After suffering a tough loss to Reutlingen in the Bona Baskets Limburg first game of 2022, they retreated last weekend and shocked 9-4 team Saarlouis and got revenge after the thrilling 121-120 overtime loss to kick off the season. They returned home and met SG Mannheim a club that has had a tale of two seasons. They began great winning three games in a row, but since were riding a 10 game losing streak having lost 4 nail bitters. SG Mannheim wanted to finally taste victory again after last winning on October three and got their wish after starting slowly and then got in gear in the second quarter and never looked back getting the hard deserved 87-77 victory. They were powered by the savage duo of Ingram and Kuhn who combined for 51 points helping stop the team´s 10 game losing streak. After the big win, Alabama native Jeremy Ingram was all smiles, but gave credit to the whole team. “We all played with confidence. When we had open shots, we took them. Our bench really stepped up tonight. We followed our game plan and didn´t allow KJ Sherril to hit for 40 points. And when Alex Kuhn hits his shots then our chances are always good to win. We will celebrate tonight, but then go back to work. We need to keep winning”, warned SG Mannheim guard Jeremy Ingram. The Bona Baskets Limburg had a super start, but near the end of the first quarter allowed SG Mannheim get into the game and then take the lead and never look back. Limburg had to play catch up basketball all night long and couldn´t get over the hump despite a late comeback then fell short. “We have a motivation problem. We play for the top teams but don´t come to play when we play the lower teams. All we had to do was guard two players. We were ready to play against Saarlouis, but not against Mannheim. We had enough points but didn´t play defense. When they collapsed on Sherrill, we couldn´t make our shots”, stressed Bona Baskets Limburg head coach Danny Stallbohm.
The Bona Baskets Limburg strutted out to a fast start, but then allowed the guests to come back and lead only 21-18 after 10 minutes. Limburg led quickly 16-5 as their offense rapidly found a rhythm. The Bona Baskets Limburg knew that they had a height and physicality advantage and scored all their first 7 buckets in the paint. Lithuanian giant Mantas Bernatavicius scored twice including having an offensive rebound and put back while Westerhaus scored twice, Kljaic, Stahlbohm and Sherril also scored. Limburg was controlling the paint area and had Ingram under control, but with a few minutes left, they lost intensity and energy and allowed SG Mannheim to come back closing out the first quarter with a 13-5 run. In the run ex Speyer forward Alexander Kuhn who has 81 Pro B games on his resume led the charge with three lethal three pointers. They also got vital production from 38 year old Lithuanian big man Arvydas Vaitekus who scored twice. “We had a bad start because we had to get used to the rims and back board. The ball dies when it hits the back board. We needed a good warm up. Kuhn then got hot and opened up the floor for us”, stressed Jeremy Ingram. The Bona Baskets Limburg shot a hot 50% from the field but 0% from outside while SG Mannheim was at 41% from the field and 57% from outside while Limburg had the 11-7 rebound edge and both teams had 3 turnovers a piece.
In the second quarter the Bona Baskets Limburg continued to keep the lead while executing on offense, but couldn´t find an identity on defense and lost the lead right before the break trailing 42-38. The Bona Baskets Limburg began well going on a 9-4 run to extend their lead to 30-22. In the run, 2 time JBBL(U-16) winner Noah Westerhaus who was teammates then with L.A Clipper Isaiah Hartenstein got rolling scoring three baskets as he used his quickness and athleticism to score inside. The game began to become a game of runs as SG Mannheim shot back going on a lethal 11-4 run to cut the Bona Baskets Limburg´s lead to 34-33. In the run, it was Alexander Kuhn again who nailed two trey´s while Ingram finally found his groove dropping a trey and getting a lay in. The duo were a one man wrecking crew as they could do what they wanted to against the low energy defense from Limburg. “Ingram is so fast. It is really difficult to stop him. We should have been more clever on defense and fouled him early on transition instead of at the end”, said Noah Westerhaus. Limburg kept the lead for a while longer as KJ Sherrill continued to find his spots making a jumper and lay in on transition for the 38-33 advantage. But Limburg played in spurts and just didn´t present any resistance on the defensive end allowing a Mannheim 9-0 run to end the second quarter. Not only did Ingram make a runner and Kuhn a lay in on transition, but they also got good aid from other bodies as Pascal Klahn dropped a trey and Steven Hartinger a lay in. “We were confident and I just didn´t think that they could guard us. When they played zone, Kuhn hit shots and when they went to man, I took over”, expressed Jeremy Ingram. The Bona Baskets Limburg continued to shoot well from close range, but shot a pathetic 14% from outside while SG Mannheim had a good balance between the field and outside with 44/50%. Limburg continued to have the 21-15 rebound lead, but had 6 turnovers while the guests only had 3 turnovers.
