After winning five of their last six games to start off the season, the Fraport Skyliners Juniors have suffered a dry spell and lost the last two games to the Basketball Lowen and a nail bitter to the Hanau White Wings. This weekend they met the young and always talented Orange Academy who came into the game sporting a solid 6-2 record. The ratiopharm Ulm farm team have been playing excellent basketball of late having a three game winning streak and were coming off a strong win against the EPG Baskets Koblenz holding them to an incredible 54 points totally slowing down their usual potent offensive attack. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors wanted to start a new winning streak after the long FIBA window’s lay over, but once again had difficulty in crunch-time as they let their lead slip away in the last minutes allowing Orange Academy to win their fourth game in a row 72-67. After the loss Frankfurt top scorer Matthew Meredith reflected on another game that they let get away. ‘We gave up too many turnovers again which led to easy baskets for the opponent. We fought back after a bad start and played as a team. We were unable to play with disciplined that hurt us’, stressed Fraport Skyliners guard Matthew Meredith. Orange Academy were unable to keep their comfortable lead of the first quarter, but overall played a fine game and never allowed Frankfurt to break away. Despite the victory, Orange Academy head coach Anton Gavel was not pleased with the start, but thankful for the win. ‘We let Meredith get hot and had problems with Voeller. We have to play smarter in the future. We hit shots and got key offensive rebounds, but we can’t allow a team to come back the way Frankfurt did. I give a lot of credit to Frankfurt who have had a good season. It is never easy to win in Frankfurt’, said Anton Gavel. Orange Academy continued to show that they are a very good defensive team. ‘We like to keep teams under 60 points, but we kept Frankfurt under 70 points. We were very aggressive and got many deflections. Moritz Krimmer saved us a lot tonight’, stressed Orange Academy guard Jacob Ensminger.
The Fraport Skyliners Juniors got on the board first with a Philipp Hadenfeldt lay in, but that didn’t scare Orange Academy at all as they played their game and rolled out on a 9-0 run. In the run the guests got a three from Stoll, free throws and a left handed dunk from Moritz Krimmer and a jumper from German Latrell Grosskopf. Frankfurt couldn’t come to terms with the energetic play of the guests at both ends of the court. Frankfurt also missed some easy lay ups which didn’t help their self-confidence. Frankfurt got some buckets from raw German Alexander Richardson and high flyer 8 year man Konstantin Schubert, but continued to not be able to get stops. Frankfurt was unable to match Orange Academy’s intensity as they continued to execute getting a trey from Krimmer, a tap in from Austrian youth national player David Fuchs and a lay in by future Oregon State player Michael Rataj for the 21-6 advantage. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors got sone fortune at the end getting a trey from Philipp Hadenfeldt at the buzzer, but trailed 21-9. ‘Orange Academy like to play with much movement. You can prepare against it, but in the game it’s a totally different thing. It took Frankfurt some time to get used to. It is possible to give up a run at the start which they did. Their size and athleticism overpowered Frankfurt’, stressed Frankfurt NBBL head coach Miran Cumurija. The guests shot over 50% from the field and over 60% from outside while Frankfurt couldn’t hit the ocean shooting only 14% from outside. The guests also had the 11-6 rebound edge and both teams had 5 turnovers apiece.
The Fraport Skyliners Juniors adjusted better to Orange Academy in the second quarter and went on a massive run, but still trailed 38-34 at the break. Hadenfeldt got Frankfurt on the board first like in the first quarter, but the guests matched that rapidly getting baskets from Rataj and Fuchs keeping the 25-12 advantage. But Frankfurt then took the guests momentum as they raced out to an overwhelming 20-6 run to recapture the lead again 32-31. In the run they got more aggressive and just attacked the rim which led to success. Frankfurt got 2 lay in’s from Meredith, a left handed hook shot from Marco Voeller and Richardson lay in while also mixing it up with three’s from Hadenfeldt and three and D player Risto Vasiljevic. Hadenfeldt was key in the run as his playmaking and leading the team were first class. He made a beautiful Rondo like bounce pass to Richardson and helped Frankfurt match Orange Academy’s intensity. Frankfurt also upped their defensive pressure forcing Orange Academy out of their comfort zone and making them lose their calmness. The guests forced more shots and lost their offensive rhythm. Frankfurt was unable to hold their lead as German Tobias Jenson made a few baskets for the Orange Academy half-time lead. ‘Frankfurt were more physical and attacked the basket better which led to more confidence and hit some three’s. We also did a better job containing them on defense and didn’t allow them to play their game’, expressed Frankfurt NBBL head coach Miran Cumurija. Frankfurt upped their shooting to 46% from the field and 25% from outside while Orange Academy’s shooting percentages dipped to 47% and 44%, but they held the 18-14 rebound edge while both teams suffered 8 turnovers a piece.
