Team improves to 3-0 in all-round effort
Munich, October 9 - Another rocking night at the Eissportzentrum, another Bayern Basketball blowout. Jonathan Wallace scored 23 points and Darius Hall added 12 points and 10 rebounds to pound the Hannover Scorpions into submission 89-55.
Bayern jumped all over the visitors from the beginning, scoring the first 6 points and winning the first quarter 22-12. And they never looked back. Bayern also outrebounded the Scorpions 27-14. Hannover were intimidated by the sold-out crowd and the defensive effort by Bayern throughout, shooting only 28% in the first half when the game slipped away.
"I was proud of how the team came out hard and focused early," stated head coach Dirk Bauermann. "We wanted to dominate from the beginning, which we did. Tonight was our best defensive effort so far in this early season."
Along with the opening intensity, Bauermann's move to start Beckham Wyrick to defend Scorpions' leading scorer Charles Little may have been the difference. Little scored only 4 points in the first half, finishing with only 6 pts, a huge difference from 19.5 points per game coming in. Throw in Wyrick's 14 points and 9 rebounds, the move was a success.
The hot start by Bayern made sure the crowd of 3,200 fans would enjoy the evening. "The fact is, the arena was sold out, the atmosphere was great," said Bauermann. "The fans were excited and no one went home disappointed." Hannover coach Mahmut Ataman credited the home crowd as well. "The atmosphere was something our team could not overcome. It took us a long time to get into the game, and we lost control of the match."
Perhaps the only thing that went wrong on the night was the season-ending injury to national player Demond Greene. During a fastbreak at the beginning of the game, Greene collapsed to the floor and never returned. He left the arena on crutches with a boot on his right leg, nursing a torn Achilles tendon. Greene joins Steffen Hamann and Artur Kolodziejski on the injured list. But the team is not phased.
"The injury to Greene took some air out of the match," lamented Bauermann. "Our goals will be difficult to reach, it won't be easy but we have to continue forward and keep working towards a solution."
Injuries are a part of sports and fortunately this year, Bayern have some depth. "We are not worried. We got guys that are X-factors," Wallace confidently stated. "We have a lot of versatility on our team and we are going to take that and ride it."
Tonight demonstrated that depth. While Wallace was making it rain from outside (4-of-6 beyond the arc) and Wyrick scored around the floor, center Robert Maras controlled the paint on both sides, scoring 10 of his 12 points in the first half and changing shots. Forward Chad Prewitt, who joined the team after Hamann's injury, added 13 points including 6-for-6 from the charity stripe in the 2nd half to prevent the visitors from thinking of a comeback.
The other teams on the schedule will now have to expect an all-round, intense effort from the entire team. Hall sums it up the best: "We want to play at a high level and send a message, this is what we want to do. If you want to compete, you have to play at the same level as us."
Bayern travel to Rhöndorf next Sunday to take on the Dragons who won their first match 63-59. FCB return home in two weeks to take on BV Chemnitz 99. Tip-off at 17:00.