfurt were on their toes as 17 year old 2019 Addias Next Generation Tournament player Len Schoormann found his range quickly scoring on a lay in and an and one plus a trey to give Frankfurt their first lead at 6-5. Both teams played at a very high tempo and now both teams would change leads the way Paris Hilton does her shoes. Grujic came up big again finishing the pick and roll nicely with John Boyer who made a fancy no look pass. His whole passing game reminded one a bit of the legendary Canadian point guard Steve Nash. “I have always like Nash´s style and how he made the game flashy. We both like to push the ball”, stressed John Boyer. After Bruno Peric free throws, it was Boyer who was aggressive whenever he had the ball scoring with a fast drive to the hole giving the Bavarian side the 11-8 advantage. Frankfurt grabbed the lead back with a mini 5-0 run as Peric scored on a lay in and Cosmo Gruehn dropped a lethal trey for the 13-11 lead. Both teams´s offenses were flowing as now the Tropics were led on a 5-0 run by Koegler who made a lay in and sunk a trey getting the nice kick out pass from Boyer for the 16-13 lead. The TSV Oberaching Tropics were doing a good job continuously attacking the rim while Frankfurt was spreading the ball around well. In the last few minutes the Fraport Skyliners Juniors were able to grab the lead back getting key free throws from ex Coburg center Noah Kamdem and Nigel Pruitt and a clutch trey from little used forward Leon Pullen who began his career with TV Langen. The Bavarian side got two key two point buckets and a block from American Omari “Fort” Knox  “I can´t remember ever having 2 blocks in a game. Most of the time for me defense are instincts. I just came off surgery and am not at 100% yet. I just go out and make the play”, warned Omari Knox. After one frame the Fraport Skyliners Juniors led 23-20. “Both teams were feeling each other out. We had heavy legs and had been on the bus since 11 am this morning. We played pretty good defense to get into offensive rhythm”, stressed john Boyer. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors shot 40% from the field and 43% from outside and had 11 rebounds and 4 turnovers while the TSV Oberaching Tropics shot 45% from the field and 13% from outside and had 10 rebounds and 0 turnovers.

In the second quarter the Fraport Skyliners Juniors let up on the defensive end and allowed the TSV Oberaching Tropics go on a run and control the game until half-time. But the Fraport Skyliners Juniors never lost track and battled and made a run at the end to trail only by 8 points at the break. The TSV Oberaching Tropics exploded in the first minutes racing out on a lethal 12-0 run to lead comfortably 32-23. In the run the guys from head coach Mario Matic got solid production from their import players John Boyer and Omari Knox. Knox contributed 5 points including a three pointer. Knox has been a deadly three point shooter his whole career once averaging 27 and 26 points per game for Dachau and has been lighting it up this season in the Pro B as well. Frankfurt was giving him too much room to operate and not covering him tight enough. Boyer also made a bucket while German shooter Peter Zeis who played 69 BBL games with medi Bayreuth made free throws and a trey to close out the run. Frankfurt was getting overwhelmed from the super Tropics execution and got careless on offense coughing up the ball too many times. The guests had a great offensive rhythm and their decision making was spot on. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors finally got on the board with their first points at the 6,19 minute mark as German Maxi Begue played to his strength nailing a mid distance shot cutting the Tropics lead to 32-25. The TSV Oberaching Tropics were getting good production from every player who played a slim 8 man rotation. German guard Chris Wuermseher who has 106 Regionalliga game on his resume  got aggressive scoring two baskets. On the last one caught Frankfurt napping on the inbounds pass as German Justin Hedley found him all alone underneath for the easy lay in as the guests led 36-25. After a disastrous beginning to the second quarter, Frankfurt finished the last minutes with some pride going on a vital 11-5 run to break the double digit lead of the Tropics and trail only 41-36 with a few seconds remaining. In the run, the Fraport Skyliners Juniors received some key buckets from Maxi Begue who continued to display his fine mid range game including a beautiful text book floater that Chris Paul couldn´t have executed better. Gruehn continued to be a huge offensive factor netting 5 points with a step back jumper and trey. With a few seconds to go, Frankfurt was leading 41-36, but they couldn´t withstand an exciting buzzer beater three from Peter Zeis as the guests led 44-36 at the break. “We did a good job reading their defense. They switched a lot on the pick and roll and we worked on that creating mismatches”, explained John Boyer. The TSV Oberaching Tropics shot 47% from the field and 28% from the three point line and had 17 boards and 4 turnovers while the Fraport Skyliners Juniors shot 41% from the field and 36% from the three point line and had 19 rebounds and 11 turnovers.

