The EPG Baskets Koblenz Steamroll Past The EN Baskets Schwelm 97-76 In Game One

The Post season is what the faithful EPG Baskets Koblenz fans have been waiting for for 7 months as now the season really begins. Everyone knows in Koblenz that the club should of arrived in the playoffs with a spotless record, but the club had a little slip up against Hanau in their living room that cost them the perfect regular season. The gang led by head coach Pat Elzie still came into the playoffs well prepared having won 14 games in a row and had the best offense with 92 points per game and best defense in the league with 71 points allowed. Meeting the EPG Baskets Koblenz were the EN Baskets Schwelm who slipped into the playoffs on the last game day beating the TKS 49ers. Schwelm is a team that can have high scoring games on occasion as they averaged 81 points per game, but also allowed many points with 81. The EPG Baskets Koblenz saw an old teammate with Mr versatile CJ Oldham who had played in Koblenz in the 20-21 COVID season. On an untypical Monday night the EPG Baskets Koblenz welcomed the EN Baskets Schwelm and had many struggles during the 40 minutes, but overall were able to control the game and find their identity in the fourth quarter and steamroll past the EN Baskets Schwelm 97-76. When you only lost 1 game all season long, the expectations grow from week to week as the goal of moving up to the Pro A grows and grows. ‘We were nervous at the start. We had problems making shots but we remained stable on defense. We began to play our game in the second half. A win is a win’, warned ex easyCredit BBL player Marvin Heckel (190-PG-1997). The EN Baskets Schwelm battled all night long, but one noticed that they just didn’t have the man power and bench to combat the game of the EPG Baskets Koblenz. ‘We couldn’t match their physicality. You could see how much experience they have. We are still very young. Their deep bench helped and we simply had too much respect for them. We underestimated their quick hands as they forced us to many turnovers’, stressed ex easyCredit BBL player Chris Frazier.

Brian Butler at the FT line

The EPG Baskets Koblenz had 2 great minutes, but then their game fizzled as they allowed the EN Baskets Schwelm to play their game and have the surprising 4 point lead after 10 minutes. The EPG Baskets ran out to a 6-2 lead as they got a lay and free throws by ex Ehingen center Brian Butler and ex Temple (NCAA) guard Alani Moore made a lay in. The EPG Baskets Koblenz inserted a playoff press that worked wonders and defended aggressively and found good shots on offense. But that all came to an abrupt end as the guests strolled out on a 10-2 run to lead 12-8. The guests calmed down and suddenly had more room on offense. That was perfect for a player like the born shooter Chris Frazier who nailed 2 three’s. Give him just a spec of room and he will make you pay. Ex Leverkusen forward CJ Oldham also supplied 2 buckets. Koblenz lost their brutal defensive intensity and on offense attacked the zone aimless trying to break through an unbreakable wall. The EPG Baskets Koblenz actually found some offensive spark going on a 5-0 run as ex Pro A player Nicolas Sperber made an offensive rebound and put back and ex MLP Academics guard Leon Friederici supplied a trey to lead 13-12. But the guests continued to hit big shots as Germans Till Hornscheidt and Mailk Eichler connected from the parking lot for the 19-15. ‘We defended well for the first 2 minutes. We had no real offensive flow and had uncontrollable penetration. We had no concentration on our finishes’, stated EPG Baskets CEO Thomas Klein.

Johan Flaa from outside

In the second quarter the EPG Baskets Koblenz had to witness the EN Baskets Schwelm controlling the slim lead as Koblenz began well, but couldn’t be consistent. But in the last few minutes the EPG Baskets Koblenz found their game and walked into the locker room at the break with the 6 point lead. Eichler began the second frame with the lay in giving the guests the 21-15 lead. But that didn’t stand for long as Pat Elzie and his troops made a move going on a 9-2 run to regain the 24-23 lead. In the run ex Bremerhaven center Moses Poelking displayed his beast qualities making a runner and dunk, while Sperber continued to be aggressive draining a trey and assistant coach/player Yassin Turan sparkled with his quickness scoring on the drive. ‘We upped the speed and were more concentrated on the close outs. We defended better on 1-1 and pick and roll’, said Thomas Klein. But then came another lull by the EPG Baskets Koblenz as they allowed the EN Baskets Schwelm to get some confidence with their offense. A 5-o run led by a three pointer by German Marius Behr and step back jumper by Chriz Frazier gave the guests the 28-24 lead. One saw on occasion in the first half, that the nervousness of the EPG Baskets Koblenz was present. They had a lot of pressure and now had to perform. Koblenz was too much up and down, but here and there they played well in spurts. Alani Moore who had been more passive in the game changed that making a trey and lay in on transition to give his team the lead back at 32-31. The game showcased mini runs as ex FC Bayern Munich youth player Robert Merz supplied a runner and three pointer for the 38-34 Schwelm lead. But the EPG Baskets Schwelm then played their best basketball of the first half closing out the second quarter with a severe 12-2 run to lead 46-40 at the break. In the run, Koblenz got their offense rolling again. Marvin Heckel scored a trey a lay in while Brian Butler made a lay in. Pat Elzie then called a time out and drew up a beautiful play for Brian Butler. Marvin Heckel fed him for the thunderous alley-oop dunk. ‘That was a brutal alley-oop. Brian had a lot of hang time’, stated Thomas Klein. Friederici also added a three pointer.

