The Fraport Skyliners Juniors continue to suffer with their up and down play in the last weeks. They continue to play with a lot of spirit and intensity at home, but aren´t able to put together a consistent performance on the road. Last week they suffered a brutal 97-81 loss at the hands of Giessen as ex German national player Johannes Lischka was a tough menace exploding for 35 points as he dominated the paint area like no other. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors returned back home and met cross town rival Ebbecke White Wings Hanau who have been playing good basketball in 2021 having won six of their last eight games. Hanau came to Frankfurt having witnessed a hard 82-60 loss in Koblenz where they were very effectively manhandled on the boards. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors were seeking revenge after losing their first meeting on the road with Hanau 69-61 and had to play a lot of catch up basketball, but came back and took control of the game, but made the contest exciting again as Hanau rallied and tied the game at 81-81, but German forward Maxi Begue took matters into his own hands hitting the game winning three pointer to lift the Fraport Skyliners Juniors past the Ebbecke White Wings Hanau 84-81. “We never hung our heads and always fought back. We played good defense and made some adjustments in the second half. It was hard playing against their zone, but we did a fine job moving the ball well and getting a good flow”, stressed Maxi Begue. The Ebbecke White Wings played a solid game, but couldn´t get away from Frankfurt early and later had to play catch up basketball and even had the opportunity to send the game into overtime on the last play, but were stuffed by the Frankfurt defense. “We played as if it was a Sunday afternoon stroll. We were way too sluggish. Frankfurt outhustled us on the boards all day long. They also got most of the 50/50 balls. We tried to wake up in the last 10 minutes, but it was too late. Frankfurt deserved to win”, stated Hanau guard Omari Knox.
The Ebbecke White Wings Hanau were without German Till Joschka Jonke who broke his finger while the Fraport Skyliners had to accept being without Len Schoormann who was playing with the Fraport Skyliners against ratiopharm Ulm which was taking place at the same time. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors got off the wrong side of the bed allowing a big Hanau run, but then recovered to trail only by 5 points after 10 minutes. The Ebbecke White Wings Hanau jumped all over the Fraport Skyliners Juniors leading 8-0 quickly. In the run, the guests got solid production from Eduard Arques Lopez who scored twice in the paint and young German Justus Peuser who showed his fine mid range game with a pull up jumper and also drove by Noah Kamden for an easy basket. Hanau had the higher intensity and aggressiveness at both ends while Frankfurt was sluggish and couldn´t move the ball well yet. But it didn´t take the Fraport Skyliners Juniors long to finally get going as they also demonstrated that they can go on runs taking a 9-5 run to cut the Hanau advantage to 13-9. In the run the Fraport Skyliners Juniors got some early offensive production from Maxi Begue who let his mid range game sparkle, while ex Coburg center Noah Kamden got aggressive on the boards making an offensive rebound and put back while ex Nurnberg guard Matthew Meredith nailed a trey as Hanau had the 13-9 lead. Hanau kept the pressure on getting some big buckets from German veteran Josef Eichler who played 17 BBL games with Nordlingen as he hit a trey and made a lay in. Ex Skyliner Felix Hecker also dropped a three pointer as Hanau held the 21-14 lead. Frankfurt received some key baskets from their youngsters 17 year center Alexander Richardson and Bennett Schubert as Frankfurt trailed 23-18. “We were able to convert our offensive game plan. We got Eichler involved who attacked Kamden in the paint. Our zone also worked very well against their offense”, said Ebbecke White Wings Hanau guard Till Joschka Jonke. The Ebbecke White Wings Hanau shot 60% from the field and 40% from outside and had 8 rebounds and 1 turnover while the Fraport Skyliners Juniors shot 44% form the field and 40% from outside and had 9 rebounds and 3 turnovers.
The Ebbecke White Wings Hanau controlled the contest in the first five minutes, but the Fraport Skyliners Juniors fought back and trailed only by one point at half-time. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors continued to get fine support from their two German youngsters Alexander Richardson and Bennet Schubert who scored again. Bennet Schubert who is the younger brother of injured Konstantin is an efficient defender that always gives 100% and he brought the needed energy from the bench drilling home a trey as Frankfurt trailed only 25-21. “He helps us a lot when guys aren´t able to play. He was ready stepped up and did a good job”, added Maxi Begue. Hanau held the lead thanks to two baskets from New York native Omari Knox who had been contained well in the first quarter broke free in the second quarter, but Frankfurt kept the pressure firm and continued to come back getting key baskets from Alvin Onyia, a running hook shot from ex Cologne player Jordan Samare and a clutch offensive rebound and put back by 2017 JBBL finalist Calvin Schaum to cut the Hanau lead to 31-30. Frankfurt had found a good rhythm on offense and continued to have more fortune with the 50/50 balls while Hanau couldn´t execute as well like they did in the first quarter. But basketball remains a game of runs and three consecutive turnovers by Frankfurt allowed Hanau to break free again and go on a 8-2 run to extend their lead to 39-32. In the run, they received two transition baskets from ex Schwelm forward Malik Kudic and from ex Manchester(UK) forward Eduard Arquez Lopez. “Those three turnovers helped us get out on transition”, added Til Joscha Joenke. Young German Justus Peuser also contributed with another pull up jumper as he finished with 8 points and did a good job in the playmaking. “He is taking a good development. He has the freedom to play. His biggest strength is his work ethic, but his mid range game is cash”, smiled Till Joscha Joenke. But the Fraport Skyliners Juniors continued to battle back getting 5 points from ex Wurzburg guard Philipp Hadenfeldt to cut Hanau´s lead to 41-37. Frankfurt did a good job getting to the free throw line, but Schaum and Samare could only hit one of two free throws, but they trailed only 41-40. Frankfurt continued to be super aggressive on offense as Alvin Oniya who continues to improve his trey scored from outside and Meredith made free throws for the first Frankfurt lead in the game at 45-44. After Felix Hecker made free throws, Noah Kamdem scored in the paint leading Frankfurt into the break with the 47-46 advantage. “We did a good job having a fine balance of our inside out game”, stressed Til Joscha Joenke. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors shot 53% from the field and 42% from the three point line and had 19 rebounds and 10 turnovers while the Ebbecke White Wings Hanau shot 55% from the field and 25% from the three point line and had 10 rebounds and 5 turnovers.
