The Basketball Lowen Steal Game One In OT 102-95 As The Dragons Rhondorf Run Out Of Gas

It seemed like ages ago, but it was finally that time of year for the Pro B playoffs and the Dragons Rhondorf were finally there again. The last time they had reached the promised land had been in 2018 where they finished in third place and had been led by future Euroleague player Kameron Taylor. This season the Dragons Rhondorf finished with a solid 14-10 season in fourth place. The Dragons Rhondorf entered the playoffs having won 4 of their last 6 games, but had had tough loses on the road in Wolmirstedt and Wedel within 4 days. The Dragons Rhondorf knew that they had to step up now as there are no breaks in a tight 3 game series when you have a slim roster.They met a tough opponent with the Basketball Lowen Erfurt that finished in fifth place with a 13-11 record. They are a team that showcase 2 walking buckets with ex Gonzaga (NCAA) player Guy Landry Edi (198-PF-1988, college: Gonzaga) and American Tyseem Lyles. They entered the playoffs having won 8 of their last 9 games and had extra recovery time as they had been idle on the last regular season weekend game day. On a mild spring evening the Dragon Dome was packed with boisterous Dragon fans and about 15-20 motivated Lowen fans as they would witness a hard fought play off like game. Both teams gave it their all, but a tough Zaba Bangala foul in the waning seconds of the fourth quarter robbed Rhondorf of the win as they couldn’t pull it out in overtime losing 102-95. ‘When your up by 13 and let them come back, it’s a sign of everybody having fault. They did a good job matching our physicality. Our poor rebounding and 1-1 defense hurt us again tonight’, stressed Dragons Rhondorf forward Florian Koch. The Basketball Lowen looked like they were down and out being down by 13 near the end of the third quarter, but they never gave up pushing through to overtime and then closing out the game. ‘This was a very tough game. It took us a long time to find our game. It was a very physical game. We were lucky that Rhondorf’s three’s didn’t fall better’, stated Basketball Lowen head coach Enrico Kufour.

Diminykas Pleta at the FT line

The first quarter was a very tight affair as no team could get away from the other as there were 4 lead changes, but after 10 minutes the Dragons Rhondorf had the slim 1 point advantage. Both teams top guards Devon Goodman and Tyseem Lyles nailed three’s. Erfurt was deliberately forcing the Pennsylvania native to take three’s as he was at 29% and favors the drive as his quickness fools almost every opponent. Erfurt’s best player Guy Landry Edi was taking many shots, but early on connected only on 2 as the game was dead locked at 14-14. At that juncture, Rhondorf was excelling with team play while their 1-1 defense was suspect and the Lowen sparkled with their rebounding effort. Rhondorf also was unable to take advantage of the extended turnovers that Erfurt were having. Down the stretch 6 year Pro A player Paul Albrecht found some daylight scoring 7 kpoints and keeping the Dragons slightly ahead as the guests could erase a 5 point Rhondorf lead closing out the first quarter with a 4-0 run with buckets from Alieu Ceesay and Guy Landry Edi to trail 24-23. ‘This was a typical playoff fight between the 4-5 teams as no team gave away any gifts. You could sense early that both teams were prepared for a battle’, stressed Alieu Ceesay. The Baksetball Lowen Erfurt shot 59% from the field and 40% from outside and had 9 rebounds and 6 turnovers while the Dragons Rhondorf shot 50& from the field and 29% from outside and had 6 rebounds and 2 turnovers.

Florian Koch at the FT line

The second quarter remain a dog fight as there were 7 lead changes. The Dragons Rhondorf never led by more than 4 points and had to look up at the score board at the break down by 1 point. Devon Goodman continued to sparkle on offense keeping his team slightly ahead getting to the free throw line, making a trey and setting up German Adrian Bergmannn with a lay in on transition after making the steal. The guests kept ground getting superb support from their bench as Latvian guard Otto Fahrenhortsts made the first of three floaters on the night and Brooklyn, New York native Tyseem Lyes was aggressive and drove to the hoop twice for buckets for the 39-38 Erfurt lead. The Basketball Lowen continued to be the more aggressive team on the glass getting a few extra possessions and continued to slow down the Dragons three point shooting efficiency. Rhondorf also took good care of the ball. Goodman and Lyles then traded baskets, but Erfurt still led 41-40. Edi who played in Finland and Iceland then connected on a 20 footer and Fahrenhorsts made a lay in for the 45-42 Erfurt lead. In the closing seconds of the second frame, Goodman found Zaba baby Zion Bangala on the back door cut for the lay in at the buzzer, but the Dragons Rhondorf trailed 45-44 at half-time. ‘We played very aggressive. Our length helped on the boards and Tobias Bode gave us good support. Edi and Goodman continued to play with a groove’, added Alieu Ceesay. The Basketball Lowen Erfurt shot 53% from the field and 25% from the three point line and had 21 rebounds and 6 turnovers while the Dragons Rhondorf shot 43% from the field and 24% from the three point line and had 16 rebounds and 3 turnovers.

