The EPG Baskets Display Offensive Fireworks After Early Hibernation Dismantling The Seeburger College Wizards 103-84

After opening their season with a non spectacular grind out win against the weak Fraport Skyliners Juniors, the EPG Baskets found themselves on the road with 2 high class wins over Coburg and Speyer. The gang of head coach Pat Elzie finally let their offense show what kind of potential they have and exhibited a defensive identity if kept will stifle many many Pro B Teams this season. They average 94 points on offense and allow only 68 points per game and wanted to keep that positive surge going as they returned back into their beautiful living room in Koblenz. For once Brian Butler and co didn’t have to worry about the hot scoring of German Rouven Roessler who after 22 years finally decided to hang it up, but now was behind the bench as coach with the Seeburger College Wizards. They came to Koblenz with a 1-2 record, but had some self-confidence having beaten the Basketball Lowen 81-76 last weekend. Both teams wanted to keep their winning streaks alive, but only one team escaped and like usual this season the EPG Baskets Koblenz displayed explosive offense after having a brief hibernation period in the first quarter blowing away the Seeburger College Wizards 103-84. It was the fourth win in a row as the EPG Baskets Koblenz moved into first place in the Pro B south. After the game a never satisfied Dominique Johnson knew that despite the unbeaten record, they are still far away from being a great team. ‘We really showed our potential today. But we did show in the first quarter and a few minutes in the third quarter that we still have a lot to work on. We moved the ball well and played really good defense in the second quarter and that was a big reason we could keep the lead to the end’, stressed ex BBL player Dominique Johnson. The Seeburger College Wizards played an incredible first quarter offensively, but couldn’t keep the consistency and couldn’t clamp down on defense in the second half and force Koblenz to many consecutive stops. ‘We came out with a lot of intensity knowing that we were up against a top team and playing in a nice arena. We made many shots in the first quarter, but they then upped the pressure and we shot ourselves in the foot. We made too many mistakes and turnovers. We have a lot of potential, but we have to learn to limit their runs to 4-6 points and not 12 points. But we did fight hard from the start to the end’, warned ex NAIA player Christian Rodriguez.

Marvin Heckel at the FT line

The EPG Baskets Koblenz sped out to a quick 5-0 lead in the first quarter, but the Seeburger College Wizards weren’t impressed as they played their game and let it rain three’s closing out the first quarter with a 30-18 run shooting a crazy 78% from down town. Koblenz got Poelking free throws and a trey from Heckel to begin the contest, but the guests quickly got going getting three’s from ex Heidelberg guard Cristoph Rupp and ex Hanau forward Malik Kudic for the 7-5 advantage. Despite Heckel making 3 free throws for the 8-7 lead, the guests continued to execute well on offense getting support from everyone as head coach Rouven Roessler didn’t shy from using his bench early. Rupp made a lay in as did big man Moritz Baer while more three’s fell from the sky from Simon Jaworski and ex Cornerstone great Christian Rodriguez who nailed 2 while young German Nikolas Mueller also scored for the 24-15 lead. The guests had one of those quarters where everything seemingly was falling and on top of that got most of the 50/50 balls. The EPG Baskets Koblenz got good looks, but shots just weren’t falling. The guests held the momentum until the end getting another trey from Rupp and a 20 footer from 26 year old German Johnson Olowookere who played in Leimen last season. Koblenz kept pace getting lay in’s from ex Coburg guard Yasin Turan and Poelking to trail 30-23 after 10 minutes. ‘I feel we were a bit surprised by their play. It isn’t normal to make 7 three’s in a quarter at this level. But you have to give them credit. They played very well making the extra pass. We were a bit soft on the close outs. They did hit a few wild three’s, but we mostly had hands in their faces’, stressed EPG Baskets Koblenz manager Thomas Klein.

