On November 23, 2019 17 year German shooting star Len Schoormann had a Pro B career day netting an amazing 30 points in Speyer as he shot a potent 9/12 and also knew when to create finding his teammates for 5 dimes, but the Fraport Skyliners Juniors once again was unable to defend at a consistent level allowing 101 points. Frankfurt did a good job coughing up the ball only 8 times, but overall couldn´t secure the rebound battle for themselves. It is now perform or face the possible consequences of missing the playoffs and having to toil in the unwanted playdowns. Frankfurt has been in a rut in the last few months having lost 6 of the last 7 games while their opponent Speyer have somewhat underachieved this season but had a positive 8-7 record coming in. Speyer came back to the BCM where they hadn´t last visited since the 2015-2016 season when they last dueled in the Pro B with top guard DJ Woodmore who had had a 1-1 record that season against Frankfurt, but having immense success scoring 25 and 20 points. Woodmore had another amazing game, but couldn´t lead his team to the win in the last seconds as the Fraport Skyliners Juniors got revenge for the first loss in Speyer winning 75-74. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors showed consistency at both ends of the court something they haven´t shown as much this season and had a lot of versatility on the offensive end. After the win a content Maxi Begue reflected on the win. “We played good defense for 40 minutes. We did a good job not falling apart like we have in other games. When Speyer took the lead, we didn´t let them run away with it. We played fairly consistent for the whole game”, stressed Maxi Begue. It took DJ Woodmore a few seconds to compose himself after the loss and reflected on what went wrong. “It was a tough loss. Pruitt got hot early and got the rest of his team going. We made some mistakes down the stretch and didn´t hit shots”, stressed ex Virginia Wesleyan(NCAA3) guard DJ Woodmore.7
The Morgenstern Bis Baskets were without veterans Albert Kuppe and Adrian Lind, but that didn´t seem to worry them as in the first few minutes, it looked like the Morgenstern Bis Baskets Speyer were going to duplicate the kind of performance they had at home as they took a 7-2 lead. In the run the club got valuable production from Spaniard Michael Acosta who demonstrated his aggressiveness from the get go getting two baskets and forward Matthias Meier also scored. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors looked sluggish and flat. They needed some kind of energizer to get out of their funk and did with big man Aaron Kayser. Kayser began his rampage with a massive block on Dmitrij Kreiss and then led Frankfurt on a 6-2 run to get back into the game with two buckets while 17 year old guard Len Schoormann scored a reverse lay in from the back door feed from new player Bruno Peric to trail 10-8. Frankfurt continued to execute on offense and after Kayser´s show came the huge show of Nigel Pruitt who began to let three´s rain as he hit three three´s to lead the Fraport Skyliners Juniors to the 25-20 lead. The guests got some support from Kreiss with a basket and Woodmore made a lay in after retrieving a beautiful behind the back pass from Spaniard Jordi Salto, but the Fraport Skyliners Juniors led 27-26 after the first frame. “Both teams hit a lot of shots. Our defense was a bit lush at the start, but we got better as the game went along”, stressed Maxi Begue. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors shot 58% from the field and 44% form outside and had 10 rebounds and 3 turnovers while the Morgenstern Bis Baskets Speyer shot 61% from the field and 50% from outside and had 7 rebounds and 3 turnovers.
The Fraport Skyliners Juniors held the lead in the second quarter upping their defense allowing only 14 points. A big reason for the cutting down of points had to do with their great start. Frankfurt shut down the Morgenstern Bis Baskets Speyer on their first 6 possessions, but couldn´t take real advantage of their stronger defense getting only 4 points from Peric and Pruitt as the home team led 31-26. Frankfurt did a better job clogging the zone area and playing 1-1 defense as the Morgenstern Bis Baskets Speyer couldn´t find a smooth rhythm on the offensive end. They finally got their first bucket of the second quarter at the 6,16 mark as ex wiha Panther Petar Madunic scored inside. Ex BBL player Tim Schwartz who played for teams like Giessen, Crailsheim, Artland and Braunschweig hit 3 free throws to deadlock the contest at 31-31. Frankfurt did a good job never fretting when Speyer threatened, but instead were able to execute on offense and go on runs. Frankfurt proceeded to go on a 7-2 run to lead 38-33. In the run they continued to show their versatile offense getting a runner from Peric, an acrobatic lay in by Schoormann where he displayed his total athleticism and captain Cosmo Gruehn made a tip in off the lob pass from Pruitt. Down the stretch the Fraport Skyliners Juniors were able to hold the lead getting big shots. Pruitt continued to demonstrate his precise three point shooting draining another one while Gruehn connected on an old school like hook shot and young German Alvin Onyia dropped a clutch three pointer for the 46-40 halftime advantage. Speyer received a runner from Kreiss and a beautiful basket from Woodmore which reminded one of a typical Kyrie Irving or Kemba Walker play. “I attacked on that play and when I am able to step on the big man then I can make that shot fake and then go under and spin it home. It worked well for me”, added DJ Woodmore. “Frankfurt played good transition basketball and had good ball movement. They had very many options on offense something they haven´t shown as much this season”, stressed Fraport Skyliner Leon Kratzer. The Fraport Skyliners shot 51% from the field and 35% from the three point line and had 19 boards and 5 turnovers while the Morgenstern Bis Baskets Speyer shot 50% from the field and 29% from the three point line and had 17 boards and 7 turnovers.
