The inconsistency of the Dragons Rhondorf continue as the last weeks have shown that winning just isn’t in their DNA. After winning three gameis n a row at the start of 2022 and where some dreamed playoffs, the team couldn’t hold the momentum and lost five of the last six games including a bitter 85-78 loss in Hamburg last weekend a game they had to win. The troops led by head coach Julius Thomas still had a very minimal chance for the playoffs, but Iserlohn had one win more, but two more games to play and had that last 8th place at the moment. Rhondorf met the talented Wedel team which is the farm team of BBL club Hamburg Towers who were resting in third place with a record of 12-8 and absolutely destroyed Rhondorf in the first game of the season 88-48. Rhondorf were battling injuries, got creamed on the boards and coughed up the ball 27 times in that game. The Dragons had amends to pay and had revenge on their minds as they welcomed Wedel into the Dragon Dome and played a lot better than in the first game, but had no response on how to control Hendrik Drescher (204-C-2000) and Martin Jelic who combined for 48 points and made defensive life difficult for them all night long. ‘We began well as usual, but then after a few minutes our energy goes down. It has been like that all season long. When things don’t go our way, we have problems winning. Little mistakes have broken our neck all season long. Coaches have told us all season how well we play, but we can’t win games when we have so many turnovers’, stated Dragons forward Paul Albrecht. SC Rist Wedel overall played a solid game. Here and there they had some down phases, but overall always had an answer when Rhondorf attempted a run. ‘Our defense was key for the win. We played good pick and roll defense. Our help was very good and our communication and we were able to stop their three point shooters’, stated SC Rist Wedel guard Jordan Walker.
The Dragons Rhonsodrf as usual began strong taking the quick 7-2 advantage. The Dragons defended aggressively from the tip of forcing the guests to three turnovers. On offense young German sniper Nicolas Buchholz found his rhythm right away with a trey and they got Paul Albrecht involved in the post as he scored two buckets. But Rhondorf couldn’t hold their rhythm and momentum allowing Wedel to claw their way back into the game. Before the Dragons knew what had happened, the guests cruised out on a 14-4 run to take the commanding 16-11 lead. In the run, they stepped up their defensive intensity getting in Rhondorf’s passing lanes. Jordan Walker was a menace who got three steals including an easy transition basket. They also let it rain three’s as 2018 NBBL champion Hendrik Drescher hit two three’s and Martin Jelic also hit a trey. The offensive rhythm of Rhondorf was gone as the turnover disease returned. SC Rist Wedel continued to keep their offensive rhythm and close out the first quarter in style. Drescher and Jelic scored again while Jordan Walker finished a beautiful two hand dunk. Marek Kotieno closed out the first quarter with a buzzer beater tap in, but Rhondorf trailed 24-19. ‘They defended our short rolls well and our passes didn’t reach their destination’, stressed Paul Albrecht. SC Rost Wedel shot incredibly well with 73% from the field and 60% from outside while the Dragons shot 44% from the field and 33% from outside. Rhondorf had the slim 8-7 rebound edge while both teams combined had 12 turnovers.
SC Rist Wedel kept up the pressure at both ends of the court in the second quarter and were able to briefly lead in double figures. Jelic and Albrecht started the second quarter trading three’s, but Rhondorf couldn’t keep up. Wedel continued to be carried by Drescher and Jelic who did a good job sinking their three’s. Birthday boy Ousmane Ndiaye who turned 18 made a smooth floater, but the Dragons still trailed 37-28. The Dragons demonstrated early on that Paul Albrecht would be the go to guy as he scored two buckets while Martin Jelic who at 22 years has a high IQ beyond his years also scored twice as the Dragons couldn’t make any ground trailing 42-32. Even if Rhondorf was doing a good job getting rebounds, they did have problems on the box out as they couldn’t come to terms with the guests physicality. In the last minutes, Rhondorf got some key baskets from German Oshane Drews and two from Kotieno, but Rist continued to score as well as Jelic scored as did Walker on the buzzer leading 47-38 at the break. ‘They did a good job taking away our three. They had Buchholz under control. They denied well and we couldn’t get our passes to the destination’, stated Paul Albrecht. SC Rist Wedel continued to shoot the ball at a very high clip shooting 67% form the field and 70% from downtown while the Dragons were at 44% from the field and 25% form downtown. Rhondorf continued to control the boards 17-14 and both teams had combined 23 turnovers 12/11.
