The Heroes Of Tomorrow are back on track! On the 20th matchday in the easyCredit German Basketball League on the road against MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg, the team of Head Coach Raoul Korner again summoned up all the virtues that had helped it reap so much success in the first half of the season. With lots of passion, intensity and energy, Bayreuth seized its luck with both hands at the end and ran out narrow, but deserved winners by 79:76 (42:28) in the MHP Arena thanks to an all-round team performance.
4,086 spectators saw a highly exiting game. With a magnificent second period, in which the home side was allowed to score only a meager five points, the Heroes Of Tomorrow were able to carve out a 14-point lead by half-time. After the break, Ludwigsburg increased the pressure further and not only caught up, but even snatched the lead with just over six minutes left. In the dramatic final spell, both teams had the chance to decide the game in their favor. However, medi bayreuth had all in all the more clinical players in its ranks on the evening in the shape of Nate Linhart, Kyan Anderson, Trey Lewis and Steve Wachalski, who made the last points from the floor in the game by draining a bucket from beyond the arc from the left corner of the court to give Bayreuth the lead again with 26 seconds left on the clock.
Brief summary of the encounter
The home side got off to the better start and, after trailing 4:5 in the 4th minute following free throws by De’Mon Brooks, produced a 12:4 run to surge 17:8 ahead in the 7th minute. Rocky Trice, returning to the side, made a major contribution to that by burying two threes in just over a minute. The Heroes Of Tomorrow then steadied themselves and the strong De’Mon Brooks (ten points in the first period) reduced the deficit to 16:21 in the 9th minute. After points by Kelvin Martin, the period ended with a bucket from downtown by Amaize (19:23).
medi bayreuth laid the foundation for victory thanks to outstanding defense in the second quarter. After De’Mon Brooks equalized, Kyan Anderson gave his side the lead for the first time with a three (26:23 in the 14th minute). The gap continued to grow after that, since medi’s exceptional commitment in defense did not give Ludwigsburg any chance to unfold its prowess. The lead grew to ten points after a bucket from outside by Trey Lewis (37:27 in the 18th minute). It was also Lewis who made it 42:28 at half-time with two three throws. The Heroes Of Tomorrow took the second period in impressive fashion by a 23:5 margin!
After the break, medi was initially able to hold on to its lead, striking back well after every Ludwigsburg foray. It was not until after a three by Wachalski (54:43 in the 29th minute) that the home side had a good spell again and, with a 6:0 run, closed the gap to 49:54 after 30 minutes.
The final period began with a three by Doreth for the visitors. However, Ludwigsburg also scored from downtown: Chad Toppert and Drew drained threes to tie the encounter at 57:57 in the 32nd minute. Ludwigsburg retook the lead for the first time in the 34th minute through the strong Jack Cooley (61:60) and it then seemed that the home side might turn the game around with the support of its extremely vociferous fans. Yet medi bayreuth demonstrated its character and was not to be shaken off. After Rocky Trice made it 67:64 in the 37th minute, Nate Linhart added a three to tie the scores. Ludwigsburg stepped up the pace again: Clifford Hammonds made it 71:67 in the 38th minute. However, Kyan Anderson now took control. He turned the game around again with five points to help put medi 72:71 ahead with 93 seconds to go. Jack Cooley put Ludwigsburg back in front and, after a free throw by Kelvin Martin, the home side even led by two with 39 seconds left. The Heroes Of Tomorrow looked to decide the game in their favor through Steve Wachalski, whose teammates carved out a chance of a three for him from the corner of the court with 26 seconds on the clock – and the old-hand clinically drained the shot (75:74). After Tekele Cotton’s shot missed the mark on the next attack, medi kept its nerve from the foul line at the death, with Trey Lewis draining all his four attempts to secure a 79:76 victory.
Raoul Korner commented: “I want to pay my team a huge compliment. We haven’t played well in the past few weeks and basically didn’t stand a chance in the last two games. But we worked and fought back. I think today is proof that we’re on the right track. Not everything was great, but specifically the way we put our game plan in practice almost to perfection in the second period makes me feel very positive. Our lead didn’t last long and it was clear that Ludwigsburg would tighten up its defense. It did that particularly impressively in the third period, but my team displayed character at the end and some players also proved that they can make the big plays. Today was a very wonderful and important win for us against what is obviously a very strong team.”