The third quarter was a real dog fight as the Fraport Skyliners Juniors kept the lead despite coughing up the ball a miserable 10 times. The Morgenstern Bis Baskets Speyer couldn´t do more than be tied at 59-59 after 30 minutes. The guests went on a mini 4-0 run as their best player Dmitrij Kreiss was brilliant at both ends of the court getting a lay in and then making a steal and lay in after a coast to coast run as Frankfurt only led 46-44. Frankfurt continued to receive key and timely production as well as profiting on Speyer mistakes as Pruitt hit three free throws for the 49-44 Frankfurt lead. Kayser and Begue made points, but the Morgenstern Bis Baskets Speyer also could connect staying close as Meier, Woodmore and Schwartz scored cutting the Frankfurt lead to 52-51. Frankfurt got some more baskets from Noah Kamden who brought that special energy from the bench and 2017 JBBL finalist Calvin Schaum dropped a key three for the 59-56 lead, but Speyer got a Salto free throw and Woodmore basket on transiting tying the game after 30 minutes. “We fell apart a bit. But it wasn´t as bad as other games. They played a zone and suddenly seemed more aggressive on defense than other times. Kreiss was a pest on defense”, stressed Maxi Begue. “We went small and attacked on defense using our quickness. We also rebounded the ball well”, expressed DJ Woodmore. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors shot 51% from the field and 33% from the parking lot and had 30 rebounds and 15 turnovers while the Morgenstern Bis Baskets Speyer shot 46% from the field and 21% from the parking lot and had 23 rebounds and 7 turnovers.
In the fourth quarter the Fraport Skyliners Juniors allowed the guests to take a commanding lead, but instead of falling apart stayed strong staged a comeback and had the better nerves and execution success in crunch time. The Morgenstern Bis Baskets Speyer turned up the intensity and were rewarded with a key 10-2 run to take the 69-61 lead as it seemed to like another loss was brewing on the horizon for Frankfurt. In the run the guests got production from Meier who scored twice, Woodmore made free throws and Salto scored. Frankfurt got it´s first field goal of the quarter from Gruehn at 7,26 minute mark. Basketball proved again why it is always a game of runs. The nasty Speyer run didn´t faze Frankfurt as they slapped Speyer around with a 10-0 to retake the lead at 71-69. Frankfurt got a lay in from Schoormann, another clutch trey from Pruitt, Kamden free throws and a three from Begue. Begue continues to make a good development as he fills the stat sheet and plays hard defense. He has been working on his three pointer with assistant coach Klaus Perwas and was rewarded with a three. He finished with 7 points, 10 rebounds and 4 assists and explained what he focused on most in the game. “I concentrated on rebounds. They didn´t have the biggest players so I crashed the boards. I wanted to impact the game this way”, stressed Maxi Begue. In the last couple minutes, both teams traded leads. A Schwartz three pointer gave Speyer the 72-71 lead only to be lost to Schoormann free throws and 73-72 Frankfurt advantage. Speyer continued to play with a lot of self confidence as Meier made a lay in with 55 seconds left as Speyer led 74-73. Both teams then got stops and then it was time for the Kamden heroics. “Our will in the comeback was huge. We never gave up and had that special team feeling. We all played well and were mentally strong”, warned Maxi Begue. “We had the momentum, but then it was that Pruitt big shot that gave his team confidence again. They hit their shots when they needed it”, stressed DJ Woodmore. Kamden then hit the game winner with a lay in muscling himself to the points. “It felt good getting the game winner despite not playing so much and coming in more for my defense”, added Noah Kamden. The Morgenstern Bis Baskets Speyer had one last chance to win the game, but Schwartz missed the last shot ending the game. “We defended honestly. Schwartz could have made that shot”, stressed Maxi Begue. “The play was supposed to be for me. They switched and collapsed and I almost lost the ball, but got it to Schwarz, but he couldn´t hit it”, added DJ Woodmore. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors were led by Nigel Pruitt with 23 points. Aaron Kayser added 11 points and 10 rebounds. The Morgenstern bis Baskets Speyer were led by DJ Woodmore with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Dmitrij Kreiss added 16 points and 10 assists and Tim Schwartz added 15 points. The Fraport Skyliners Juniors shot 49% from the field and 33% from outside and had 40 rebounds and 21 turnovers while the Morgenstern Bis Baskets Speyer shot 40% from the field and 18% from outside and had 34 rebounds and 9 turnovers.