Tyseem Lyles jumper

In the third quarter the game remained tight, but midway through the quarter the Dragons Rhondorf finally went on that much desired run only to see it get shaved down from 13 to 6 points after 30 minutes. Even if the teams two best players put on a show in the first minutes as Edi added 7 points and Goodman 4 points, there were other guys who gave their 2 cents to the other team’s success. Bangala made a routine lay in, but it was the acrobatic pass from Goodman that made this play most likely the highlight play of the game as the American spun and looked like he would finish himself but instead served up Baby Zion for the easy basket. While the guests got a clutch three pointer from Lorenz Schiller who had 80 plus Pro B experience under his belt, but still no team was running away from the other as it was 53-53. Then came the first massive run of the contest as the Dragons Rhondorf exploded on a 16-3 run to lead comfortably 69-56. In the run the Dragons Rhondorf received 4 three’s. It was Florian Koch who started the rampage with back to back three’s. Sometimes that is all what it takes to get a team going. Koch also added 2 more free throws while ex Rostock guard Nicolas Buchholz dropped 2 three’s as 2013 Pro B champion with Leverkusen Florian Wendler made an offensive rebound and put back. The Dragons upped their intensity while the guests that live from their 1-1 play didn’t get shots to fall. The Dragons Rhondorf were unable to hold the momentum and relinquished a bitter 9-2 run to trail only 71-65 after 30 minutes. In the Erfurt run, they got impressive production from Fahrenhorsts who supplied 6 points and Edi made a tough three from the corner. ‘We got good stops on defense and got rebounds. We did a better job hitting shots that allowed us on the run’, stated Adrian Bergmann. ‘Rhondorf hit their three’s better. I lost Koch once and then he found his game. We played too slow and allowed them to paly their game’, added Alieu Ceesay. The Dragons Rhondorf shot 48% from the field and 33% from the parking lot and had 24 rebounds and 4 turnovers while the Basketball Lowen Erfurt shot 50% from the field and 29% from the parking lot and had 29 rebounds and 9 turnovers.

Florian Koch from outside

The Dragons Rhondorf kept their 7-8 point lead for a few minutes in the fourth frame, but then allowed the Basketball Lowen Erfurt to creep back into the game and then force overtime. Paul Albrecht and Devon Goodman executed for the 75-67 Rhondorf lead, but the guests just kept chipping away and went on a 6-0 run to trail only 75-73. Ceesay continued to give great stability from the bench scoring twice while Schiller also scored as the Dragon’s 1-1 defense continued to be inaccurate. Rhondorf halted the run and sped out on a 5-2 run to lead 80-75. A Goodman lay in and clutch trey from Jonas Falkenstein did the damage. The trading of the runs continued as Erfurt went on a 7-2 run to dead lock the game at 82-82. On the run young German Dominykas Pleta flew to the hoop with the crushing one handed dunk and Lyles made a finger tip role and Edi remained in attack mode at all times making 3 free throws. Rhondorf’s 1-1 defense was obviously lax with 5 team fouls on their shoulders. Koch free throws and a clutch Devon Goodman floater kept Rhondorf ahead 86-84 with 5 seconds to play. A Koch flagrant foul which was his fifth and Bangala foul with 1,5 seconds sent Erfurt into overtime. Rhondorf had fortune that Edi only made 2 of 3 to tie the game at 86-86. ‘We became more aggressive and helped each other. We were 100% ready and had energy’, said Alieu Ceesay. ‘Even if the flagrant foul and Bangala’s foul hurt, we had too many turnovers’, commented Adrian Bergmann. In overtime the Dragons Rhondorf began bad and then everything went downhill. The Basketball Lowen Erfurt stopped the Dragons first 4 possessions and punished them with Pleta and Edi lay in’s to lead 90-86. Rhondorf had no flow on offense and made poor decisions and just didn’t get the desired options. Finally on the fifth possession, Goodman connected on transition to trail 90-88, but that didn’t faze the guests as they spanked Rhondorf back with consecutive three’s from Edi and German Jan Heber who had 22 easyCredfit BBL games on his resume for the 96-88 lead. Goodman answered with a lay in and three pointer from Buchholz, but Heber answered with 4 free throws and Ceesay with 2 free throws to seal the game 1 win. ‘We took the momentum from the fourth quarter into OT and began well. Rhondorf didn’t react well to pressure and our three’s helped us’, said Alieu Ceesay. ‘Nothing worked for us on offense and we didn’t play well under pressure. The game turned to their favor quickly’, said Adrian Bergmann. The Basketball Lowen Erfurt had 6 guys in double figures led by Guy Landry Edi with 37 points. Jan Heber had a great game with 16/8/7 stats and Tyseem Lyles added 13 points while the Dragons Rhondorf were led by Devon Goodman with 37 points and 14 dimes. Florian Koch added 17 points and Nicolas Buchholz 14 points. The Basketball Lowen shot 49% from the field and 29% from outside and had 44 rebounds and 13 turnovers while the Dragons Rhondorf shot 45% from the field and 28% form outside and had 39 rebounds and 10 turnovers.


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