Shortly before Christmas 2020 the Fraport Skyliners Juniors barreled into Koblenz and snuck away after 40 minutes having suffered an embarrassing 88-45 loss where they coughed up the ball an unbelievable 29 times while Koblenz had an extra 17 possessions to make their basketball life more simple. Since then the Fraport Skyliners Juniors have been playing better basketball having defeated the TSV Oberaching Tropics and Orange Academy, but are still up and down having lost three other times. They definitely had that 2021 advantage over the scoring powerhouse Koblenz who came into Frankfurt sporting a disappointing 0-3 record in 2021. They were coming off an embarrassing loss at home against Orange Academy where they gave up a surprising 12-2 run at the end to lose. The Fraport Sklyiners Juniors were also coming off a loss in Speyer, but had revenge on their minds after their sad loss in Koblenz last month and showed a performance that was like night and day in comparison to the first game in Koblenz winning 86-76. 10 days earlier it had been Len Schoormann leading Frankfurt to the upset win over Orange Academy with 29 points and against the EPG Baskets Koblenz he did it again showing an outstanding performance scoring 24 points. After the game Fraport Skyliners Juniors head coach Miran Cumurija was all smiles after witnessing a fine performance by his players. “I´m very happy we could continue to add on to the last wins here with this one. We have to learn to bring this kind of energy also on the road. We created stops so we could run transition and our ball movement was good. We had a little problems with our pick and roll defense, but overall we defended well”, stressed Miran Cumurija. The EPG Baskets Koblenz have had growing pains in 2021 being winless, plus many injuries and German Jacob Mampuya leaving the club, but they had their chances, but just couldn´t execute when they had to at the end.. “They had more intensity, energy, passion and fight. They hit first and hit us harder. We never got going on offense and couldn´t hit three´s. They made plays when they had to. This was a must win, but we still have a lot of time in the season”, added EPG Baskets Koblenz guard DJ Woodmore.
The first quarter was tight and had 5 lead changes and Len Schoormann didn´t waste anytime getting into attack mode right off the bat as he dropped a floater and trey for the quick 5-3 Frankfurt lead. Both teams got their offenses going rapidly and both teams tried to get their two inside players Brian Butler and Noah Kamdem going and did. Kamdem who is an undersized center, but has the body of an NFL offensive line man had his A game scoring three times with a spin move, 15 footer and put back for the 11-9 advantage. Schoormann scored again with a runner for the 13-9 Frankfurt advantage. But Frankfurt then lost some intensity and got a bit sloppy on defense allowing a Koblenz 8-2 run to recapture the lead at 17-15. In the run, Brian Butler got to the free throw line twice nailing three shots and ex Fordham(NCAA) guard Zaire Thompson scored inside as did ex Giessen Pointers guard Lukas Mayer. The guests heightened their aggressiveness with the drive using their quickness which Frankfurt couldn´t stop. But Koblenz wasn´t able to hold the momentum and allowed Frankfurt to close out the first quarter strong with a 6-0 run. In the run, Frankfurt did a super job getting a second big man involved in the paint as ex Cologne player Jordan Samare was set up nicely twice with perfect passes from Maxi Begue and Philipp Hadenfeldt for easy baskets. “Frankfurt played very good offense and did a pretty good job taking away our inside game”, stressed EPG Baskets Koblenz forward CJ Oldham. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors shot 56% from the field and 25% from outside and had 10 rebounds and 3 turnovers while the EPG Baskets Koblenz shot 33% from the field and 14% from outside and had 6 rebounds and 4 turnovers.
The second quarter was tight at first, but halfway through the Fraport Skyliners Juniors could pull away and control the game and take a 40-34 advantage into half-time. The EPG Baskets Koblenz had the better start going on a 7-2 run to get the lead back again at 24-23. German Zaire Thompson was instrumental in the run being aggressive scoring a jumper on transition and also nailing a trey and then making a huge steal under Frankfurt´s basket feeding German Henning Schaake who has been with Koblenz since 2017 scoring on a lay in. Koblenz have Brian Butler who often can score in bunches when the team needs it most, but so do the Fraport Skyliners Juniors with work horse Noah Kamdem who made the paint his own wrecking area scoring 5 points in a row for the Frankfurt 28-24 lead. His elite anticipation on the glass helped him to an offensive rebound and pit back and his strength then allowed him to get an easy bucket. Frankfurt was playing smart at both ends and calmly while the guests were missing easy shots which would plague them the whole evening. Zaire Thompson continued to be aggressive and be an important offensive option for Koblenz as he tested his 26% three point season shooting percentage and scored cutting Frankfurt´s lead to 28-26. Frankfurt then cruised out on another run again of 7-2 to extend their lead to 35-26. Len Schoorman was on fire again scoring 5 unanswered points taking advantage of his athleticism scoring in the paint and making an off balance shot. He also worked on his playmaking making a nice assist to an easy Kamdem basket. “Len has a lot of freedom with us and has the advantage of playing with guys that he knows since the JBBL. He also sees different kind of bodies in the Pro B than in the BBL”, stressed Frankfurt head coach Miran Cumurija. Frankfurt was playing nice unselfish team basketball as Koblenz were unable to make big impact defensive stops. Basketball will always be a game of runs and the EPG Baskets Koblenz found some energy and heightened their intensity cutting into the Frankfurt lead closing out the second quarter with a 9-5 run. In the run the guests got buckets from German´s Noah Westerhaus who at age 22 is already with his ninth pro team and Brian Butler while 21 year old Lucas Mayer continued to be aggressive and reached the free throw line twice getting 4 points. “It was a game of runs. Frankfurt was very physical with Butler and Schoormann got going”, stated CJ Oldham. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors shot 53% from the field and 20% from the three point line and had 21 rebounds and 9 turnovers while the EPG Baskets Koblenz shot 38% from the field and 17% from the three point line and had 11 rebounds and 8 turnovers.
