After starting the season off with a tough home loss to Pro B favorite EPG Baskets Koblenz, The Fraport Skyliners Juniors have been perfect since winning their last 4 games in a row and had extreme self-confidence and momentum coming into the game against the Ahorn Basket Bis Baskets Speyer who had a 3-3 record and were coming off a tough 81-73 loss to Koblenz. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors last had won an incredible come from behind game against Karlsruhe and living legend Rouven Roessler where a big 15-0 run helped the team overcome massive adversary. The club had had a bye week the weekend before and had a lot of time to rest and refuel. They came into the game missing bug guns Marco Voeller, Felix Hecker and Philipp Hadenfeldt, but that didn’t hamper them as they had enough fire power, energy and a brutal Matthew Meredith (200-SG-00) in crunch-time powering the Fraport Skyliners Juniors to their fifth win in a row in OT 97-94 over the Ahorn Camp BIS Baskets Speyer. After the game Konstantin Schubert was all smiles again after another big crunch-time win and was able to equal his career best 23 points from the two weeks ago. ‘I’m proud of the team that we still won despite missing three key guys. I’m dead tonight despite playing only 20 minutes. We fought so hard. We rebounded so well getting 16 offensive rebounds. I remember three from our smallest player Alvin Onyia, the guy with the biggest heart. We moved the ball well and got out on transition well. I tip my hat to Speyer. They are a super team a lot better than their record shows’, stressed Konstantin Schubert. The Ahorn Camp BIS Baskets Speyer also fought to the end, but just couldn’t stop Matthew Meredith. ‘We got off to a bad start. We saw some of their better players were absent so we got a little lazy and weren’t focused. They hit us in the mouth and had guys that really stepped up’, stated ex EPG baskets Koblenz guard DJ Woodmore.
The first quarter was very tight as there were five lead changes as no team led by more than four points. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors had problems taking care of the ball early as they tried to really get big man Alexander Richardson involved, but inaccurate passes led to turnovers which was fully taken advantage of my Speyer’s best team defender German Valentin Rappold who scored four points on transition after getting steals and also scored once as Frankfurt had a lapse with bad communication. Speyer also got vital production from German Darian Cardenas who averaged 20,0ppg last season in the Pro B as he took apart Frankfurt’s defense with his strong 1-1 play and attacking of the rim. Frankfurt also got key production from little used German Felix Feilen who scored tying the game at 15-15. Richardson finally found to his game better in the last minute scoring a tip in dunk and a two handed dunk cutting the Speyer advantage to 22-21. Frankfurt was shooting solid from the field at 50% as was Speyer, but the guests couldn’t hit the ocean from the parking lot going 0-7. Frankfurt had the sound rebound edge 11-7, but early turnovers gave them 5 after 10 minutes. ‘Frankfurt had problems communicating and helping on defense. They had some bad turnovers at the start trying to make cute passes, but overall shot the ball well and took the open shots and got transition baskets’, commented Quantez Robertson.
The second quarter was very tight and had some lead changes, but overall the Fraport Skyliners Juniors had control and had the slim lead at the break. Frankfurt came out on fire ripping the Ahorn Camp BIS Baskets Speyer with consecutive three’s from ex TG Hanau forward Calvin Schaum and Felix Feilen for the Frankfurt 27-24 lead. Basketball is a game of runs and DJ Woodmore got aggressive and scored back to back buckets including an offensive rebound and put back for the 28-27 lead. Frankfurt needed extra support from guys like Calvin Schaum to compensate other guys being absent and did as he scored five unanswered points to get Frankfurt the lead back. But the Ahorn Camp BIS Baskets Speyer did a good job being aggressive and drawing fouls and stole the lead back again with Woodmore baskets 35-34. Frankfurt did a better job slowing down Darian Cardenas better in the second quarter defending him more physical and defending the three point line excellent as the guests still had no three pointer made at the break. German kid Alexander Richardson didn’t have an easy time being double teamed and sometimes triple teamed, but down the stretch scored two baskets. Frankfurt kept the slim 45-40 lead at half-time as ex Giessen guard Niklas Bilski hit a clutch trey at the buzzer. Frankfurt continued to shoot over 50% from the field and the guests were over 40%. Frankfurt also continued to control the boards. ‘We rebounded the ball a lot better and didn’t allow second chance points. Also Frankfurt’s on ball defense was better. Bilski did a good job directing the team and making big plays and shots’, stated Quantez Robertson.
