Jermaine Bucknor Steals The Track Meet Duel From Dashaun Wood And Mark Dorris As The Deutsche Bank Skyliners Prevail In The Last Minutes Against Phoenix Hagen 90-85
There are always big time events that one can dream about or look forward to like seeing which soccer team will beat Bayern Munich next, seeing if Paris Hilton would have any chance in a cat fight against super model Naomi Campbell in Times Square in New York, Derrick Allen giving the first ever how to master the ballerina moves clinic in the O2 World arena in Berlin or Lebron James and Kobe Bryant going head to head in a one on one duel on a special man made court on top of Burj Al in Dubai where tennis aces Roger Federer and Rafel Nadal also had a battle, but the BEKO BBL was ready for the first ever professional duel between Skyliner Mr road runner Dashaun Wood and Phoenix Hagen Mr fantastic Mark Dorris and despite the hype, the guys didn´t have an all out one on one slug fest on the court with the ball as both held back a bit not forgetting their teammates and it was Skyliner Jermaine Bucknor who stole the show from the two American guards scoring 19 points and hitting a big three pointer in crunch time sealing the 90-85 victory for the Deutsche Bank Skyliners over Phoenix Hagen. After the game both players seemed subdued when talking about the others players quickness, but one sort of felt that both had enjoyed the challenge. “Dorris is very quick and he scored a lot tonight. This was our first duel again since we played each other in the NCAA. I didn´t really want to get into a one on one with Dorris. I wanted to stay under control and not be out of control like Phoenix Hagen tend to play”, warned Dashaun Wood. Dorris was sad the team lost, but had enough words for the Wood duel and was unable to say who was faster now. “We spoke a bit before the game. He played with a friend of mine Scottie Wilson and we were talking about him. We then competed. Wood is fast and it is hard to say who is faster. We would have to settle it on a track. I tried to do the same like Wood and just stay under control. There will be a part 2 in Frankfurt. But this was a game of basketball and not a track meet. It was also nice playing against Tez”, commented Phoenix Hagen guard Mark Dorris. “I think Dorris is quicker. He also may be a bit more athletic, but it was a great duel”, stressed Andreas Buechert. Despite playing only 9 minutes and putting up the big goose egg in the points department, Skyliner captain Pascal Roller was able to joke about the Wood-Dorris quickness battle. “I believe the quickest was Marius Nolte who got his 5th foul about 2 seconds after coming back on the court”, laughed Pascal Roller.
With the win, The Deutsche Bank Skyliners have a record of 10-3 and rest in second place behind three time BEKO BBL champion Brose Baskets Bamberg wile Phoenix Hagen fall to position 13 with a record of 5-8 losing six of their last seven games. 2,791 fans came to see the game and were not disappointed as they saw a very exciting game where no team really deserved to lose the game at the end. The game was deadlocked with two minutes to play until the Deutsche Bank Skyliners went on a run and won. “It always hurts to lose especially a close game like this. Both teams fought hard, but they had a little more luck at the end and unfortunately we lost”, said Mark Dorris. The game was nothing for weak nerves, but Frankfurt knew what they were going to see on the court from Phoenix Hagen. “We knew what to expect from Phoenix Hagen, a team that plays quick and shoots with a lot of self confidence. We were up by 13 points and they came back. One can say that we can be lucky that we won”, added Skyliner sports director Kamil Novak. Phoenix Hagen got a big blow with three minutes to play in the third quarter as Phoenix Hagen captain Quentin Pryor collided with Skyliner Dominic Bahiense De Mello and went down holding is leg in pain. He left the floor to the locker room, but returned to the bench in the fourth quarter. “It looks like I will be calling agents tomorrow. It looks like this will be a long term injury for Pryor. He is so important for us on defense. This will really hurt us”, stressed Phoenix Hagen assistant coach Steve Wriedt. “We have to take it one day at a time with the injury to Pryor. I hope that it is not as bad. We are a team and will have to pick up the slack without him. We just have to bounce back”, warned Mark Dorris.
The brightest development of the BEKO BBL weekend was German 23 year old 208cm center Andy Buechert who came in and played a huge role after coming to Phoenix Hagen as only a practice player. Buechert had played at Winthrop in South Carolina averaging 5,7ppg and 6,5rpg in is senior year and came back to Germany with a good feeling and signing with the Eisbaeren Bremerhaven, but not getting any minutes and possibily being mistaken more for a big lovable Eisbaer than a serious player. Buechert never got a chance in Bremerhaven, but did most for his chance in the 90-85 loss against Frankfurt scoring 10 points, grabbing 6 rebounds(4 offensive rebounds) and getting four blocks. He played with a playful aggressiveness one might see with a pack of cubs in a zoo, but not often seen on the court. “It was a super feeling playing so much tonight. I was used to playing 25 minutes in college. I wasn´t surprised that I played so well. I recently played well in an exhibition game against Essen. Bremerhaven was a bad experience. I think that if I continue to play well here, that I will be able to stay”, warned ex Winthrop German Andy Buechert. “I don´t know what the problem was in Bremerhaven, but he fits perfect into our system. He can rebound, block and dunk. He basicly does the dirty work that Edward Seward did for us”, stressed Phoenix Hagen assistant coach Steve Wriedt. “Andy can do it all. He is really athletic, can block and dunk. He never really had the stage to perform, but now he does”, warned Mark Dorris.
