Bayern Basketball bury Karlsruhe to clinch ProA title
Olympia Eissportzentrum, Munich - March Madness came to Munich Saturday night, as Bayern Basketball defeated BG Karlsruhe 91-56 and earned the Basketball Bundesliga's second division championship when the s.Oliver Baskets lost their match minutes later in Freiburg.
The title was the second goal for the club this season, the first was promotion to the top flight, which they accomplished last week defeating Crailsheim.
"I strongly believe that you must have a collective identity and we have developed that," said head coach Dirk Bauermann about the team's becoming the best team in the league. "The high level of execution on the offensive end and the defensive pressure and schemes to make it work is visible. It's a good feeling to see them play that well."
Bayern did not rest on their recently earned laurels and used that tremendous defensive pressure to create turnovers and start the game up 14-0. They finished the 1st quarter leading 23-4, shooting 50% from the field and holding Karlsruhe to ONE field goal.
The second quarter was much more even between the clubs as Bayern cooled off, but still led, 38-17. Beckham Wyrick scored 11 points in the first half to lead all scorers. He was active around the offensive glass and created opportunities against an opponent that was not ready for this game. But the rest of the team struggled. "We turned the ball over too much in the 2nd quarter, we got sloppy," were the words Bauermann relayed to his team at half time.
In the 3rd quarter, FCB decided to reward the fans with a shooting display that included seven three-pointers. Jonathan Wallace got hot with three of those long-range shots and finished with 21 points on the night. The game was iced when two-time ProA Youngster of the Month Bastian Doreth drilled a trey at the 3rd quarter buzzer and extended the lead to 67-34.
"As long as we were patient, and worked to get a good shot, you will have stretches like today where the basket is as big as the ocean," said the coach about the explosion in the second half. "Once we find a rhythm and start making shots, it's really hard to stop us."
Currently the German national head coach, Bauermann was hired by FC Bayern to take basketbal team from the dregs of gymnasium basketball to the Basketball Bundesliga (BBL), the top league in this country. "Mission: Promotion" started with a lot of fanfare in the summer as the club advertised all over the city and signed experienced players. After five wins, it looked like an easy road.
But a tough road loss in Würzburg in October against equally touted s.Oliver Baskets served as a wake-up call. The club has not lost since, a stretch of 19 games. They are winning their games by an average of 19.5 points.
"This was a lot more difficult that people think it might have been," said Bauermann on the current win streak and clinching the championship. "All our wins were hard-fought, especially on the road, we had to earn the 'W' everytime down. To be able to stay undefeated this long and to achieve our goal this early it's a reflection of how hard this team has worked. They are what team basketball is all about and I'm very proud of them."
"We set out at the beginning with high expectations, and achieved all of our goals and dominated this league," added Wyrick, who finished with 18 points and 7 rebounds. "That's not always easy when you go around with the constant pressure of being the best."
A championship celebration is planned for April 23rd after the team's final home game against USC Freiburg at "Munich Square Garden". If you don't have a ticket for the game, the next chance to catch this team will be in the BBL starting this fall.