Focused and sovereign into the playoffs

87:58 win in Wiesbaden for an early qualification
Top-of-the-table team RSV Lahn-Dill managed the first of three away-hurdles in the next three weeks against Rhine River Rhinos. With their 87:58 (19:33/37:31/63:47) win the Middle Hesse team are now still two points ahead of their strongest opposition, Thuringia Bulls. As USC Munich beat Cologne at the same time, this means an early qualification for the playoffs four game days before the end of the season.
Still having the close DRS-Cup quarterfinal win just before Christmas (69:66) in the back of their minds, RSV went into the match highly focussed. Only nine seconds into the game Andre Hopp had scored to 0:2, which was soon erased with RSV’s 14:4 lead in the sixth minute, of which Philipp Hafeli had scored six points.
But the freshly promoted team are en route to the playoffs; they didn’t get distracted and countered mentally strong, changing the score to 14:11 within three minutes, again through Hopp. The stepson of former RSV-player Marco Hopp had already scored ten of the 14 points, confirming the evaluation RSV Coach Nicolai Zeltinger had given beforehand, stating that the 27-year-old has had the best season of his career so far. A timeout took care of that, as his opponents reduced his chances drastically from now on. This in turn was then taken advantage of by US-American Tommie Lee Gray and Canadian Janet McLachlan. Both made sure that the game was played at eye-level until the 28:27 (17th min) score, before RSV stepped up a gear and the teams went into the break at 37:31.
“I was absolutely happy with our play” said RSV-Coach Zeltinger during the break: “We have an intense defence and play a hard-boiled offence.” After the game he added: “If the team continues to play like this, we might just be able to tire out our opponents, even some of the top teams, in the last ten minutes of the game.” In the second half of the game the team continued to play sovereignly. They did not only score a high percentage, but also got a rebound ratio of 36:22.
The match went via 50:36 (26th min) through Hafeli to 71:47 (32nd) at the start of the last quarter, scored by Jan Haller. The latter scored 100 per cent of his shots, and got special praise from his coach. “Jan has given his best performance today, and Mikey directed brilliantly.” The Captain had scored 18 points and got 14 assists, adding to the solid 67 per cent hit ratio for the entire team. Topscorer was Thomas Boehme with 21 points, in addition to a great defensive performance. “He was basically everywhere, it seemed as if he was two players at once.” said Zeltinger after the game: “We have been working hard since January, and it is definitely paying off now.”
Next weekend RSV will have their last home game in the main round of the RBBL. The team will be hosting former the former Champions from Zwickau at 19:30 at August-Bebel-Sporthalle in Wetzlar, before playing away three weekends in a row in Erfurt, Hamburg, and Munich.
Wiesbaden: Janet McLachlan (18), André Hopp (16), Tommie Lee Gray (14), John McPhail (4), David Amend (2), Matthias Güntner (2), Lukas Jung, James Palmer, Sedar Antac (n.e.), Britt Dillmann (n.e.), Nikolaus Paul (n.e.), Michael Witte (n.e.).
Lahn-Dill: Thomas Böhme (21), Michael Paye (18), Philipp Häfeli (13), Piotr Luszynski (13/1 Dreier), Joe Bestwick (8), Jan Haller (8), Nico Dreimüller (4), Dirk Köhler (2), Annabel Breuer, Björn Lohmann, Christopher Huber (n.e.).

RSV-Magazin Defense