An all-round team performance gave Coburg an 83:67 home victory against fifth-placed EN Baskets Schwelm and raises hopes for the rest of the season in the ProB 2nd German Basketball League.
The home side, which was missing Christopher Wolf and Matthias Fichtner through injury, did not get into its stride to begin with in front of 1,071 spectators in the HUK-COBURG Arena. The team of Derrick Taylor only managed a meager three points in the first six minutes and, as a logical consequence, trailed 3:13. After their head coach called a timeout and did not mince his words, however, Coburg stepped up a gear in defense and gradually fought its way back into the encounter. Eividas Molosciakas with a bucket from beyond the arc, Daniel Stawowski with an elegant hook throw and Anell Alexis with a lay-up and bonus free throw reduced the deficit to 23:26.
The visitors, displaying their routine and cleverness, yet also playing a little sedately, stretched their lead again through the American guard Christopher Hortman, who had caused headaches for Coburg in the game earlier in the season. However, the BBC was now wide awake and showed great fight, especially in defense. Taylor’s command to use double-teaming promptly against Schwelm’s point guards proved to be a smart move and enabled the home side to make several steals in succession. Jordan Burris, who lacked luck to begin with, but produced an exemplary fighting display, tied the scores for the first time, after which center Max von der Wippel put Coburg in front for the first time and Steffen Walde made it 39:34 on the half-time buzzer with a mid-range shot.
The Baskets’ three-point specialist Andrius Mikutis equalized again shortly after the break, but the fellow league newcomers increasingly failed to get a look-in after that. That was thanks to von der Wippel, who was virtually unstoppable in the zone and was repeatedly set up excellently by Yasin Turan, as well as tenacious defending by the entire Coburg team, which laid the foundation for a 19:2 run. When Burris increased the gap to 64:45 with one minute left in the third period, the crowd in the HUK-COBURG Arena was no longer able to remain seated.
BBC COBURG’s engine stuttered in offense at the start of the final quarter, but Taylor’s players never let their high intensity under their own basket drop. “Ministers of Defense” Eividas Molosciakas and Sinan Özdil repeatedly managed to stop Schwelm’s players from, or at least impede them in, trying to shoot. And at the other end there was Anell Alexis: The U.S. forward with local player status first scored at the board after a clever assist by Özdil and then punished the zone defense of the club from Westphalia with a bucket from downtown. In the end, Coburg celebrated an 83:67 victory and so its second home win in a row.
BBC COBURG now faces a Franconian derby and key game on the road against the second team of s.oliver Baskets Würzburg this weekend.