Phoenix Hagen got off to the better start taking a 4-1 lead as Quentin Pryor scored on the penetration scooting by De Mello and Mark Dorris scoring over Wood with the pull up jumper. The game quickly displayed this up and down tempo with a lot of scoring as The Deutsche Bank Skyliners responded with a 6-0 run as Wood and De Mello hit big three pointers and Frankfurt led 7-4. Then it was time for Phoenix Hagen to go on a 7-0 run as Jacob Burtschi made a catch and pop jumper, Dorris showed his quickness scoring on the penetration and Zygimantas Jonusas made one of his six three pointers as Phoenix Hagen led 8-7. Then it was time for Frankfurt to equal them on the run battle with 7 points. Wood dropped a three pointer, Kimmo Muurinen muscled down an offensive rebound getting a tip in and Marius Nolte scored inside. Frankfurt led 14-11, but the lead was quickly erased as Burtschi stepped outside and made a three pointer to tie the score at 14 a piece. Skyliner coach Gordon Herbert then brought in support from the bench bring in American Jimmy Mckinney and Canadian Jermaine Bucknor. Frankfurt went on a 11-4 run to close out the first quarter as both contributed nine of the 11 points. Mckinney scored on the penetration and made a jumper from the wing and Bucknor hit a three pointer and nailed home a fade away jumper as the first quarter buzzer sounded. The Deutsche Bank Skyliners had the comfortable 25-18 lead. “We let Frankfurt break away at the end and we had two unnecessary turnovers”, stressed injured American Eddie Seward. The Deutsche Bank Skyliners were shooting 54% from two point land and 57% from outside while Phoenix Hagen was shooting 63% from two point land and 33% from outside. Frankfurt had the 10-8 rebound edge and three turnovers while Phoenix Hagen had seven turnovers.
In the second quarter, The Deutsche Bank Skyliners continued to have very sound rhythm on offense as they started with a crisp Bucknor back door pass to De Mello for the 27-18 Frankfurt lead. Frankfurt continued to try to score inside with success as Marius Nolte and Jermaine Bucknor scored. Phoenix Hagen was having problems rotating and they then followed the Frankfurt lead and started going inside more with success. After Wood set up De Mello with a sweet kick out pass which the German sunk home, it was Wood then that scored inside giving Frankfurt their biggest lead of the evening 37-24. The arena was getting quieter and quieter and one could almost hear the Hagen mascot Phoenix cleaning its feathers, but the arena would slowly get more active and active with in the big Phoenix Hagen run of 21-4 where they would finally retake the lead again at 42-41. Three point specialist David Bell stroked home two three pointers and Pryor and Burtschi scored inside as Frankfurt was suprisingly showing little physical resistance. Frankfurt only led 39-34 and Phoenix Hagen was threatening. You can only keep a Jonusas quiet for so long as he nailed another three pointer. Quantez Robertson then scored inside as Frankfurt led only 41-37. Phoenix Hagen then showed extreme hustle as Pryor got the ball and fired a quick touchdown pass to Burtschi who was ahead of the pack and scored. Jonusas then made a fade away jumper, free throw and a another three point bomb and Phoenix Hagen had retrieved the lead back again. Bucknor then made a three pointer and Phoenix Hagen went into half time with the slim 45-44 lead. “We found our consistency in that big run. We also tried to get the ball inside more”, said Phoenix Hagen center Edward Seward. The Deutsche Bank Skyliners were shooting 52% from the field and 38% from the three point line while Phoenix Hagen was shooting 53% from the field and 50% from outside. Frankfurt had the slim 17-15 rebound edge and both teams had eight turnovers a piece.
