Taunton Tigers continued their excellent run of form with a crushing home win on Sunday. After surprisingly faltering in their first two games of the season, they've now secured three wins in a row and are beginning to look like the promotion candidates that most observers predicted they would be.
Tigers' preparations for the match had been far from ideal. Not only had they been unable to train all week, but they could only field 8 players (including Dan Howe who was nursing a bad back). They responded excellently to the challenge, though, and displayed both energy and discipline to squeeze the life out of the visitors.
With so few players available, it was important for Taunton to take control of the match early, and they did just that. Led superbly by their captain, Adam Rickwood (who bagged 23 points in the game) they jumped out to a 21 – 12 lead at the end of the first quarter, and had stretched that to a massive 20 point advantage at the half.
Offensively, the home side's success was built on a game plan of driving to the basket and Gloster could simply find no way to stop them. Patient build up, prompted by the increasingly impressive play of George Scarborough, created quality scoring opportunities. And if the Tigers' finishing had been a bit more ruthless their points tally would have been even higher.
It was on defence, though, that this match was won. After conceding only 20 first half points, Tigers killed off any hopes Gloster may have had of staging a comeback by allowing them to add just 8 in the third quarter.
Taunton eased off a little in the final quarter, but the hard work had been done by then.
Coach, Gary Carter, was proud of his side's efforts, particularly on defence,
“ To restrict any side to just 38 points when you only have 8 players is a brilliant effort. That gave us the perfect base and, in patches, we opened up and played great team basketball.”