In the third quarter the Fraport Skyliners Juniors took control leading by as much as 10 points and keeping the lead at nine points after 30 minutes. Eight year man Konstantin Schubert only played 2,58 minutes in the first half, but did get off to a big start with 4 points, but had two fouls. He came into the second half on a mission and would score 7 points in a row in not even 2 minutes. After Cardenas scored, there was a 10 minute delay because the shot clock had to be fixed. After that Schubert got on fire hitting a three pointer and two lay in’s for the 52-42 advantage. ‘I was very motivated. I used that delay to get warm. Everything fell for me. I really felt like I was in the zone. I thought that I had gotten an offensive foul on that off balance shot, but everything worked for me’, stressed Konstantin Schubert. The will for Schubert to succeed is so high that his energy was able to help his teammates soar with their play. Speyer got some heighted play from Spaniard Michael Acosta who scored twice and a step back from Cardenas, but Frankfurt still led 58-50. Frankfurt continued to execute well down the stretch as Alvin Onyia tested his 42% from outside and hit, Schubert connected on a 20 footer and Feilen used his aggressiveness and scored on a reverse lay up at the buzzer as Frankfurt led 65-56. ‘We slowed down Cardenas well and our goal in every game is always to keep as much energy at the end to be able to win’, added Konstantin Schubert. ‘They did a good job making the right plays and getting out on transition. They stepped up their defense which led to turnovers’, said DJ Woodmore. Both teams shot over 40% from the field, but Speyer still had not hit a three pointer. Frankfurt still had the 31-24 rebound edge.
In the fourth quarter the Fraport Skyliners Juniors were unable to close out the game, but instead witnessed a shooting clinic from German/American rookie Kelvin Omojola and led them into overtime. After David Aichele and Niklas Bilski traded baskets, the guests went on a lethal 19-4 run to retake the lead 77-74. The Nevada native Omojola scored 14 of his game leading 27 points in the run. The guy was hitting from everywhere making two lay in’s and three three’s. He averaged 13 points per game in his senior year at Northwest University (NAIA) and demonstrated his keen scoring touch. ‘Kelvin is a special talent. When he gets hot, nobody can compete with him. He set the whole floor on fire and gave us a chance to win’, stressed DJ Woodmore. Frankfurt fought and got a vital three pointer from Niklas Bilski tying the contest at 79-79. Bilski had his best game in a Frankfurt jersey and gave that Hadenfeldt effect with big time energy with big shots as he finished with 15 points and 6 dimes. Woodmore nailed a huge trey for the 82-79 lead, but Bilski stepped up again with a lay in and Meredith hit a massive three pointer and game saving block on Rappold to send the game into overtime. ‘All found me and some shots went in for me. I had some last energy in that block. I really wanted to win’, added Matthew Meredith. ‘Omojola really hurt us with his three and he hit tough shots. We lost some intensity on defense in their run, but had enough to force overtime’, expressed Konstantin Schubert. In overtime, the Ahorn Camp BIS Baskets Speyer came out gunning getting a lay in from ex BBL player Marc Liyanage and another trey from Omojola for the 89-85 advantage. But Frankfurt kept fighting and got big buckets from Meredith who nailed a deep three to tie the game at 89-89 and then on the next possession made a runner to tie the game again at 91-91. After a Liyanage miss, Schubert hit a 15 footer for the 93-91 win and Frankfurt never looked back. Meredith then made another crucial block which led to Oniya free throws for the 95-91 Frankfurt lead with 15 seconds to go. Woodmore would drop a trey to cut Frankfurt’s lead to 95-94 with 9 seconds to go. Meredith made free throws for the 97-94 win. ‘We fought so hard and Meredith took over. He is a great player. He doesn’t play so much with us because he is with the BBL team. This game was huge for him and will give him self-confidence’, stressed Konstantin Schubert. ‘Despite missing three guys, this was one of Frankfurt’s best offensive games this season. Meredith made big shots. I hate it how I have never won in this gym. This gives me an incentive to keep playing and try to win here’, said DJ Woodmore. The Fraport Skyliners had five players in double figures. Konstantin Schubert led all scorers with 23 points. Matthew Meredith added 17 points and Niklas Bilski 15 points while the Ahorn Camp BIS Baskets Speyer were led by Kelvin Omojola with 27 points and DJ Woodmore had 22 points. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors shot 47% from the field and 31% from outside and had 42 rebounds and 14 turnovers while The Ahorn Camp BIS Baskets Speyer shot 47% from the field and 26% from outside and had 38 rebounds and 12 turnovers.