The third quarter remained very tight as no club led by more than 5 points. After 30 minutes the Fraport Skyliners Juniors had the slim 56-54 advantage. Orange Academy kept the tight lead as Moritz Krimmer who has played 26 easyCredit BBL games was their go to guy as the modern day forward showed his mature inside out game banging for an offensive rebound and put back and then made a trey while Frankfurt recieved support from Voeller with a dunk and Meredith lay in but Orange Academy still led 44-41. But then came the Matthew Meredith show as he took over scoring 7 points to give Frankfurt the 52-48 lead. The German who played his first Pro A game at age 14 nailed two three pointers and a pretty floater. ‘Coach told me at half time that I had been forcing too much in the first half. I got more aggressive and went to the basket in the third and then was in the flow’, stressed Matthew Meredith. Meredith’s spirited play also heightened the Frankfurt defense as they got stops, but they couldn’t keep the lead. Orange Academy stole back the lead with a Rataj trey 53-52. But Frankfurt got the last laugh as Richardson nailed a 20 footer and role player Risto Vasiljevic made a lay in to end the third quarter. The game had turned into a real defensive battle as both team’s youngsters were playing with passion as blocks, steals and deflections were a common occurrence on each possession. ‘We played our game and had good ball movement. We played as a team and got more stops and didn’t give up transition baskets’, stated Matthew Meredith. ‘We didn’t do a good job on Meredith on defense. We have to react better against him’, stressed Jacob Ensminger. Both teams shot over 40% from the field while Orange Academy shot 38% from outside and Frankfurt shot 29% from the parking lot. The guests continued to have the slight 27-24 rebound advantage and they also had 12 turnovers while Frankfurt had 10 turnovers.
The fourth quarter remained a real dog fight as both teams continued to play superb defense and no team could get away. Marco Voeller got hot at the start scoring twice including a two handed dunk as Frankfurt led 60-58. Frankfurt continued to keep the upper hand as Meredith scored on a beautiful finger tip roll lay in and Richardson made a lay in after getting the swift no look pass from Meredith as Orange Academy trailed 64-60. But Orange Academy had their ace in the deck and unsung hero with Moritz Krimmer who continued to step up and make big plays at both ends of the court. He remained aggressive scoring on a coast to coast drive and then made a steal on an inbounds play as Frankfurt made an errant pass as he scored again giving the guests the 65-64 lead. The guests had stole back the momentum and didn’t let it slip away again. Hadenfeldt gave Frankfurt the lead one last time with a basket, but Krimmer again gave his team a huge push with a lay in tying the game at 67-67. But Meredith couldn’t score again missing which led to a clutch Marius Stoll (197-SG-99) trey for the 70-67 lead with 43 seconds remaining. Orange Academy got another stop and Jacob Ensminger iced the win with free throws. ‘The inbounds steal and Krimmer dunk hurt Frankfurt mentally. We then played pick and roll and they cheated leading to Stoll’s three pointer. That was very important for us’, stated Jacob Ensminger. ‘ The inbounds play hurt, but the Stoll three pointer cost us the game’, stressed Matthew Meredith. Orange Academy was led by Moritz Krimmer with 22 points while Marius Stoll added 13 points while the Fraport Skyliners Juniors were led by Matthew Meredith with 20 points while Philipp Hadenfeldt added 13 points and 7 assists. Orange Academy shot 42% from the field and 30% from outside and had 39 rebounds and 15 turnovers while the Fraport Skyliners Juniors shot 45% from the field and 22% from outside and had 34 rebounds and 17 turnovers.