Christian Rodriguez from down town

But the turning point of the game occurred in the second quarter came as the EPG Baskets Koblenz exploded for 36 points while allowing only 14 points to recapture the lead 58-44. Rodriguez did begin with a trey, but Koblenz then reacted erupting out on a 17-2 run to lead 40-35. In the run it was ex Bremerhaven guard Marvin Heckel who carried the team scoring 11 points with 3 three’s. ‘Marvin was our turnaround player and everyone followed him’, stressed Thomas Klein. Poelking also scored with his left hand while Johnson dropped a three pointer. The EPG Baskets Koblenz calmed out and just began to play their game sharing the ball well and executing well. After a Rupp lay in, the offensive explosion by Koblenz continued as Moore and Poelking countered with buckets and Johnson supplied another three pointer for the 47-37 advantage. The guests didn’t hang their heads but fought as Karlsruhe attacked the rim and took advantage of Koblenz lapses on 1-1 defense as Rupp and Rodriguez scored to cut the Koblenz advantage to 47-42. But the Koblenz offense was mostly flowing as they used their bigs to take advantage of mismatches as young German Leo Saffer scored twice in the paint and Sperber hit a trey. Alani Moore II (178-PG-1998, college: Temple) who played his rookie season in Iran closed out the first half with a pretty buzzer beater floater. ‘After the weak first quarter, I felt like we adapted well to them. We showed that we can be an offensive monster. We showed that all can score. We supplied more pressure, boxed out better and pushed the ball more’, added Thomas Klein. The shooting percentages of the Seeburger College Wizards dipped down to 48% and 50% while the EPG Baskets Koblenz were at 54%. Koblenz continued to have the sound rebound edge 23-16 while both teams suffered 7 turnovers a piece.

Dominque Johnson from outside

In the third quarter the EPG Baskets Koblenz kept the lead continuing to execute well on offense and just doing enough to maintain the comfortable double digit advantage. The Seeburger College Wizards came out of half-time pumped and recharged and went on a 10-4 run to trail only 62-54. Karlsruhe continued to attack the rim getting 2 baskets from Rupp and one from Rodriguez while Kudic connected on a three pointer. ‘They upped their defense and we were too lush on offense’, stated Pat Elzie. But it is only a matter of time before a versatile and deep offensive team like the EPG Baskets Koblenz gets going as Moore and Turan connected twice from the parking lot while Rodriguez continued to hurt Koblenz with his shooting with a trey, but Koblenz led 72-60. ‘Rodriguez is a good player and shooter. But I see him more as a shooting guard then a point guard. He is very dangerous and creats a lot of space with his play and gave his team a lot of confidence’, stated Thomas Klein. Down the stretch the EPG Baskets Koblenz continued to shoot at a high clip from outside getting added support with three’s from Johnson and Turan while Moritz Huebner added a massive slam dunk as the guests trailed 80-67 after 3 quarters. ‘The third quarter was ok. We don’t know how to deal with big leads. We need to work on it’, stated Dominique Johnson. ‘We couldn’t get over the hump. They did a good job taking advantage of our mistakes. They ran their offense well and went on longer runs and made shots’, commented Christian Rodriguez.

Christian Rodriguez at the FT line

In the fourth quarter the EPG Baskets Koblenz kept control despite a small lapse allowing the guests to cut the lead down to 10 points, but were able to close out the game strong. Moritz Baer was on fire in the first minutes scoring 7 points, but the guests couldn’t make any ground as Koblenz got 2 three’s from Johnson and a pretty floater by Huebner and Sperber free throw as the EPG Baskets Koblenz led 90-74. With 5 minutes to go, the guests attempted one more comeback attempt going on a lightening 6-0 run as Kudic, Rodriguez scored and Rupp then made the tap in alley-oop with the pass from Rodriguez trailing only 90-80. But that was as close as Karlsruhe would get as the EPG Baskets Koblenz closed out the game with a 13-4 run. Koblenz got free throws from Heckel Sperber and Johnson. Johnson then added an off balance shot for the 98-80 advantage. The question then was which Koblenz player would break the 100 points to supply the free drinks. It was American Moore who didn’t know about the tradition, but agreed on donuts. ‘I told him after the game to pay for drinks or supply donuts. He agreed on donuts. I hope he doesn’t forget my favorite the regular flavor’, smiled Dominique Johnson. Head coach Patrick Elzie also opted to play his whole bench inserting the 3 kids Schnabel, Ade-Eri and Milton Heckel in the last minutes who combined for 4,48 minutes. ‘We got more tired and we couldn’t sustain their runs as they continued to make shots’, stated Christian Rodriguez. ‘They got heavy legs. They executed better, but we also made our shots. We gave the last blow and they couldn’t react as they had less energy’, said Dominque Johnson. The EPG Baskets were led by Alani Moore II with 23 points, 6 rebounds and 8 assists while Dominque Johnson added 18 points, 8 boards and 4 assists and Marvin Heckel supplied 17 points and 9 dimes while the Seeburger College Wizards were led by Christoph Rupp with 22 points while Christian Rodriguez added 20 points. The EPG Baskets Koblenz shot 48% form the field and 47% from outside and had 48 rebounds and 18 turnovers while the Seeburger College Wizards shot 48% from the field and 34% form outside and had 36 rebounds and 15 turnovers.


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