In the third quarter the Fraport Skyliners Juniors were able to lead by as much as 10 points, but they were unable to totally shake the Ebbecke White Wings as they chipped away at the Frankfurt lead trailing only by 4 points after 30 minutes. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors entered the court after the break refocused and hammered out a swift 12-3 run to extend their lead to 59-49. They came out aggressive on defense stopping the first three Hanau possessions while getting a three pointer from Alvin Oniya and a free throw. Felix Hecker who once blasted Urspring for 44 points in a NBBL game connected on a trey , but Frankfurt countered back quickly getting a Meredith trey and Kamden lay in. Frankfurt continued to execute their offense well scoring well against the Hanau zone. Hanau got some key baskets inside from Éichler and Arques Lopez to cut the Frankfurt advantage to 61-55. But Frankfurt continued to have an answer on offense as Meredith and Begue scored to keep a healthy 65-57 lead. Hanau closed out the third quarter strong as Josef Eichler hit a trey and made free throws to trail only 66-62 after 30 minutes. “We had our ups and downs, and let them back into the game. We had some mental lapses near the end of the quarter”, said Maxi Begue. “We started to find some energy and had this sense of urgency. It kicked in and our energy got us back into the game”, stressed Omari Knox. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors shot 55% from the field and 47% from the parking lot and had 25 rebounds and 16 turnovers while the Ebbecke White Wings shot 49% from the field and 29% from the parking lot and had 17 rebounds and 12 turnovers.
The Fraport Skyliners Juniors had another good start in the fourth quarter and led by as much as 9 points, but the Ebbecke White Wings stormed back making life very difficult for Frankfurt getting a last shot to try to bring the game into overtime. Frankfurt stopped Hanau on it´s first four possessions, but couldn´t take a real advantage of their stops as only Hadenfeldt scored from the parking lot. Omari Knox then got Hanau´s first field goal of the fourth quarter unleashing a pretty finger tip roll lay in to cut Frankfurt´s lead to 69-64. Frankfurt continued to keep their lead and execute well on offense as Kamdem scored inside again and Maxi Begue scored as Hadenfeldt made the prettiest pass of the night making a no look bounce pass that looked like a Doncic/Rondo combination. Hanau was on Frankfurt´s heels and wouldn´t let up as Knox hit a three pointer as did Felix Hecker as they clawed back trailing only 75-70. Hanau still had some gas in their tank as they went on a 7-1 run in crunch-time to grab back the lead at 77-76. Josef Eichler was massive in this sequence scoring two baskets in the paint. “Eichler stepped up and I got going. We had the momentum and just needed one more basket”, stated Omari Knox. But Hadenfeldt responded with a clutch trey to give Frankfurt the 79-77 lead back. Eichler continued to be active and scored inside again to dead lock the game at 79-79 with 1,52 minutes to go. Both teams got some stops at with 59 seconds to go, Hanau got a severe blow as Josef Eichler got his fifth foul. Frankfurt then took the lead as Jordan samara made a key offensive rebound and put back with 34 seconds remaining. Hanau stayed strong and responded tying the game with a Felix Hecker lay in with 21 seconds to go to tie the game at 81-81. Frankfurt had possession and Maxi Begue came up with the clutch shot for the 84-81 lead with 4 seconds to go. “There was no help on me and Meredith found me. I was open and didn´t hesitate. It felt good after the release”, stressed Maxi Begue. “We wanted to foul but couldn´t. Frankfurt had a man wide open and he made it”, said Omari Knox. Knox then had the last shot, but missed. “We set up for man to man, but they went to zone. I didn´t have a clean look”, stressed Omari Knox. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors were led by Matthew Meredith with 16 points. Maxi Begue added 14 points, Philipp Hadenfeldt had 13 points and Noah Kamdem added 10 points while the Ebbecke White Wings Hanau were led by Josef Eichler with 23 points. Felix Hecker added 19 points and Omari Knox contributed 11 points. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors shot 53% from the field and 45% from outside and had 33 rebounds and 22 turnovers while the Ebbecke White Wings Hanau shot 48% from the field and 27% from outside and had 24 rebounds and 18 turnovers.