Marvin Heckel to the hoop

In the third quarter the EPG Baskets Koblenz were able to control the game and lead for a long time by double digits, but at the end allowed the EN Baskets Schwelm to get under 10 points, but after 30 minutes trailed by 10 points. The EPG Baskets Koblenz came out and found a better rhythm on offense. They got vital three’s from Friederici who connected twice and Heckel also scored from down town for the 58-43 lead. The EN Baskets Schwelm did all they could to stick around, but couldn’t really get over the hump. Malik Eichler was able to give key support from the bench with a 6-0 run with a trey, lay in and free throw as the EPG Baskets Koblenz led only 62-49. The EN Baskets Schwelm continued to chip away and got buckets from Eichler, Oldham Merz and Behr, but couldn’t get the needed stops to get closer to Koblenz still trailing 66-55. The EPG Baskets Koblenz had no offensive rhythm which was the chance for the guests. They were in a little flow and got some more production from Till Hornscheidt who dropped free throws and Behr made a lay in as suddenly Schwelm were behind only 67-60. Sperber closed out the third quarter with a deep three pointer getting the perfect swing out pass from Heckel. ‘We didn’t have the fluid offense that we wanted. I think mentally we weren’t where we had to be. Missing so many shots in the first quarter affected us at times’, added Marvin Heckel. ‘Koblenz played a strange zone. I didn’t know why but maybe they were playing with us. We need to attack that better and the pick and roll’, stated Chris Frazier.

Roberz Merz at the FT line

The EPG Baskets Koblenz had their best phase in the game at both ends in the fourth quarter winning it 27-16. Norwegian guard Johan Flaa began the last frame with a lay to cut Koblenz’s lead to 70-62. The EPG Baskets Koblenz then didn’t waste anytime finding their strong offense as they went on a 9-0 run to lead 79-64. In the run Leon Friederici was a one man wrecking crew scoring 7 points. He was aggressive scoring two buckets including a rare bank shot jumper and 3 free throws. Alani Moore also supplied an acrobatic lay in after grabbing a loose ball. Koblenz played a strong zone while Friederici carried the EPG Baskets Koblenz. Hornscheidt and Sperber who finished with 11 points then traded three point bombs, but the EPG Baskets Koblenz still had the overwhelming 82-67 advantage. ‘Niclas played a good game. He hit big shots’, said Thomas Klein. The EPG Baskets Koblenz took the momentum of Sperber’s three pointer and rattled off 8 more unanswered points to ultimately decide the game leading 88-67. In the run the top South Pro B team was led by Heckel and ex easyCredit BBL player Dominique Johnson who were aggressive and scored in the lane. Koblenz were closing out well and were too physical for the guests while playing transition basketball. The EPG Baskets Koblenz didn’t have any lapses in the last minutes closing out the game in fine fashion. After Moore free throws and a Poelking lay in, EN Baskets Schwelm head coach Falk Moeller was handed a technical foul. Heckel remained aggressive and got to the free throw line two more times closing out the game. ‘This was our best quarter without a doubt. We hit our shots well and made good defensive pressure and forced them to turnovers. Plus we got out on transition’, added Marvin Heckel. ‘Experience was missing on our side. When guys like Friederici and Heckel are playing their game and making shots, It’s tough to come back’, said Chris Frazier. The EPG Baskets Koblenz had 6 guys in double figures and were led by Marvin Heckel with 20 points. Leon Friederici added 18 points and Brian Butler 16 points while the EN Baskets Schwelm were led by CJ Oldham with 15 points and 13 points by Malik Eichler while Chris Frazier added 11 points. The EPG Baskets Koblenz shot 43% from the field and 39% from outside and had 40 rebounds and 8 turnovers while the EN Baskets Schwelm shot 51% from the field and 31% from outside and had 28 rebounds and 14 turnovers.

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