Following a weekend off, the U16s hosted Sporting Club Albion last Saturday and ran away with the game, 89 – 38. It was the team's largest winning margin this season and improved their league record to 3 – 2.
The boys jumped all over the opposition from the opening tip, going up 12 – 2 in the first three minutes of the first. Forcing turnovers and getting lots of good looks going to the basket in the half-court offense, Taunton ended the first period up 31 – 6.
The hosts scored the first deuce of the next period off a mid-range jumper from rookie guard Adam Evans. Albion then came to life reeling off six straight points before the Tigers' defence woke-up once more. Kai Little, a senior forward who joined Taunton from Exeter in the off season and was playing his first game after a pre-season injury, powered in the hosts' last three buckets and Tigers went into the half up 49 – 16.
The ease at which Taunton was handling the opposition on the day resulted in complete loss of offensive discipline and defensive focus in the third quarter. Albion took advantage of the Tigers lacklustre approach and scored 14 points, nearly matching all of its first half production.
A very loud and energetic speech by the coaching staff between periods helped to reawaken the team to its objectives for the game. The result was a more disciplined approach at both ends of the floor as Taunton ran out to the 51 point victory.
A full eight of the 12 players who suited up on Saturday contributed to the score. Captian Dom Hinchliffe had yet another 20 plus point game with 22. Other Tigers hitting double figures were rookie forward David Grenfell with 14, Liam Dunn and Jack Penny had 13 each, while Little added 12.
A frustrated head coach Mark Crncich had this to say following the result,
“We talked about our objectives before the game and how the score was secondary to the things we were trying to achieve, as it is in every game we play. Despite that we showed our immaturity in the second and third quarters by playing some sloppy and downright unacceptable basketball, before we were finally able to refocus in the fourth quarter. I don't care about if we win or lose; I care about how we go about doing it. The players will learn that sometimes a coach can be unhappy with a win and pleased after a loss, it's part of the development process.”
The next day Tigers would face the powerful Plymouth Marjon in the second round of the Cup.