In the third quarter SG Mannheim kept up the pressure and momentum and led by as much 12 points and after three quarter had the 63-51 advantage. It continued to be a game of runs as SG Mannheim started with a 9-3 run to lead 51-41. The guests got baskets from Ingram, Hartinger, Klahn and a three pointer from Kuhn, but SG Mannheim couldn´t run away with the lead as Limburg struck back with a swift 4-0 run to cut the guests lead to 51-45. In the run Sherrill nailed a 10 footer and Kljaic scored in the paint area. Limburg was up and down on offense and didn´t make good decisions. SG Mannheim closed up the paint area better as Limburg had more difficulty getting baskets. Jeremy Ingram continued to lead SG Mannheim as whatever he touched on offense turned to gold and here and there they continued to get good support from other factors like Pascal Klahn who hit a trey and Vaitekus made a lay in for the 60-49 lead. Ingram made a tough fade away jumper near the end and a free throw for the 63-51 advantage. Despite scoring 31 points and almost equalizing his season average, coming to Limburg is never an easy task for the ex Alabama A&M guard. “I hate playing in this gym. But I knew that I had to give my all to win tonight. My teammates told me early that I might be missing now, but that I will make them when they count. My teammates had a lot of faith in me”, added Jeremy Ingram. SG Mannheim continued to shoot very well with 46% from the field and 50% from the parking lot while the Bona Baskets Limburg shot 46% from the field and a miserable 7,7% from outside. Limburg still had the rebound edge at 29-25 while both teams only had 12 turnovers combined. “Our bench helped us a lot tonight. Pascal Klahn helped us a lot. We told him to keep shooting after misses. He played with confidence tonight”, warned Jeremy Ingram. “We had no intensity and now will. We lost the game in the third quarter. You can´t train having will. You either have it or not”, warned Noah Westerhaus.
SG Mannheim kept control, but just couldn´t close out the game as easily as they wanted to after the Bona Baskets Limberg made a little run in crunch-time, but weren´t rewarded. In the first minutes, the guests got points from Ingram and young German Jan Hempel while Limburg got baskets from KJ Sherrill who scored twice while Kljaic used his speed again for an easy basket, but Limburg trailed 67-57. SG Mannheim now tried to ultimately slam the door shut on the Bona Baskets Limburg going on a lethal 12-5 run to extend their lead to 79-62. In the run SG Mannheim continued to get key help from Ingram who added 5 points while Lithuanian big man Arvydas Vaitekus who had a solid 12/7/2 game added two scores as he was always set up very well inside where no Limburg defender could do any harm. Westerhaus made a three pointer and Sherrill a 20 footer. SG Manheim had the momentum and confidence and the game seemed decided as Limburg was too much up and down, but the home team still had some energy and wanted to launch a last hurrah. The Bona Baskets Limburg somehow produced an amazing 15-3 run to cut the SG Mannheim lead down to 82-77. In the run did Limburg not only executed very well again, but also decided to play defense stepping up their aggressiveness which led Mannheim to turnovers and tougher shots. On the offensive end, Limburg received good production from Sherrill and Westerhaus who scored twice to cut Mannheim´s lead down to 80-68, but then came the three point blow as they finally began to get hot from the parking lot as Stallbohm connected twice and Kljaic once and suddenly it was a 5 point ball game. But with time running down, SG Mannheim got a game saving steal from Jeremy Ingram and made free throws as Ingram and Klahn scored to secure the win. “Limburg came back and finially began to hit shots. They got away with some fouls as well. They began to play better defense and we felt like we had won already. My steal sealed the win”, smiled Jeremy Ingram. “We began our comeback to late. We shouldn´t have lost this game”, warned Noah Westerhaus. SG Mannheim was led by Jeremy Ingram with 31 points while Alexander Kuhn had 20 points and Pascal Klahn had 18 points. The Bona Baskets Limburg were led by KJ Sherrill with 28 points. Noah Westerhaus added 21 points and Matej Kljaic had 14 points. SG Mannheim shot 49% from the field and 47% from the three point line and had 32 rebounds and 10 turnovers while the Bona Baskets Limburg shot 48% from the field and 28% from outside and had 34 rebounds and 10 turnovers.