The Fraport Skyliners Juniors season so far has been a tale of two seasons as they started off hot having a 5-1 record, but last won at the start of November as they had been struck by a 4 game losing streak. In the winning streak, they were able to win three close battles, but in the losing streak had forgotten how to grind out games down the stretch and had lost three close games. It didn´t get any easier for the easyCredit BBL Fraport Skyliners farm team as they welcomed the top team of the Pro B south Dresden Titans who had a 9-1 record and had only lost to the EPG Baskets. The young Frankfurt squad wanted some redemption and go into the short Christmas break with positive note and did sending 8 year Skyliner veteran Konstantin Schubert to a farewell home onslaught 84-57 onslaught win over the Dresden Titans. Schubert has decided to finish his masters degree in Oslo, Norway and leave the Fraport Skyliners organization. He will play 2 more away games for the Pro B team and then depart for his new adventure at the start of 2022. He most likely will enter the business world after. In a way it is great for his future, but sad for the Skyliners as he leaves the game playing his best basketball. He finished his last home game with 13 points and 14 rebounds his second best total after securing 15 boards against Schwelm in 2017. Frankfurt showed from the first second who would be in control and played an excellent game at both ends of the court especially on defense where they held the second best offensive team far under their average 88 points. “This was an unbelievable end to my last home game. We had unbelievable energy tonight. We knew they had incredible shooters and we stepped it up. Playing good transition defense and watching the three point line was key to the win”, stated Konstantin Schubert who leaves the Fraport Skyliners having played 7 easyCredit BBL games. Dresden couldn´t match Frankfurt´s intensity from the start and had to play catch up ball all night long and never recovered. “You can always say that it was one of those days, but that would be too easy. We can´t allow them to have more energy. We didn´t have a good effort and that chip on our shoulder. We had no response and couldn´t hit back. We weren´t there physically or mentally”, expressed ex MLP Academics Heidelberg guard Grant Teichmann.
The Fraport Skyliners Juniors wasted no time breaking out on a rapid 7-2 lead. Ex Nurnberg guard Matthew Meredith who played his first Pro A game at age 14 scored on a fancy reverse lay up and nailed a trey while 6 year guard Alvin Oniya scored on the drive. Dresden has a lot of offensive talent and showed it quickly getting a floater from Teichmann, runner from big man Max Von der Wippel and a Voigtmann runner, but couldn´t make any real ground as Konstantin Schubert made a runner and three pointer as Frankfurt led 12-6. Frankfurt had great ball movement and showed that exquisite team play that they have shown in many parts of the season. Frankfurt was doing a good job limiting Teichmann´s touches, but in the early going couldn´t slow down Voigtmann who scored on a perfect pick and roll play with Daniel Kirchner as suddenly Dresden was back in the game trailing 12-10. But Frankfurt simply had too many weapons and closed out the first quarter with a 10-4 run leading 22-14. In the run, they got decent support from 32 year old Marco Voeller who did a good job using his big frame to get close to the bucket and score twice. Frankfurt continued to have no difficulty attacking the zone as Oniya scored as did ex Wurzburg guard Philipp Hadenfeldt. “It was important for us to start well. They play with a lot of self-confidence and didn´t want them to start fast. We put a stamp on our defense right away”, stressed Konstantin Schubert. Frankfurt was shooting very well, while Dresden was 0/6 from outside, but had the slight 11-10 rebound edge while both teams were taking good care of the ball as there was only 1 turnover from Frankfurt.
Despite allowing a 5-0 run to start the second quarter, the Fraport Skyliners Juniors would recover strong and would go into the break on a 24-11 run to lead comfortably 46-30. 9 year Dresden German Bryan Niessen made a heads up play to get an easy lay in off a throw in under the Frankfurt basket and Von der Wippel made a lay in as Dresden trailed only 22-19. But Frankfurt then got out of their funk going on a 11-1 run to extend their lead to 33-20. In the run, Frankfurt continued to execute well demonstrating their fine inside out play as big man Alexander Richardson scored twice making the zone his own playground, Oniya scored with his always dangerous drive and Meredith nailed another trey. In this phase Frankfurt was bolstered by the hustle plays from Konstantin Schubert and Richardson and Frankfurt had a 10-4 rebound edge in this phase including 4 offensive rebounds. Ex BBL player Nico Wenzl who had his first BBL game at age 17 against Ludwigsburg had a potent phase scoring 6 points, but Frankfurt was saved in this phase letting it rain three´s as Niklas Bilski, Meredith and Hadenfeldt all connected giving Frankfurt the safe 42-28 advantage. After Kirchner free throws, Konstantin Schubert scored another three pointer and Meredith made a free to close out the second quarter. “We kept our momentum from the first quarter and were able to get away over 10 points. Teichmann is the Pro B´s best player and we put a lot of focus on him. We only gave him tough shots”, stressed Konstantin Schubert. Frankfurt continued to shoot at a high rate at 51% from the field and 47% from outside while Dresden continued not being able to hit the ocean shooting 33 % from the field and 8% from outside. Frankfurt continued to have the rebound edge 22-17 while having 5 turnovers while the guests had 7 turnovers.
