With COVID still as alive as always, it has been one of those seasons that the uncertainty of playing games is about as difficult to estimate as is where rising German Isaiah Hartenstein could play next season, but for the Fraport Skyliners, the last two months, it has been like they were a bear in hibernation. In the last two months, they have only played 6 games and have shown a dismal 1-5 record. Now they have little time to recuperate as the games now come bang bang bang as they play 4 in the next 11 days starting with 2010 Eurochallenge winner BG Goettingen. BG Goettingen have had a very strong season and if the playoffs began tomorrow would be in the mix with the top 8 clubs. They have played 8 games in the last two months and have struggled a bit sporting a 3-5 record. It was a must win for the Fraport Skyliners as they wanted to show that their training camp in Mallorca had helped them be ready for the weeks of truth as they battle to stay in the BBL:. But this season the Fraport Skyliners continue not to know how to play consistently for 40 minutes and despite playing a strong first half, fell apart in the fourth quarter losing 73-65 to BG Goettingen. ‘We played well for 35 minutes, but in the last five minutes, we were exhausted and had no legs. Suddenly we lost Will Cherry and everything was a lot more difficult for us. We refused too many open shots. We just can’t do that. We fought very hard, but didn’t play brave enough’, stressed Fraport Skyliners head coach Diego Ocampo. BG Goettingen has been a surprise team this season and showed their comeback skills upping their defense in the second half and getting a huge push by new player Harald Frey. ‘This was a very intense game. The first quarter was very tough for us. We had no real offensive rhythm for a long time. But in the second half our character and defense held them to 25 points. That was the reason for the win. We made very good decisions at the end’, stated BG Goetingen head coach Roel Moors.
The first quarter was a tight affair, but after 10 minutes, the Fraport Skyliners had the slim 18-14 advantage. The Fraport Skyliners didn’t waste anytime executing on their first possession as they were aggressive and Quantez Robertson dropped a trey. BG Goettingen reacted well as the BBL’s second top scorer Kamar Baldwin (185-G-1997, college: Butler) scored 5 unanswered points to give the guests the lead. Frankfurt had the lead back very quickly at 7-5 as ex NBA player Will Cherry scored in the paint and ex Alba Berlin center Jamel Mclean connected on free throws. Frankfurt demonstrated early on that banging the ball inside would be on the menu and would keep it consistent until the end as Lukas Wank scored for the 10-7 lead. Frankfurt had their early woes with offensive rebounds as they allowed 4 in the first quarter which gave the guests extra chances. A Jeff Roberson lay in who played at Vanderbilt (NCAA) and three by sniper Jake Toolson who played at BYU gave BG Goettingen the lead back again at 12-10. But the Fraport Skyliners didn’t let the back and forth tug of war get at them as they closed out the first quarter with a timely 8-2 run to secure the 18-14 lead. Frankfurt continued to get their bigs involved. In the run, they got baskets from rookie Matt Haarms, ex Alba Berlin forward Lorenz Brenneke and Mclean. ‘We didn’t box out well which resulted in them getting those offensive rebounds. We have to do a better job chasing down rebounds’, said ex Auburn (NCAA) guard Quantez Robertson. ‘We did a good job fighting for the rebounds and getting extra possessions. . my teammates also did a good job finding me and I knocked down shots’, stressed BG Goettingen guard Kamar Baldwin BG Goettingen was shooting under 40% while Frankfurt was at 71% from the two point range. Both teams were even on the boards and turnovers.