The Fraport Skyliners Juniors kept the lead, but allowed the EPG Baskets Koblenz to hang around, but towards the end the home team was able to lead 62-54 after 30 minutes. The guests began the second half with a perfect pick and roll play from Thompson finding Dutch forward Chad Wellian for the easy basket. Frankfurt didn´t waste anytime getting their offense going again as the 2017 JBBL finalists Len Schoormann scored as did Maxi Begue who is that defensive stopper, but also showed his offensive skills making a pretty floater and then making a hard dunk flying in from the wing for the 46-38 Frankfurt advantage. The game remained a game of runs as the EPG Baskets Koblenz struck back storming out on a 8-2 run to trail Frankfurt only 48-46 as the momentum had changed. In the run they got vital support from Thompson who hit a 20 footer, Mayer scored 4 points including a trey and Butler connected on transition. The guests were executing better and had calmed down on offense making wise decisions and practicing good shot selection. Kamdem and Butler continued to do damage inside scoring while Frankfurt kept the slim 52-50 lead. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors saved their best for last in this quarter closing it out on a 10-4 run. In the run they got clutch support from Philipp Hadenfeldt who connected on a 25 footer and drilled home a trey while maxi Begue remained aggressive getting to the free throw line twice scoring 4 points. “I just did what the defense gave me. What I couldn´t do myself, I then looked to pass. I concentrated looking more for guys today. I really have been working on that”, said Len Schoormann. “We missed free throws and easy lay ups. It is hard to win when you miss the easy bunnies around the rim. We had many mental mistakes and they got to the rim and made plays”, stated DJ Woodmore. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors shot 55% from the field and 21% from the parking lot and had 31 rebounds and 14 turnovers while the EPG Baskets Koblenz shot 43% from the field and 19% from the parking lot and had 16 rebounds and 12 turnovers.
Despite the EPG Baskets Koblenz cutting the Frankfurt lead down to three in the fourth quarter, the Fraport Skyliners Juniors kept control of the ball game and were able to get their fourth win of the season. The EPG Baskets Koblenz began with a quick 6-1 run to cut the Frankfurt lead to 63-58 getting baskets from Mayer, Butler and Thompson. Frankfurt then found some daylight scoring 6 unanswered points as Kamdem scored on transition, Schoormann scored and Alvin Onyia made a pretty lay in high off the glass for the 69-60 Frankfurt advantage. But Frankfurt just wasn´t able to keep the comfortable lead allowing the guests to come back as Chad Wellian nailed two massive three´s to cut the Frankfurt advantage to 71-68. But Frankfurt had the last punch and decided the game with a timely 9-2 run to extend their lead to 80-70. A great strength of the Fraport Skyliners Juniors on this night was having many guys giving support at the scoring end at certain parts of the game. Jordan samare came up big in crunch-time while in this run ex Hanau forward Calvin Schaum was instrumental scoring 6 points. Schoorman also scored. In the last minutes 2019 NBBL allstar Jordan Samare was unstoppable in the paint area scoring 3 buckets slamming the door in the face of the EPG Baskets Koblenz. “He has this special anticipation for the offensive rebound and a special touch to score. You don´t see that often. I am happy for his growth and how he has been helping us”, stated Miran Cumurija. “We were right there at the end. We had good looks but just couldn´t make shots”, added DJ Woodmore. “Samare is very important for our team. He is undersized, but plays very physical. We defended well at the end closing passing lanes and were a bit more aggressive then they were”, expressed Len Schoormann. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors were led by Len Schoormann with 24 points while Noah Kamdem had 21 points and Jordan samara added 13 points while the EPG Baskets Koblenz were led by Brian Butler with 22 points while Lucas Mayer added 14 points and Zaire Thompson had 12 points. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors shot 54% from the field and 16% from outside and had 40 rebounds and 17 turnovers while the EPG Baskets Koblenz shot 43% from the field and 24% from outside and had 25 rebounds and 15 turnovers.