League leaders, Derby Trailblazers, are the form team in Division 1 at the moment, having won their previous 6 matches in the run up to this game. So, Tigers had a good idea what to expect, but they couldn't have anticipated the devastating opening onslaught which saw them fall 15 – 0 behind in just over 3 minutes.
You can watch the full game video here or View it on Vimeo. The match report continues below.
That burst of points enabled Derby to completely dominate the first quarter and, effectively, take the game out of Taunton's reach. Tigers turned the ball over 9 times in the period and were successful with just 3 out of 11 shots from the floor, while the home side hit 12 of their 18 attempts. Points from Jordan Seeley, Adam Rickwood, Kevin Anderson and Paul Yabsley did help to steady things a little, but the gap at the end of the quarter was a daunting 23 – 8.
Trailblazers didn't ease up at the start of the second quarter, and pulled away to a 25 point lead. To their huge credit, though, Taunton refused to crumble and began to find a way to compete. 3 pointers from Seeley, Chris Page and Simon Kearney saw the gap reduce to 18 points. Seeley then closed the half by stealing the ball, forcing the Derby defence to foul and then draining both the resulting free-throws. That made it 45 – 29 to Derby at the half, but it had been a much tighter second period and Tigers had something to try to build on.
The visitors' effort continued after the break and, half-way through the third quarter, Kearney drained another long-range effort to bring them back to within just 11 points (53 – 42). That was the cue, though, for Derby to show why they are top of the table and they reasserted themselves, scoring 15 of the next 20 points to put themselves 68 – 47 up at the end of the third quarter.
There was a similar pattern to the final period. Taunton managed to cut the deficit to just 14 points with an early push, only to see Derby respond and finish the game with a 23 – 11 run.