medi bayreuth needed a big extra helping of fighting spirit to be able to celebrate its 11th win of the season in the home game against BG Göttingen on the 13th matchday of the easyCredit German Basketball League. In an extremely intense encounter, the Heroes Of Tomorrow ran out winners by 84:76 (45:39) against a strong Violets team to seal their sixth home victory in a row. The team of Head Coach Raoul Korner thus also qualified for the German cup’s Top Four tournament.
The 3,119 spectators in the Oberfrankenhalle were kept on tenterhooks until the death, but then the team led by captain Bastian Doreth was able to decide the game in its favor. After the visitors had clearly dominated the opening spell, medi began playing more strongly and itself went ahead. However, the opposing side from Lower Saxony hit back three times in the course of the game and not only caught up toward the end of the third period after trailing by 11 points, but even went back in front with just under six minutes to go. Yet medi had the right answer to that as well and ultimately captured a fiercely contested, yet not undeserved home victory.
Brief summary of the encounter
Thanks to their excellent preparation, the visitors got off to the far better start (0:6 in the 3rd minute). medi needed a long time to slowly get into its stride thanks to four points through Kyan Anderson. After a bucket from beyond the arc by Trey Lewis, Raoul Korner’s substitution of four players and a further three by Bastian Doreth, the score stood at 10:13 in the 6th minute and it seemed that Bayreuth had finally got into its flow. Yet Göttingen retained the lead up to the final minute of the period. However, a bucket from downtown Wachalski was then followed by Robin Amaize making it 21:20 – the first time Bayreuth was ahead and also the final score in the period.
In the exciting second quarter, it was initially the Heroes Of Tomorrow who had their nose ahead, before the conspicuous Alex Ruoff drained a three-pointer (25:25 in the 13th minute). The game remained tight until Göttingen’s Benas Veikalas made it 36:36 in the 19th minute. In a timeout, medi’s Head Coach Raoul Korner prepared his team perfectly for the final 105 seconds: 3-point plays by Trey Lewis and Kyan Anderson and a bucket from outside by Brooks put the Heroes Of Tomorrow 45:39 ahead at the break.
medi bayreuth was initially able to maintain its lead after the break. However, the momentum switched sides after Trey Lewis made it 53:51. Darius Carter put his side back in front with a bucket from beyond the arc. The encounter was still completely up for grabs with three-and-a-half minutes to go in the quarter. It was once again Trey Lewis who again made a crucial mark on the game with a three to make it 58:56, heralding in an impressive 12:0 run, before Benas Veikalas drained a buzzer beater to make it 67:58 after three periods.
Anyone thinking that the game was over had left the team from Lower Saxony out of the equation. It summoned up all its energy again at the start of the final period and in the space of four minutes went from trailing to leading by 72:71 after a three by Benas Veikalas. As so often this season, the Heroes Of Tomorrow kept their cool in this crucial spell and hit back with a run of seven points without reply, all scored by Trey Lewis and Robin Amaize. With 41 seconds on the clock, the score was 78:72 and medi bayreuth did not let victory slip from its grasp.
Raoul Korner commented: “First of all, congratulations to Göttingen, who as expected made life tough for us. At the moment, we’re facing a situation that’s typical when you get a lot of public attention and are regarded as the surprise team in the league. You’re beset by the phenomenon that you lose a little of your lightness and other teams are especially motivated going into the game. Everyone is more fired up to beat that team. We’re not doing a great job of handling this situation at the moment, but then we’ve never been in it before. It’s a process. I certainly don’t want to detract from Göttingen’s performance, as it played an excellent game. But you notice that we’ve lost a little of our casualness and that some of the players get frustrated a little sooner than was the case a few weeks ago. That’s an extremely interesting and exciting situation for us. We look forward to dealing with it as a team as well. Göttingen will be a tough opponent in the battle for the play-offs and we must now aim to get closer again to the form we showed a few weeks ago step by step.”