Taunton maintained their 100% home record in the National Men's Division 2 with a comfortable and efficient win over local rivals Plymouth. The Raiders' talented young outfit hussled and harried the Tigers for 90 minutes only to be outclassed by a team brimming with confidence.
The game was played in a carnival atmosphere in front of the largest crowd of the season that included 75 youngsters from around the county who were attending the Tigers winter camp. The future Tigers were treated to master class by the present stars as they teased and tormented the Plymouth defence.
Jordan Seeley, who was a constant thorn in Plymouth's side finished with 16 points and 9 Assists, collected the MVP. When the Raiders worked hard to ask more questions the Tigers came with more solutions. Seeley would hit form the outside when they clogged up the middle, and then as they came out he fed the ball to Graham Jones inside (16 points) who combined experience with physicality to dominate inside.
Earlier in the season Plymouth could have banked on Taunton dropping their intensity but this clearly is a different team now. Driven by Jones and Andrews the Tigers never let up. Head coach Heath chose to use Joe Andrews off the bench as he is still recovering from illness. Any sympathy from the visitors quickly surpassed as Andrews played at a different level in each of his spells. He contributed 21 points in 21 minutes shooting at 80% as he floated around the court.
Dave Bullock coming back to deputise for the missing Yabsley and Andersons used his 6′6″ and considerable frame to fill the defensive Zone for Tigers. Bullock let the slighter Plymouth players know they were not welcome near the Tiger's basket from the start. As a result Raiders chose to shoot from distance. Their 3 point shooting kept them in the game but the writing was on the wall at the half-time break as the Tigers led 44 – 32.
With 5 minutes remaining Taunton had stretched the lead to a comfortable 20 points. Former Tigers Academy players Spearman and Clifford led a spirited finish by Plymouth to close to 92 – 77. Taunton travel to Liverpool on Sunday knowing that a string of a home games and play-off place becons. Next home game will be a heavily anticipated local derby against 2nd placed Bristol on 24th Feb 6.00pm tip-off, Wellspings.