The third quarter was a real dogfight as there were 8 lead changes and no team led by more than three points in the third quarter. Pryor started the scoring with a jumper over De Mello. Kimmo Muurinen never fails to amaze on the court as he had the ball and didn´t know if to shoot or not and with the shot clock running down unleashed a last second jumper that found nothing but net as the game was tied at 47-47. Frankfurt retook the lead with a Robertson jumper 49-47 and would hold the lead for a while as Muurinen scored and Frankfurt led 53-49. However Phoenix Hagen found some daylight going on a 8-1 run to lead 57-54. Jonusas scored on a jumper, Bell nailed a three pointer and Buechert got a big dunk after being set up nicely from Burtschi. The lead changes then changed 5 more times as Robertson scored on a free throw and Wood on a lay in and Bell made a floater for the 59-58 lead again. Wood and Burtschi traded free throws and De Mello made a free throw to tie the game at 61-61. Frankfurt retook the lead again with Muurinen and Mckinney free throws. After three quarters, Frankfurt had the narrow 64-63 lead. “We tried to slow down the tempo in the third quarter. It was always a 1-2 point lead. We knew that if we could keep it down to 1-2 points then we would have a good chance of winning”, stressed Skyliner guard Dashaun Wood. The Deutsche Bank Skyliners were shooting 60% from two point range and 37% from the parking lot while Phoenix Hagen was shooting 58% form two point range and 36% from the parking lot. Phoenix Hagen had the 28-23 rebound edge, but 15 turnovers while Frankfurt had 12 turnovers.
The tightness and back and fourth game would continue in the fourth quarter as there were six lead changes. Phoenix Hagen came out strong gaining the momentum rapidly as Andreas Buechert continue to show his worth and love for getting a contract as he scored inside twice getting an offensive rebound once and Phoenix Hagen led 67-64. However Frankfurt kept fighting and picking at the Phoenix Hagen defense as Bucknor made a free throw and Mckinney nailed a three pointer after getting a pretty Wood kick out pass as Frankfurt led 69-67. Jonusas kept making three pointers as if half the arena was filled with Eisbaeren fans as he nailed another one and showed his fist as Phoenix Hagen led 71-69. The pace was pretty quick and the offensive sets were hardly being played out as Robertson came back next try and nailed a three pointer as Frankfurt led again 72-71. Muurinen and Dorris would exchange hoops, but Frankfurt still led 74-73. After Super Tez made a jumper, it was Jonusas again who nailed a three pointer to tie the game at 76-76. With Pryor out, it was Dorris who kind of tried to get baskets in bunches and made a unorthodox fade away jumper which reminded one a bit on the playing style of Giessen 46er David Teague last season as Phoenix Hagen led 78-76. One might of thought that Phoenix Hagen might of learned of past mistakes on that night of leaving Bucknor open, but no warning was taken as the Canadian was left wide open at the top of the key and he sunk a bomb and Frankfurt led 79-78. Phoenix Hagen would lead one more time as Dorris made two free throws for the 80-79 lead. With less than two minutes to go, Frankfurt went on a 7-0 run to lead 86-80 and seal the win on the road. Robertson scored inside, Wood scored on the penetration form the wing and Bucknor hit another open three pointer from the top of the key. In this run, Dorris missed twice and Jonusas once. “Our defense went down as Pryor went down. We weren´t as strong on offense anymore. I think we could have closed the door on Frankfurt if we would have had Pryor on the floor. However Frankfurt played harder at the end”, warned Andreas Buechert. Phoenix Hagen got a bucket from Dorris and three pointer from German talent Malte Schwarz, but it was all to little to late. Frankfurt got free throws from De Mello, Wood and Mckinney to keep Phoenix Hagen at bay. “Good defense and rebounding got us the win at end”, stressed Skyliner sport director Kamil Novak.
The Deutsche Bank Skyliners were led by Jermaine Bucknor with 19 points and six rebounds. Kimmo Muurinen added 16 points and five rebounds. Dashaun Wood contributed 15 points, five rebounds and six assists. Quantez Robertson chipped in with 13 points and Jimmy Mckinney with 1o points. Phoenix Hagen was led by Zygimantas Zonusas with 22 points and seven rebounds. Mark Dorris contributed 14 points. David Bell added 13 points. Jacob Burtschi produced 11 points, nine rebounds and seven assists. Andreas Buechert had his break out game with 10 points and six rebounds. The Deutsche Bank Skyliners shot very very well with 51& from the field and 46% from outside. The team got a lot of help from the bench and showed that they wont back away from anyone. “Toughness was our biggest attribute tonight. It came down to the last minute and we hit big shots. We had to play tough for 40 minutes tonight”, stressed Dashaun Wood. Phoenix Hagen were on the same page of Frankfurt and didn´t shy away either. “I am really proud of my teammates. This was the first time in a while that we played tough basketball. We came back from 13 points against a tough team”, stressed Mark Dorris. The Deutsche Bank Skyliners now shift gears and have had less luck in the Eurochallenge and have a very steep hill to climb to advance to the next round. They next play against BK Ventspils and need to win and hope that other teams in their group lose. “As long as there is a chance, you have to play. We have to win and everything else is not in our hands. We can only control what we do. We played well against BK Ventspils on the road. We have a good chance to win. I think that the odds are with us”,warned Dashaun Wood. The Deutsche Bank Skyliners host BK Ventspils in Eurochallenge play on December 14th.