The fight to escape the doormat area of the easyCredit BBL was as exciting for the Fraport Skyliners as the current Warriors-Kings series in the NBA where the latter jumped out to a surprising 2-0 start. Even with the arrival of ex Euroleague player Jordan Theodore, the team hasn’t been able to make so much ground simply because Braunschweig has also kept winning. Since the arrival of the ex Seton Hall (NCAA) great the Fraport Skyliners have won 2 of 3 games. They lost their last game in Munich where they played Germany’s most famous sports organization real tough losing only by 6 points. Their opponent was the doormat of the league with medi Bayreuth which was a must win. The Bavarian team were riding a 4 game losing streak and at the moment were only playing for pride. The Fraport Skyliners couldn’t go too relaxed into the game as they wanted to make ground on Braunschweig who had lost on abuzzer beater in Gottingen. On a mild early spring afternoon medi Bayreuth came out and played like a wounded animal as they spanked the Fraport Skyliners from the get go scoring 26 points and would display a beautiful offensive game averaging 29 points in the last 3 quarters to beat the Fraport Skyliners 113-107 without their top scorer Brandon Childress. ‘This was a real shootout. Frankfurt is a tough team that just kept fighting. We rebounded well in the first half and pushed the ball well. I am proud that we stuck together in the second half and didn’t crumble. The gym was loud, but we stayed solid and made our free throws at the end’, stressed ex George Mason (NCAA) guard Otis Livingston. One would of thought the Fraport Skyliners would play with a sense of urgency, but instead gave another frightful defensive performance where they allowed 15 three’s and countless open shots that made many guys feel like they were Steph Curry. ‘We didn’t play defense. We gave up too many open shots and didn’t communicate. When you let 2 guys score 67 points combined then it won’t be easy to win’, warned Quantez Robertson. ‘We hit lot of three’s. We get a lot of reps and that is what makes us feel comfortable taking three’s’, said Otis Livingston.
Derek Cooke at the FT line
The game began and before any Fraport Skyliners knew what had happened, medi Bayreuth led 16-3. The Bavarian squad found their range from outside quickly netting 2 three’s from ex Virgingia Tech (NCAA) forward Ahmed Hill (196-SG-1995, college: Virginia Tech) while Otis Livingston and German Kay Bruhnke also connected. Frankfurt was having problems getting into their offensive sets and were too soft on the glass allowing some early offensive rebounds. Frankfurt would get their offense slowly moving as Einaras Tubutis hit a trey and ex Iona (NCAA) guard Isaiah Washington hit a 10 footer and ex Eastern Kentucky (NCAA) guard Marcus Lewis sparkled with his 1-1 qualities, but the guests still led 19-10. The guests used their bench and got ample production as ex Vechta forward Nat Dialo scored as did ex FC Bayern Munich forward Sasha Grant. Bastian Doreth connected on a trey as Frankfurt trailed 26-12. Frankfurt did close out the first quarter with some energy as Washington connected for 5 unanswered points as medi Bayreuth led 26-17. The Fraport Skyliners shot a respectable 67% from the two point range, but their poor 33% from outside couldn’t match the superior 86% from outside from the guests. ‘We had a quick start. It was important for us to get our rhythm early. That helped us gain confidence and continue to play our style and execute’, stressed Otis Livingston.
Jackson Rowe with the jumper
In the second quarter medi Bayreuth continued to execute well against a non existent defense netting 29 points as the Fraport Skyliners were unable to get over the hump. Frankfurt came out with more energy in the first minutes as they got their big man ex G-League player Derek Cooke going as he scored 3 times including 2 dunks with an alley-oop dunk. On the one play Frankfurt showed possibly their best ball movement of the season. Washington also connected on a turn around shot as medi Bayreuth led only 31-25. Frankfurt were more aggressive attacking the paint area and were rewarded. But Frankfurt was unable to hold it as medi Bayreuth started to execute better on offense again nd get more stops as they went on a 9-2 run to lead 40-27. In the run the guests got their fast break game going scoring twice. Ex Cal State Fullerton forward Jackson Rowe also got going getting a lay in and getting to the free throw line twice. Skyliner legend Quantez Robertson then made a lay in as Frankfurt trailed 40-29. But on this day the guests had Ahmed Hill that would prove to be unstoppable. Hill scored an unbelievable 14 points in a row including three three’s to extend his team’s lead to 53-31. Frankfurt exhibited no communication on defense and on offense stuck to 1-1 play as team play was non existent. Hill’s highest point total of the season was 24 points against Bonn, but today he would eclipse that by 13 points. ‘When he starts getting hot, there is no telling how hot he will get. He is a player that does it all. He plays tough defense and rebounds well as well. His three’s today were just the cherry on the top’, smiled Otis Livingston. Lukas Wank took Frankfurt into the break with 5 points, but the guests and Hill had done most of the damage leading 55-36. ‘We were feeling it. When we can play our style we click. When we feel comfortable and see the ball going in a lot, it makes everything easier for us’, stated Otis Livingston. The Fraport Skyliners were shooting 63% from the 2 point area and 40% from the three point line and had 11 rebounds and 7 turnovers while medi Bayreuth shot 47% from the 2 point area and 77% from the three point line and had 15 rebounds and 3 turnovers.