Miles Schmidt-Scheuber interviewing John Boyer who added 7 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals in 15 minutes of work in the win

In the third quarter the Fraport Skyliners Juniors went on a huge run to begin the quarter, but couldn´t get away from the TSV Oberaching Tropics as the game remained tight and the guests had the slim two point advantage after 30 minutes. Frankfurt erupted to begin the second half with a massive 13-2 run to capture back the lead 49-46. In the run the Fraport Skyliners Juniors got heavy three point production as Len Schoormann who came into the contest shooting 30% from the parking lot ripped home two three´s and Cosmo Gruehn also delivered again with a trey. Peric hit free throws and Knoxville Tennessee native Nigel Pruitt who was being contained very well at the three point line had some luck getting a loose ball down low and easily scoring. Grujic hit a old school hook shot for the lone Tropics score. But the TSV Oberaching Tropics continued to battle and didn´t allow Frankfurt to break way getting a basket from ex Hanau guard Justin Hedley and Koegler free throws to dead lock the game at 51-51. The TSV Oberaching Tropics were able to gain the lead again thanks to their valuable bench/role player Sebastian Rauch. Rauch played 8 years for Gotha and has been that Regionalliga/Pro B journey man for his whole career, but is one of those guys that every coach would love to have. He scored two big buckets creating mis matches and scoring out of the post for easy baskets. “He always does what we need. If coach wants him to do the dirty work, he does it. He loves doing the dirty work. He was a big reason why we beat Orange Academy recently. The way he played there is how he played today. He gives us very valuable experience”, stressed john Boyer. The Tropics had gone on a 6-0 run for the 57-51 lead, but Frankfurt had some energy in the last minutes closing out the third quarter on a 6-2 run to trail only 59-57 as Begue again scored from mid range and Pruitt finally got free dropping a trey. “We panicked a bit and got too comfortable. They felt it and took the momentum and went on a run”, expressed ex Bloomfield(NCAA2) guard Omari Knox. “We found a good rhythm and defended well in the run and were able to come back. When you get stops on defense, you automatically feel better on offense”, warned Cosmo Gruehn. TSV Oberaching Tropics shot 45% from the field and 24% from the parking lot and had 23 rebounds and 7 turnovers while the Fraport Skyliners Juniors shot 47% from the field and 44% from the parking lot and had 26 rebounds and 4 turnovers.

In the fourth quarter the Fraport Skyliners Juniors allowed the TSV Oberaching Tropics to break away again and to lead by as much as 10 points. Frankfurt came back to cut the deficit to 2 points, but then couldn´t get over the hump in crunch-time to win back the lead. The guests broke out on an annoying 12—4 run to extend their lead to 71-61 over Frankfurt and it seemed like they might coast home to victory. In the run the TSV Oberaching Tropics got valuable production inside as the Frankfurt 1-1 defense was beginning to get weak. The Tropics got easy baskets inside from Koegler, Headley and Rauch. They also got a valuable trey from Omari Knox who once hit Bad Aibling for 48 points in a Regionalliga game nailed a trey and Zeis made free throws. Frankfurt received a jumper from Begue and lay in from Peric. The Fraport Skyliners knew now was the time to act or go home disappointed and they did that starting to chip away at the Tropics lead and claw back. Frankfurt got a runner from Schoormann and then a lay in from Peric. On the lay in from Peric, it was a broken play where he was smart and didn´t let a Knox throw off his body go out of bounds and got the ball and scored to cut the Tropics lead to 73-66. But Frankfurt made basketball life very difficult for themselves not executing on defense. They were unable to defend better on man and suffered more easy baskets. After another clutch trey from Gruehn to cut the Tropics advantage to 75-69, Knox came back with a jumper and three pointer to extend the Tropics lead to 80-71. Frankfurt never was able to get a handle on the Brooklyn, New York native as he hit them hard all night long with his precision shooting. But the Fraport Skyliners Juniors then made their move breaking out on a 10-3 run to cut the Tropics lead to only 83-81 and stealing the momentum back with only 1,53 minutes to play. Cosmo Gruehn entered beast mode in the run scoring an incredible 8 points to show why he is such an important player for the team this season. “I have been able to take more responsibility in the last year. I feel comfortable taking responsibility”, warned Cosmo Gruehn. But then came the deciding moment of the game as the TSV Oberaching Tropics took control letting it splash back to back three´s from Omari Knox and Peter Zeis for the 89-81 lead with 53 seconds to play and would never look back. Frankfurt did get a bucket from Peric and trey from Pruitt in the last minute, but free throws from Knox and Rauch iced the cake for the guests for the win. “Those two three´s were huge. During that time the long bus ride was in my mind. I didn´t want to go home with a loss. We just kept making the right plays and were rewarded with the win”, stressed Omari Knox. “We let them play their game in the fourth quarter with that run and gun and couldn´t play our game and get a real rhythm. The two three´s hurt us which was the turning point of the game”, added Cosmo Gruehn. The TSV Oberaching Tropics were led by Omari Knox with 28 points. Janosch Koegler added 16 points and Peter Zeis contributed 15 points. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors were led by Cosmo Gruehn with 22 points. Len Schoormann added 19 points. Bruno Peric contributed 16 points and Maxi Begue 13 points. The TSV Oberaching Tropics shot 52% from the field and 36% from outside and had 33 rebounds and 13 turnovers while the Fraport Skyliners Juniors shot 49% from the field and 40% from outside and had 31 rebounds and 19 turnovers.

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