In the second quarter the Fraport Skyliners executed even better on offense and was able to lead in double digits for some time and led 40-31 at the break. In the first few minutes BG Goettingen was able to stay with Frankfurt as their offense was too one dimensional as time after time Jamel Mclean would get the ball in the post. BG Goettingen struck with a Harald Frey three pointer who played at Montana State (NCAA) and pretty floater by ex Giessen guard Stephen Brown to cut Frankfurt’s lead down to 20-19. Rasheed Moore then nailed a trey giving Frankfurt the 23-19 advantage. It had been Moore’s first shot after almost 14 minutes of play. Why Moore doesn’t get more love on offense is a riddle. Frankfurt was up and down, but still had the 25-21 lead despite coughing up the ball too much. With the game pretty even, one may have thought that the game changing event would happen as Will Cherry was kicked out of the game after getting a technical foul. He had already been hit with a flagrant foul. Instead of caving in, this annoying turn of event seemed to spark the Fraport Skyliners. They continued to force the ball inside and got valuable minutes from their two young bigs Haarms and Brenneke as they combined for 9 of the last 15 points of the quarter. They also got 4 points from Len Schoorman on free throws and a transition basket form Moore who reeled in the touch down heave from Quantez Robertson. BG Goettingen mustered little inside and got heavy production from Jake Toolson who scored 8 points in the last five minutes including two three pointers. ‘We executed better and got to the free throw line. We had open looks and our bigs did what they could. They did a good job passing and attacking the rim’, stated Quantez Robertson. ‘Frankfurt did a good job coming together and playing to their strength inside. They beat us inside a lot’, added Kamar Baldwin. BG Goettingen continued to shoot poorly under 40% while Frankfurt shot 48% from the field and 30% from outside. BG Goettingen had the slight 19-17 rebound edge.
The Fraport Skyliners continued to control the game in the third quarter leading 56-51, but a Frey outburst near the end shifted the momentum which totally turned in favor for BG Goettingen in the fourth quarter. The Fraport Skyliners began strong going on a 6-2 run as they continued to attack inside. Haarms made free throws, Mclean tapped in a Tez miss and Moore got the second touch down pass of the evening from Robertson for the comfortable 46-33 lead. Frankfurt heightened their defense and were doing a great job protecting the rim. Frankfurt continued to hold the double digit lead as Brenneke continued to be aggressive and scored 5 points in the paint and Mclean hit a runner for the 53-41 lead. But Frankfurt just couldn’t hold the consistency in the last minutes as it was Harald Frey’s time to step up as he scored 10 unanswered points in a row to bring BG Goettingen back to 56-51. Frey who hails from Norway and got professional experience in Spain hit two three’s and made a pretty lay in at the buzzer. Len Schoormann connected on a trey to keep the guests at bay. ‘It is only normal that a team of their calibur come back. When we don’t play defense, they make easy baskets’, stressed Diego Ocampo. ‘Harald Frey carried us and Akeem Vargas did a good job changing our defensive tempo. That allowed us to find our rhythm more and allowed us to run’, said Kamar Baldwin. BG Goettingen continued to shoot poorly under 40% while Frankfurt was potent in the two point range at 56%. Frankfurt had grabbed back the rebound edge 29-25.
In the fourth quarter the Fraport Skyliners fell apart as they lost their lead and could only muster a poor 9 points. BG Goettingen stepped up their defense stopping Frankfurt on it’s first 5 possessions and grabbed back the lead with Nate Grimes free throws and a Jeff Roberson dunk to give the guests the 58-56 lead back. Mclean tied the game at 58-58 with free throws. But BG Goetingen then slammed the door shut on Frankfurt with a bitter 11-3 run to lead 69-61. BG Goettingen played smart and just did what good teams do which is executing their offense and getting stops. They got some key baskets inside from Toolson and Roberson and Baldwin hit a pretty step back jumper. Frankfurt looked helpless at times and had lost moral. They put up too many shots just for the sake of putting them up. Quantez Robertson was angry as one could see it in his eyes as he scored twice. But a last deep three by Baldwin who had that fancy step back iced the win for the 2010 Eurochallenge winner. ‘Coach changed up the game plan in the second half. We switched the cross screens into the post running the shooters off the three point line’, stated Kamar Baldwin. ‘We had a virus in the third quarter and it got worse in the fourth quarter. We didn’t shoot enough when we were open. We didn’t make good decisions or play brave’, stressed Diego Ocampo. BG Goettingen were led by Kamar Baldwin and Harald Frey who added 18 points a piece while Jake Toolson added 16 points. The Fraport Skyliners were led by Jamel Mclean with 14 points and Harald Frey added 12 points. BG Goettingen shot 34% from the field and 38% form outside and had 37 rebounds and 7 turnovers while the Fraport Skyliners shot 37% form the field and 19% from outside and had 38 rebounds and 11 turnovers.