The U16 boys embarked on their longest road trip of the season for their opening game of the 2011/12 campaign and came away with the spoils. The team endured the three-hour journey to Telford and went out and defeated the Shropshire Warriors 65 – 49.
After several traditional South West clubs did not enter into National League competition this season, England Basketball reorganized the conference to include a number of Midlands-based teams and renamed the conference Midlands-South West.
The remaining South West teams include Taunton, Bristol Academy Flyers, Bristol Storm, Exeter Eagles, Gloster Jets, Stroud Sharks and Torbay Tigers. The Midlands clubs are Arden Griffins, Coventry Elite, Shropshire and Sporting Club Albion.
As expected Tigers began the game flat and nervy, committing several fundamental errors and a number of turnovers, while the offence failed to fire. The boys trailed 26 – 24 at the half. Committed to executing the fast break and offence as well as minimizing turnovers, Taunton had a better third period and then stretched their legs in the final quarter outscoring the hosts 21 – 10 and sealing the 16-point win.
The attack was led by veterans Ben Hayes and Dominic Hinchliffe with 18 and 20 points respectively. All Tigers but one contributed to the scoring line including the six rookies who were selected for the trip and played significant minutes in the game.
Head Coach, Mark Crncich had this to say,
“It was pretty much a typical start when you open the season on the road so far from home. We were pretty awful as a team in the first half but once we got our heads into the game it was a much different story. They were a big, physical and aggressive opponent, but all the players, including our first years, stood up to that challenge and eventually played the type of basketball that we are capable of.”
The U16s have their home opener this Saturday at Richard Huish College against Stroud Sharks. Tip-off is at 1:15 pm.