MTV Stuttgart Wear Down The Centerless Bona Baskets Limburg 85-67

Edward Hall led MTV Stuttgart with 22 points to the win

It wasn’t even October yet and the Bona Baskets Limburg had found themselves at the cellar bottom with a record of 0-2 going into their third regular season game. They lost the first game by 20 points to new team TSG Soeflingen who came up from Regionalliga 2 and last weekend were slapped silly by Mannheim by 34 points. Even if their defense was inconsistent last season, at least they could still score, but this season, the offense has been less potent. In the last few years the club had had a very slim rotation and it wasn’t any different this season, but when you have to exclude work horse KJ Sherril who averaged 19/11 stats last season, you suddenly have a major dilemma. They returned home to meet MTV Stuttgart who had a 1-1 record and held with them well for a half, but a game has 40 minutes and got worn down in the second half losing 85-67 to fall to 0-3. After the win American Christopher Hall didn’t look all too content with the win, but still had a smile knowing they were above 500. ‘We could pf played better. They are a small team and we should have dominated better under the basket. They didn’t play the best zone, but a win is a win. We have to continue to be focused each week and get better’, warned MTV Stuttgart forward Christopher Hall. The Bona Baskets Limburg didn’t lack effort, but simply length and physicality under the basket as they were literally centerless. ‘They adjusted well to us being so small. It took them a while letting us stay with them in the first half. In the second half, we got more tired and had problems rebounding. We hustled and gave everything. I feel this was our best game this season, but we still make too many mistakes’, stressed Bona Baskets Limburg captain Justin Stallbohm.

Vassilis Lampropoulos at the FT line

Fans saw a different Justin Stallbohm as he was wearing a mask. He had broken his nose 4 days earlier, but was still able to play. He will be operated in Wiesbaden on Tuesday and probably miss a few weeks. MTV Stuttgart got off to a quick start taking the rapid 14-4 lead. American Edward Hall who works on an American airbase as an IT specialist had fond memories from last season where he poured in 30 points with 8 three’s against Limburg and in the opening minutes was on a scoring romp again netting 9 points as he was being a menace on the offensive board. But at the same time the guests also got valuable support from other players like athletic German Jannis Holzwarth and ex ANGT player Fekremariam Abraha (186-PG-1999). MTV Stuttgart came out dictating the pace with superb ball movement that had Limburg always reeling to get into good defensive position. At the same time, they were controlling the boards and having an aggressive defense that was forcing Limburg to too many early turnovers and hampering their set play. Not having top player and work horse KJ Sherril who is more than mentally prepared to lace them up against Lich soon was difficult to compensate as a huge hole in the scoring department was there. Croatian point guard Matej Kljaic tried his best to carry the team and did. Limburg went on a 9-3 run and suddenly were only trailing 16-13. His quickness as always led to an easy lay in and a difficult step back trey was also in his arsenal. Limburg captain Justin Stallbohm made some key steals to help break Stuttgart’s rhythm. But Limburg wasn’t able to hold that brief moment of control allowing the guests to close out the first quarter with a 7-0 run to lead 23-13 as Greek guard Vassilis Lampropoulos hit a trey and 39 year old veteran Christian Grundlach who is in his 14th season with Stuttgart made a lay in. Combined these two equal 70 years of ag. ‘We always try to come out strong and focused and build off that. I felt that we did a good job doing that’, stated Edward Hall.

Antun Matijevic from outside

The Bona Baskets Limburg played their finest basketball in the second quarter as they countered back and then held their own making it an even contest. The Bona Baskets Limburg caught MTV Stuttgart on the wrong foot escaping out on a quick 10-0 run to deadlock the game at 23-23. This brush of explosiveness helped their self-confidence seeing they could play with this team that clearly had the advantages under the basket. In the run, the troops of head coach Danny Stallbohm were led by Kljaic who as usual used his swiftness to his advantage scoring twice on the drive, Swede Hugo Florestedt also scored in the paint and bench guard Berkant Campinar hit a clutch trey. MTV Stuttgart wasn’t able to match Limburg’s intensity as they lost concentration and their rhythm. Limburg got stops which led to easy transition buckets. The game then would be a tight affair as there would be 5 lead changes up to half-time. Florestedt continued to give good support scoring 5 points while the guests got stable support from their thin bench from guys like Hugo Mournier and Abrahar. Justin Stallbohm had a tough night going 1/6 from downtown, but nailed his custom line drive trey to tie the game at 31-31. German Antun Matijevic who is the classic 3 and D player hit a three pointer to cut the Stuttgart lead down to 35-34. Limburg then had some tough luck as Justin Stallbohm was hit with a technical foul after Hall scored in the paint. Lampropoulos made a free throw and Hall a free throw to give the guests the 39-34 advantage. But the Bona Baskets Limburg struck back getting some massive help from Kljaic who came up with a steal and forced a turnover which led to 2 fast scores on transition by him as Limburg trailed only 39-38 after 20 minutes. ‘We took our feet off the gas. We had mis communication and didn’t get back on defense. We made careless passes which led to easy baskets by them’, stated Edward Hall. ‘Last season we had good quality, but didn’t always show effort. This season we don’t have the quality as last season, but always give our all. We showed true character and came back’, added Justin Stallbohm.