Isaiah Washington with the jumper
In the third quarter the Fraport Skyliners showed what their offense is capable of exploding for 40 points, but they still couldn’t make much ground as medi Bayreuth racked up 29 points and still led by 8 points after 30 minutes. The Fraport Skyliners got some early production from Cooke with a lay in, trey from Lukas Wank and 2 baskets from Quantez Robertson, but still trailed 66-43. On defense they continued to allow Ahmed Hill to play his game as he produced 2 lay in’s and Livingston scored 5 points. Frankfurt then went on a 8-0 run as ex Seton Hall (NCAA) guard Jordan Theodore supplied 2 three’s to trail 66-51. The game continued to show runs as the Bavarian team retaliated with lay ins from Rowe and a lay in from ex Providence (NCAA) forward Kalif Young to lead 70-51. Frankfurt continued to battle and fight back as their offense executed well going on a 9-2 run to trail 72-59. Frankfurt was sparked by a Washington lay in and back to back three’s from Tubutis and ex FC Bayern Munich guard Joshua Obiesie. Frankfurt continued to chip away and drilled home 8 three’s in the quarter. Three’s by Lewis and Tubutis cut medi Bayreuth’s lead to 79-69. Frankfurt remained aggressive and got a three pointer by Washington and tap in by Tubutis as Frankfurt trailed only 81-76 as the Fraport arena was cooking. Hill closed out the quarter with a trey at the buzzer to lead 84-76. The Fraport Skyliners shooting percentages were sky high at 62% from the 2 point range and parking lot and had 17 rebounds and 8 turnovers while medi Bayreuth shot 55% from the 2 point area and 68% from the parking lot and had 21 rebounds and 6 turnovers. ‘Frankfurt played at a high level and showed how good their offense can be. They showed how explosive they can be. Washington got going’, stated Otis Livingston. ‘We hit three’s, but they also scored. We couldn’t get defensive stops when we needed to. When your down that much it’s tough to come back’, commented Quantez Robertson.
Nat Diallo at the FT line
The fourth quarter remained an offensive shoot out as both teams combined for 60 points, but despite cutting the lead down to 3 points, the Fraport Skyliners couldn’t get over the hump. Doreth and Washington traded three’s to begin the fourth quarter as Frankfurt trailed 87-79. Frankfurt got buckets from Cooke and Tubutis, but medi Bayreuth kept a hold on the lead getting extra special support from Rowe and Young who combined for 6 points taking some of the load off the shoulders of Hill and Livingston to lead 95-85. But Frankfurt just wouldn’t go away shocking the guests with a 7-0 run as Quantez Robertson supplied to three’s as Frankfurt trailed only 95-92 with crunch-time approaching. But that was the closest as the Fraport Skyliners would get as medi Bayreuth then slammed the door shut unraveling a 9-0 run to lead 103-92. Hill made a lethal 4 point play while Doreth hit a three pointer. Despite being less than 3 minutes to play, Jordan Theodore showed some of his offensive power hiting back to back three’s as Frankfurt trailed only 103-97 with 1,30 to play. Livingston and Theodore then traded lay ins, but Frankfurt was still down by 6 points. The hump was simply to large. Medi Bayreuth now did a super job containing their cool on the free throw line. Livingston scored 4 points and Hill 2 points. Theodore would score 2 more lay ins, but it was too little too late. ‘Key to get the win at the end was getting easy baskets and getting to the free throw line. We got the needed stops at the end, but we can still get better at that. We can’t allow teams to get to close’, warned Otis Livingston. ‘We had no communication on defense and couldn’t make open threes. We have to take it 1 game at a time now. We have to go on the road and get a tough win’, warned Quantez Robertson. Medi Bayreuth was led by Ahmed Hill with 37 points while Otis Livingston added 30 points and 8 assists. Jackson Rowe contributed 19 points. The Fraport Skyliners were led by Isaiah Washington with 23 points while Jordan Thoedore added 19 points and Lukas Wank had 16 points. Medi Bayreuth shot59% from the field and 65% from outside and had 30 rebounds and 7 turnovers while the Fraport Skyliners shot 56% from the field and 50% from outside and had 30 rebounds and 8 turnovers.
Tags : AHMED HILL, MEDI BAYREUTH, GERMAN BASKETBALL