Eigner Angels sniff at a sensation

After a perfect start and the first two home points from Angel Asha Thomas, an exciting game at the highest level developed over the entire 40 minutes of play. It was the best first half that the Eigner Angels offered their steadily growing crowd against the Rheinland Lions. Against the individually probably best players of the 1st Women’s Basketball Bundesliga, the hosts showed, no matter in which formation they were on the field, highest intensity in defense and heartbreaking courageous offensive basketball. Had they not had unnecessary misses from the free throw line (0/3), the Rieserinnen could have started the second quarter even better than with a nevertheless surprising 18:16 lead. The question was whether the small rotation of the home team due to injuries would be able to keep up this high tempo. And they could. In the 14.Min the Angels were with 23:18 in front. The tempo was high and all Angels brought a lot of energy to the floor in their respective periods of use. The starting five was well supported by the bench around Mona Berlitz, Bianca Helmig and Mesi Obanor. More could not offer the rump team of the Eigner Angels, Mariam Hasle-Lagemann and Meg Wilson must still continue to labor from various injuries. So it was little surprise that the Lions were back to 28:27 in the 17.Min and in the 19th minute for the first time with 32:30 lead. Exactly the Lions, who last week swept the two-time German champion and cup winner from Keltern with 97:75 from their own hall. But the Angels were present in the minds of the promoted team, kept them busy more than Lions would like and despite a strong Brianna Rollerson at this point, the Ries dribblers regained the lead (34:32). The first twenty minutes (34:34) had to somehow take its toll and leave its mark on coach Ajtony Imreh’s team.

The second half started with a three-pointer by Taylor Wurtz, but it was immediately answered by Asha Thomas. There was action every second, no sign of fatigue in the Angels (22nd min 41:42, 26th min 47:45). Insignificant to mention that also the approximately 250 spectators had real stress and the Eigner Angels did not want to give them a rest. It was still basketball at the very highest level, even when the Rhineland Lions were able to pull away slightly for the first time in the 29th minute with 53:47. Was this the expected collapse of the home team? Coach Imreh took a time-out, readjusted, let the left the great youngsters Mona Berlitz and Bianca Helmig on the bench and brought back Anissa Pounds and Marina Dzinic. The Rhinelanders increased the number of blows and the gap to 47:58 (30.min), and the Angels‘ breathing rate increased to dangerous heights. With 50:58 it went into the last quarter, a result which could not be expected due to the known adverse circumstances.
Asha Thomas opened the last quarter with her third three-pointer, followed by points 14 and 15 (55:60, 32.min). Nördlingen’s Finn Anissa Pounds reduced the score to 58:60, Marina Dzinic equalized 60:60. „Wow!“ could be heard Angels coach shouting appreciatively through the hall during the time-out. And had every reason to do so. No one had been standing on the seats for a long time. But then the shock: Marina Dzinic picked up her fifth foul and had to go to the bench (34.min, 60:62). The reaction of the Angels? 64:62 – lead. But there were still five minutes to play. 1:40 before the end, Wurtz changed the lead again to 73:71, which was extended by another Gianotti three-pointer to 76:71. And now the individual class of the guests from Bergisch took hold. Tough man-to-man defense left the Angels no more room to pull off their attacking game. With fouls they forced the Lions to the free throw line, where they showed no nerves. The Angels sniffed at a sensation, but could not keep up in the crunch time. In the end, the Eigner Angels lost against a very strong up-and-comer, but probably showed their best performance of the season as a team and can definitely go proudly into the upcoming difficult training week.

The players were:
Asha Thomas (16 points/ 5 assists), Mona Berlitz (0), Amenze Obanor (4), Elina Koskimies (8/6 rebounds ), Sami Hill (19), Marina Dzinic (8), Mariam Hasle-Lagemann (dnp), Meg Wilson (dnp), Anissa Pounds (20/ 6 threes), Bianca Helmig (0).

For the Rhineland Lions the most successful were:
Taylor Wurtz (23 4 of 4 threes ), Joyce Cousseins-Smith (18), Pele Gianotti (11).