The fantastic season of the EPG Baskets Koblenz keeps rolling along even in 2023. After their bitter loss against Hanau shortly before the new year, the troops of Pat Elzie have won 5 games in a row including the last 2 away games in Frankfurt and Ludwigsburg. Their next opponent were the BIS Baskets Speyer who they destroyed on the road by 24 points. Alani Moore had been a scoring beast in the win scoring 22 points. This season Speyer have been up and down and came into the game with a 7-8 record. The EPG Baskets Koblenz also had another reunion with ex player DJ Woodmore who had played with them back in the 2020-2021 season. This season the EPG Baskets have played a number of games during the week and it was like that again as on a rare Thursday night they welcomed the BIS Baskets Speyer and once again played two different halves as they dominated the first and allowed a comeback in the fourth quarter allowing 33 points, but still held on for the 91-82 victory. ‘The second half was a problem. We lead by 28 points and then got into relax mode. We have to learn that other teams can play and get back into the game. It is a mental thing that we have to work on’, stated EPG Baskets head coach Pat Elzie. The BIS Baskets Speyer never gave up in the second half and if they had played better in the first quarter could of really made the game more exciting down the stretch. ‘The way we finish is the way we need to start. We came out flat in the first half and that is the advantage that they needed. Our shots just didn’t fall in the first half, but did in the second half’, stated BIS Baskets Speyer guard DJ Woodmore. The cycle in the way Koblenz ends game isn’t going in a sound direction as they witnessed in Ludwigsburg last weekend and now against Speyer. ‘We weren’t concentrated at the end. We have to work on this. I thought that we defended well overall but still gave up too many offensive rebounds. I thought on offense we did a good job reading the game knowing when to go 1-1 and when to play team basketball’, stated Brian Butler.
Marvin Heckel at the FT line
Ex easyCredit BBL player Dominique Johnson (194-SF-1992) got the EPG Baskets Koblenz on the board first with a sweet back door lay in as Butler recorded the dime. The guests then got two back to back buckets from young German Dennis Diala with a 20 footer and lay in. But the EPG Baskets Koblenz then found their rhythm and did what they do best by domination by closing out the first quarter with a lethal 27-8 run to lead 29-12 after 10 minutes. Koblenz got their clock work offense going getting some easy baskets from Alani Moore and Marvin Heckel as well as a one hand dunk and turn around shot from ex Ehingen center Brian Butler and a three pointer by Dominique Johnson to lead 13-6. Koblenz was real strong on the defensive side making every shot tough as the guests had to switch to 1-1 plays that resulted to contested shots. The Koblenz offense was gelling and had the momentum as German Moses Poelking was king in the paint making a dunk and offensive rebound and putback while ex Coburg guard Yassin Turan used his brilliant 1-1 play to score on the drive and Marvin Heckel made free throws for the 21-10 advantage. The EPG Baskets Koblenz also used the long ball getting three’s from ex Pro A players Niclas Sperber and Leon Friederici and Leo Saffer made a lay in. ‘We were good on transition and had good body language. Overal we had good team play, but could have been better on boxing out on the rebound’, stated EPG Baskets Koblenz manager Thomas Klein.
Ian Schmitt for 3
In the second quarter the EPG Baskets Koblenz still led by a lot, but had some lapses where they lost their dynamic play at both ends and allowed the guests to score 19 points. DJ Woodmore began the scoring in the second quarter for the BIS Baskets Speyer with an off balance jumper. He had been contained very well by Koblenz in the first quarter and now was being more aggressive and trying to get involved. The EPG Baskets Koblenz continued to execute at a good rate getting easy baskets inside from Butler and Johnson continued to use his physicality and get inside and scored twice for the 37-19 lead. The guests executed better in the second quarter getting a trey from young German Samuel Schally, a lay in from Canadian Jake Babic and an off balance shot from German Niclas Geier to trail 43-28. Even if Koblenz had lapses on defense, they could always get a bucket on offense when they needed to. They closed out the second quarter and cruised into the break with confidence going on a 10-3 run to lead 53-31. They got vital baskets from bigs Poelking and Saffer and a three pointer from Marvin Heckel for good measure. ‘There were 2-3 minutes where our dynamic went down at both ends of the court and we didn’t move the ball on offense. When Marvin Heckel came in our dynamic and speed went up again’, stated Thomas Klein.