In the third quarter the Fraport Skyliners Juniors decided the game for good allowing only 7 points and continuing to play solid offense scoring 19 points. Frankfurt began quickly not losing focus from the first half and went on a commanding 12-2 run to extend their lead to 58-32. In the run, Frankfurt received good production from Richardson who made a lay in and trey while Risto Vasiljevic added his touch from downtown and Oniya scored inside with his quickness. Frankfurt stepped up their already strong defense to a new level as Matthew Meredith was all over the place making big plays. This led to easy baskets for Frankfurt. Every new stop frustrated Dresden a tad more which led to quick execution that ended in hurried 1-1 plays that led to nothing. Georg Voigtmann stopped the Frankfurt run with a crushing dunk and free throw to cut Frankfurt´s lead down to 58-36. But Frankfurt continued to play defense with passion and made little mistakes closing out the third quarter with a 7-1 run. In the run, the Skyliners Juniors received another three from Meredith and Voeller showed again that he can score in bunches making a lay in and pretty Kevin Mchale turn around jumper from the corner. “We remained aggressive. We had a lot of respect for Dresden. We knew that the lead could go away within minutes. We came out as if it was 0-0. We continued to have the energy”, commented Konstantin Schubert. “We weren´t on the same page and couldn´t respond. When things didn´t come easy, we forced it”, stressed Grant Teichmann. Frankfurt continued to shoot over 50% from the field and outside while Dresden was at 28% from the field and a miserable 8% from outside. Frankfurt continued to have the 32-24 rebound edge.
In the fourth quarter the Dresden Titans played their best quarter of the game outscoring the Fraport Skyliners Juniors 20-19. Dresden head coach Fabian Strauss pretty saw that the game was decided and allowed some of his young Germans Lorenz Domeros, Georg Kupke and Max Koerner get some added minutes. Voigtmann began the fourth quarter with a trey cutting Frankfurt´s lead down to 65-40. But Dresden then had another bad phase where they couldn´t hit the side of a barn as Frankfurt marched out on a 6-0 run to lead 71-40. Schubert and Hadenfeldt scored inside while Marco Voeller proved white men can jump making a hard one hand dunk. “Marco gets the brunt of the jokes and gets teased a lot. But he is still top fit and could play in the BBL or Pro A”; warned Konstantin Schubert. Teichmann who played 57 Pro A games then finally hit his first three pointer of the game at the 5,47 minute mark. He finished with only 8 points on poor 3/10 shooting. “Teams try to limit me. We have to find the right blend of being aggressive and trusting our offense. You don´t want to force it when the offense is stagnant”, stressed Grant Teichmann. Richardson added a lay in while Bilski dropped two more three´s to give Frankfurt the 79-47 lead. Teichmann then hit again for three, while Konstantin Schubert made his last hustle play grabbing an offensive rebound and put back for the 81-50 advantage. “My 14 rebounds were a product of pure hustle. I did miss some shots on offense. I may not be the tallest or strongest, but I get the rebounds with hustle and my eyes”, stated Konstantin Schubert. In the last few minutes, German Nico Wenzl improved his stat line with 5 points, but it was all too late and too little as the buzzer sounded. “We lost a little focus in the fourth. That can happen when you lead by so much. We had dumb turnovers”, stressed Konstantin Schubert. “We were down by 25 points and just wanted to be more aggressive. We played hard at the end”, said Grant Teichmann. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors were led by Matthew Meredith with 17 points. Konstantin Schubert added 13 points and Philipp Hadenfeldt and Alexander Richardson had 11 points a piece while the Dresden Titans were led by Georg Voigtmann with 13 points and 10 rebounds while Nico Wenzl added 11 points. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors shot 49% from the field and 41% from outside and had 49 rebounds and 19 turnovers while the Dresden Titans shot 31% from the field and 17% from outside and had 31 rebounds and 17 turnovers.