After the 14th match of the easyCredit Basketball League between medi bayreuth and the Bremerhaven Eisbären (Polar Bears), the Bayreuth team could lay claim to two special highlights: the Heroes of Tomorrow finally got their first-ever away victory on the North Sea coast at the seventh attempt, winning 80:69 (38:37), and the Bayreuth team already has twelve victories to its name – as many as it had after the entire previous season.
Bayreuth had to work very hard to beat the Polar Bears on their own court, watched by a crowd of 2,350 spectators that even included ten far-travelled away team supporters. After a weak first quarter in defense during which the hosts were allowed to score 23 points, the team of head coach Raoul Korner worked very hard to get into the game. Especially at the end of the game, Bayreuth succeeded in blunting the Polar Bears’ well-known high-speed attacks and eventually kept their opponents under the 70-point mark. Nate Linhart and Kyan Anderson were two accurate and untiring leaders on court for the Heroes Of Tomorrow – in the crucial period of the game, it was these two who made certain of the sixth away win of the season, ably assisted by Trey Lewis.
The 14th game of the season started great for medi bayreuth: Five points from Nate Linhart saw the team lead by 5 after only 51 seconds. Bremerhaven countered with two 3-pointers by Ivan Elliott and Karvel Anderson, putting the Polar Bears in the lead for the first time. Harper Kamp’s 5 points then increased this lead to 15:9. Bayreuth was more or less ineffective at this point, allowing the Polar Bears to score at will. A slam-dunk by Waverly Austin gave the home team a ten-point lead (23:13) 16 seconds before the end of the 1st quarter, but Nate Linhart scored a three-pointer to reduce the deficit right on the siren for the break.
The second quarter saw the Heroes of Tomorrow come out on court with fire in their veins and springs in their heels. Bastian Doreth and Kyan Anderson scored from beyond the 6.75-meter line (24:25 (15th minute), but the Bremerhaven team still clung tenaciously to its slender lead. Thanks to a solid home defense, medi bayreuth were forced into making an unusually high number of missed shots and Bremerhaven simply picked up the rebounds. After another three-pointer by Fabian Bleck, the 18th minute score stood at 29:34, but during the final hectic period before the interval, the medi-team’s 9:3 points run gave them a 38:37 interval lead.
The fans had to sit through a period of ineffective basketball after the break – Jordan Hull’s basket success to take the score to 43:42 was preceded by almost four minutes without a point scored! However, Bayreuth suddenly woke up and the Heroes of Tomorrow, two points behind at 44:46, scored 8 points with no reply to lead 52:46 (28th minute). After Jordan Hulls beat the interval siren, medi bayreuth led by only 52:50 after 30 minutes of play – and the home team took the lead once again. Again, it was Jordan Hulls whose distance throw took the score to 55:54 (33) – but from the 35th minute on, the team of head coach Raoul Korner played to its usual strength and ensured the result with four points from Nate Linhart, followed by a three-pointer (the first points scored by Trey Lewis in the whole game up to that point) that took the score to 64:58 (37). Bremerhaven’s Harper Kamp netted free throws to make the score 67:68 (39th minute), but a 3-point play by De’Mon Brooks for 73:67 finally made the result of the game a foregone conclusion and Bayreuth’s top scorer Kyan Anderson then added insult to injury with a three-pointer.
Raoul Korner (medi bayreuth): “That was the hard fight we had prepared for before the game. Bremerhaven challenged us continually in a game which we started badly. We made terrible defensive mistakes in the first quarter, but we literally forced ourselves into the game as time went on. The Polar Bears’ 20 turnovers were one of the most important factors in the game. However, I am definitely unhappy with our rebound work.”