Edward Hall with the lay in

MTV Stuttgart kept the lead in the third quarter, but could never completely shake the Bona Baskets Limburg as they were only down by 4 points late, but an annoying run by the guests had them back at 61-52 after 30 minutes. The Bona Baskets Limburg didn’t return back with as much energy in the third quarter and suffered a painful 9-2 run to trail 48-40. MTV Stuttgart were sparked by the Greek duo of Lampropoulos and Alexander Komitakis who combined have an age of 66 years. They used their on court cleverness and experience to get easy baskets. The latter scored twice in the paint and Hall also added 2 free throws of 3 attempts after being fouled behind the three point line. This run really hurt Limburg as their constant struggle to contain the guests inside was hurting them mentally as they knew they had to do it for another half with their strength declining. Stuttgart despite also having a thin bench kept up the pressure at both ends and their permanent muscling down low also began to take a toll as 3 consecutive offensive rebounds didn’t actually stimulate Limburg’s self confidence. Hall continued to be able to hit from anywhere making an off balance shot for the 52-41 Stuttgart lead. Then came a very good phase by Limburg, but it would be to be their last push in the contest as they mustered up a 9-2 run to suddenly trail only 54-50. In the run, Limburg displayed super team play spreading the ball around and getting buckets from Matijevic, ex Dortmund guard Jari Beckmann and Huge Florestedt. Once again Limburg had stepped up their defensive pressure which foiled the usual disciplined Stuttgart offense that coughed up some balls for extra Limburg possessions. Here and there their zone also fooled the guests. But Limburg was unable to hold up the high energy allowing a 7-2 run to end the third quarter and trail by 9 points. In the Stuttgart run, the guests received superb support from Hugo Mournier with 2 baskes and also a trey from Abraha. ‘We did a good job attack the zone and get the ball down and then working from there to get good opportunities’, stated Edward Hall. ‘We began to get tired. Especially the mental part took a toll. Once you get down 10 points, you suddenly think more and know it’s going to be tough to come back’, added Justin Stallbohm.

Matej Kljaic at the FT line

MTV Stuttgart continued to wear down the Bona Baskets Limburg in the fourth quarter taking their 9 point lead and being able to extend their lead to as much as 19 points late that Limburg could never recuperate from. MTV Stuttgart didn’t waste anytime storming out on a 11-3 run to extend their lead to 72-55 which at that point had Stallbohm and co looking up a steep mountain to try to reach the Zugspitze mountain peak. In the run the guests continued to get good support from everyone continuing to display super team play. Holzwarth nailed a three against the zone, Abraha who never averaged more than 4,0ppg in the Regionalliga suddenly was a potent scorer hit a trey and Grundlach made a lay in. Stuttgart controlled the game and they weren’t about to give up this lead as Limburg’s strength was going down as they couldn’t match Stuttgart’s physicality down low. MTV Stuttgart got further support from their bench as Quentin Kunst scored and defensive specialist Abraha showed his fine athleticism once again scoring on a drive and Lampropoulos free throws ultimately closed the door shut on Limburg as they led 80-61 with a few minutes to play. Limburg head coach Danny Stallbohm did a good deed playing everyone including guys that usually wouldn’t even be playing allowing Tamas Bator from the second team, youth player Noah Ludwig and Jannis Wolfram combine for 21 minutes. Ludwig made a beautiful reverse lay up that undoubtedly got the biggest cheer from the crowd who were firing on the young German kid. Fellow young German Alois Mournier closed out the scoring for MTV Stuttgart with a lay in. ‘We were missing a few starters, but our bench really stepped it up for us today. We are deep and can trust everyone’, said Edward Hall. ‘We rotated a lot and played everyone. We gave our all. We hope to have KJ Sherril back soon’, stressed Justin Stallbohm. MTV Stuttgart were led by Edward Hall with 22 points. Vassilis Lampropoulos added 19 points and Fekremariam Abraha added 17 points while the Bona Baskets Limburg were led by Matej Kljaic with 22 points while Hugo Florestedt had 15 points.MTV Stuttgart shot 60% from the two point area and 28% from outside and had 24 rebounds and 8 turnovers while the Bona Baskets Limburg shot 66% form the two point area and 17% from outside while grabbing 22 rebounds and having 16 turnovers.


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