Taunton Tigers U14s made their National league debut on Saturday in front of an enthusiastic crowd at the Richard Huish Dome without their regular coach James Watts.
The Tigers team led by aggressive backcourt of Robbie Adams and Ellis Watkins played the Tigers style of defence which is now encouraged within the club. This allowed the juniors to quickly establish an 8 – 0 lead within the first 4 minutes.
As coaches Carter and Neate-Stidson ran in the bench to keep the energy up, the team was punished for it's over exuberant defence leading to free throws which allowed UWIC back into the game. An important basket from Aiden Jones stopped the run and allowed the Tigers to gain some control towards the end of the quarter, back to back baskets from Jack Adams ensured Tigers held an 8 point lead going into the second quarter.
Tigers stuck to their full court defensive philosophy with Alex Jenkins and Harry Sheehan being perfect examples, bringing continuous energy every time they stepped on court. Tigers started to settle at this point in the game and allowed their fast break to flow as the players expressed their skills. Dom Robinson benefitted from this period and really showed his value to this team. In particular one play that excited the crowd was a perfect execution of team defensive pressure, leading to a fast break and culminating with a behind the back pass from Robbie Adams to his partner in crime Ellis Watkins. Tigers increased their lead to 16 at the half.
In the third Tigers stuck to their defensive pressure but as players tired, foul trouble crept in. However this allowed players such as Toby Finch-Hatton to show their leadership qualities especially with his strength on the defensive boards. Dom Robinson again showed his scoring prowess scoring the last 6 points of the quarter, Robinson ended up 18 points.
In the third Tigers stuck to their defensive pressure but as players tired, foul trouble started to creep in. However this allowed players such as Toby Finch-Hatton to show their leadership qualities especially with his strength on the defensive boards. Dom Robinson again showed his scoring prowess scoring the last 6 points of the quarter, Robinson ended up 18 points.
The rejuvenated energy led by Neate-Stidson, Jack Adams, Sheehan and Jenkins showed the full depth of character of the team. Watkins showed his maturity by taking the ball strongly to the basket in the final stages, Watkins would end up with a game high 21 points.
Despite a spirited comeback from the UWIC Archers Taunton Tigers ran up deserved winners 65 – 52.