medi bayreuth brought its 2015/2016 season in the Beko German Basketball League to a close on Sunday afternoon, finishing with a record of twelve wins and 22 defeats. In its final encounter, the team of Head Coach Michael Koch lost on the road to Mitteldeutscher BC by 77:89 (39:43) and so was unfortunately not able to seize its chance to climb to eleventh in the table.
The win against medi bayreuth was also not enough for the MBC to move up the table and so escape relegation. Due the fact that BG Göttingen won at home (85:78 against Würzburg) at the same time, the MBC will be demoted to the ProA league next season along with Crailsheim Merlins.
Right from the throw-off, the home side tried to seize its final chance and summoned up everything it had – with success. It took five minutes and one second for medi to get off the mark, through a bucket from beyond the arc by captain Bastian Doreth. By that time, however, the opposing side from Saxony-Anhalt had chalked up 14 points. However, things then went better for Bayreuth, who produced a run of 8 points without reply and was able to cut the deficit to 8:14 in the seventh minute through Travis Leslie. However, the MBC kept its concentration high and stretched its lead further. The Heroes Of Tomorrow trailed by 14:25 after the first period.
A ripping alley-oop by Louis Darby, set up by Marcus Hatten, made it 17:28 in the 13th minute to leave Bayreuth behind by double digits again. The Wolves retained their lead until midway through the quarter. However, Kenneth Horton then really came into his own, scoring the next eight points for medi to help his side reduce the gap to 32:39 in the 17th minute. After a three by Wachalski, it was again Horton, who made it 39:43 at half-time.
At the beginning of the second half, medi was within striking distance and had the chance to turn the game around. Yet instead of equalizing, it produced several mistakes, which the MBC capitalized on to pull 52:44 ahead through TaShawn Thomas in the 23rd minute. Once again, the team of Head Coach Michael Koch cut the gap to four points when Jake Odum made it 55:59 in the 28th minute. However, a controversial technical foul against Kenneth Horton then helped the home side open up a clear 67:55 lead by the 30th minute.
In the opening minutes of the final period, Mitteldeutscher BC defended its lead and notched up its widest gap in the encounter after a bucket from outside by Marcus Hatten (80:64 in the 34th minute). Yet medi did not give up and now scored better from the foul line. Several free throws made it 75:83 in the 38th minute. Suddenly, the MBC seemed to be teetering again, but a foul with a subsequent technical foul by Steve Wachalski dispelled all doubts that the home side would not win: James Southerland drained three free throws and the Wolves were able to exploit being given possession again with a slam-dunk by TaShawn Thomas (89:77 in the 40th minute).
Michael Koch commented: “Congratulations to Predrag on the win. I’m sure he’ll have mixed feelings about it. Predrag took over the MBC when it was entrenched at the bottom of the table and introduced a breath of fresh air – he deserves great respect for that. As far as the game is concerned: the Wolves seized their chance and knew they had to win. We lacked the final resolve and conviction to win the game. In the end, it was a deserved win for the MBC.”