Brian Butler in the lane
In the third quarter the EPG Baskets Koblenz kept the big lead despite letting it get shaved down a bit at the start. The guests used the energy of Jake Babic to go on a little run at the start as he netted 3 three pointers. ‘He is a strong player. He didn’t have the best three point percentage coming in, but tonight his shot was on. As a big guard being able to make that shot makes him so much more dangerous’, stressed Thomas Klein. The guests also got production and baskets from David Aichele, Nils Gesmann and Dj Woodmore to trail only 63-47. ‘We had to much 1-1 play and less team play. Babic got hot and quickly Speyer was under 20 points’, stated Thomas Klein. But the EPG Baskets Koblenz didn’t let the Babic three’s rattle them as they closed out the third quarter with a potent 12-2 run to lead 75-49 after 30 minutes. In the run the EPG Baskets Koblenz got good support from Sperber who contributed 5 points while Johnson nailed a trey and Leon Friederici made a three pointer. ‘Marvin Heckel came in in the last minutes and gave our game control and made it quicker. We dominated the rebounds and played better 1-1 defense’, stressed Thomas Klein. ‘They made it difficult for our offense being disruptive and switching everything on the ball screen and got in the passing lanes. Babic helped us with his timely shooting’, stated DJ Woodmore.
Niclas Geier at the FT line
In the fourth quarter the BIS Baskets Speyer exploded for 33 points and ex EPG Basket guard DJ Woodmore put on a show scoring 9 points in a row and 15 points in total, but the comeback attempt fell short. The guests went on a brutal 19-4 run to suddenly trail only by 79-68. In the run DJ Woodmore supplied 12 points including 2 three pointers, off balance shots and a lay in in transition. ‘DJ showed once again what he can do when he wants to. He can score any way he wants if it is with the drive, three or off the dribble. He gives his team scoring when it needs it’, expressed Brian Butler. ‘I thought like I was getting open looks in the first half, but they were falling a bit short. I got hot in the fourth and my confidence was oozing. I wish I would have hit more shots earlier’, warned DJ Woodmore. But the EPG Baskets Koblenz stopped the run and scored 8 unanswered points to extend their lead to 87-68 and have some more distance between them. Butler supplied 5 points in the drive with 2 dunks and Heckel supplied his divine bread and butter pull up jumper. ‘Heckel came in again and changed the game around. He gave the EPG Baskets control again and less 1-1 play’, stated Thomas Klein. Somehow the BIS Baskets Speyer still had some energy left and closed out the game strong with a 14-4 run, but couldn’t get over the hump. In the run the guests let it rain three’s and got 2 clutch back to back three’s from Schally, a trey from Babic and a three from Woodmore, but time ran out on the guests. ‘I don’t know why we can’t close out games. It is a mental problem, but that is human. We really have to correct this before the playoffs come. We have to be more consistent when closing out games’, warned Brian Butler. ‘We fought hard and did everything that we were supposed to do. We didn’t want to get blown out. We showed in the fourth quarter what we can do offensively when we want to’, stressed DJ Woodmore. The EPG Baskets Koblenz were led by Dominque Johnson with 18 points while Moses Poelking and Brian Butler added 13 points a piece while the BIS Baskets Speyer were led by DJ Woodmore with 23 points while Jake Babic finished with 20 points. The EPG Baskets Koblenz shot 49% from the field and 33% from outside and had 37 rebounds and 14 turnovers while the BIS Baskets Speyer shot 46% from the field and 35% from outside and had 39 rebounds and 18 turnovers.