SC Rist Wedel continued to control the game as the Dragons Rhondorf just couldn’t get over the hump. SC Rist Wedel began with a 4-0 run as German Linus Hoffman made a lay in and ex Long Island (NCAA) center Aurimas Adomatis scored in the paint and the Dragons Rhondof countered with a 5-0 run as Drews scored and Paul Albrecht but Wedel still led 51-43. Frankl-Maus free throws cut the Wedel lead to 53-45, but then as usual small mistakes gave the guests a quick 4-0 run to get the lead back to 12 points. An easy Sredojevic lay in where there was no 1-1 defense as that has been a massive problem this season and Jelic lay in put the Dragons come back on hold again. Rhondorf kept pressing getting a huge trey from Ndiaye and Drews free throws, but Hendrik Drescher always had that dagger ready and pierced it through the Dragons heart as he made a left handed hook shot and three pointer to put their lead at 64-52. 17 year old Lithuanian Simonas Paukste made a lay in to end the third quarter with the 66-52 Wedel advantage. Both teams kept scoring. They always had an answer to when we scored’, stated Paul Albrecht. ‘We did a good job sticking together. We stuck to our defensive game plan staying aggressive and on offense created for each other helping us keep the lead’, said Jordan Walker. SC Rist Wedel still shot well at 59% form the field and 47% form outside while Rhondorf shot 39% from the field and 22% from outside. Rhondorf continued to have the 26-22 rebound edge, but had 16 turnovers while Wedel had 13 turnovers.
In the fourth quarter SC Rist Wedel did a good job keeping the pressure on, but the Dragons Rhondorf had one last energy push and were close to getting over the hump, but a little mini run by Wedel helped seal the victory. The Dragons Rhondorf began very well going on a 16-7 run to cut Wedel’s lead down to 73-68. In the run, Nicolas Buchholz finally got going scoring 8 points and finding his range from outside again scoring two three’s. Rhondorf also got some easy baskets as Drews made a pretty two handed dunk, Sam Nellessen scored on transition following a Ndiaye block and Frankl-Maus also scored on transition getting the touch down pass from Drews. Ndiaje also added a tap in as he showed aggressiveness on the offensive board. But with crunch-time there, SC Rist Wedel shut the door on Rhondorf with a brutal 6-0 run to extend their lead to 79-68. Hoffman began with an old school hook shot which was followed with a transition basket from Walker and Jentz lay in. Two more Jelic baskets and Drescher free throws kept Rhondorf at bay as their would be no more comeback on this night. ‘Basketball is a game of runs. We knew that they would get their time, but we kept our composure. We knew that if we stuck to what we did best that we would come out on top’, warned Jordan Walker. ‘We did too many individual mistakes. Our defensive philosophy has to do with each guy having a role and needing to preform it correctly. If one guy doesn’t do their job, then our defense doesn’t work’, added Paul Albrecht. SC Rist Wedel were led by Hendrik Drescher and Martin Jelic with 24 points a piece. Jordan Walker chipped in with 15 points. While the Dragons Rhondorf were led by Paul Albrecht with 19 points while Oshane Drews added 17 points and Nicolas Buchholz 15 points. SC Rist Wedel shot 53% from the field and 41% from the parking lot and had 31 rebounds and 16 turnovers while the Dragons Rhondorf shot 42% from the field and 23% from the parking lot and had 39 rebounds and 21 turnovers.