“We did a lot right today,” said Head Coach Dirk Bauermann after the game: s.Oliver Würzburg beat Bremerhaven Polar Bears 92:85 (46:37) in front of 3,063 spectators on the 31st matchday in the easyCredit German Basketball League. It was only Würzburg’s fifth win in its fifth home game against the club from Northern Germany.
In the first period, the crowd saw two teams that were in fine form in offense – and in particular the home side’s center Brendan Lane got off to a lightning start: He scored his team’s first eight points and, after a slam-dunk and a bucket from downtown to make it 19:20 in the 8th minute, had already amassed 13 out of his total haul of 21 points. At the end of an evenly poised first period, the visitors led narrowly by 24:25.
Youngster Max Ugrai, who scored 12 points and likewise produced a strong performance in offense, then turned the game around decisively in the 12th minute: The 21-year-old drained the first of his two threes to make it 29:27 – the last time the lead would change hands, as Michael Cobbins and Vincent Sanford stretched the gap to 33:27, forcing the Polar Bears’ Head Coach Sebastian Machowski to call a timeout.
Würzburg continued to dominate the run of play after that – and the visitors were not able to close the deficit to less than three points in the further course of the encounter. Up to the break, Würzburg did not concede much in defense and, at the other end, scored with confidence and good ball movement. It was a game with many spectacular highlights: Time and again, Michael Cobbins, Brendan Lane and Lamonte Ulmer smashed slam-dunks into the visitors’ basket. It was also Ulmer who gave his side a reassuring 46:37 cushion at half-time by burying two free throws.
It was initially the Polar bears who came out better after the break and reduced the deficit to 51:48 in the 25th minute, especially thanks to a number of strong actions by Waverly Austin. Dirk Bauermann called a timeout and there would be little change to the narrow score as the game went on – the home side’s lead gyrated between three and seven points up to the end of the third period.
Two timeouts by Machowski in the first two-and-a-half minutes of the final quarter did not turn the game around – on the contrary: A thunderous slam-dunk by Lamonte Ulmer gave the home side a double-digit lead for the first time (75:65 in the 34th minute). However, the highest lead of the game did not last for long, as Bremerhaven were in no mood to give up and fought back to within striking distance again (81:77 in the 37th minute).
After Dirk Bauermann called another timeout, his team then commandingly sealed its third victory out of its last four home games. In crunch time, Jake Odum added a lay-up and free throw to make sure that the win was no longer in danger. “I told the team that we have the quality to win even very tight games. We proved that today,” said Bauermann.