The U18 boys played their first home game of the season against Newham Youngbloods after a disappointing game against Reading Rockets one week before. Despite missing starting point guard Hayden Allen and several players suffering from minor injuries everyone was ready to show better basketball on their home court.
Tigers first blood by scoring the first points but Newham responded very quickly. The game was tight for the first half of the first quarter until a technical foul was called on one of the Tigers players. Tigers coaching staff felt the decision was right and the player acted in a frustrated manner not suitable for the basketball court. However they also felt it showed how determined players were to improve on the previous week. This situation gave Newham Youngbloods 4 points from the free throw line and possession of the ball which they converted into another 2 points, resulting in an 8 point lead for Newham.
The second quarter started with a 5 points deficit for Tigers. Taunton's inside players started with greater desire on defence not giving their Newham counterparts the opportunity to grab offensive rebounds. This led to Tigers being able to get out running on quick fast breaks. Within a few minutes the game was tide. Lead by Louis Ubaka and Isaac Mourier (who played the whole 40 minutes of the game) Tigers continued to turn the table finishing the half with lead of 39 – 35.
The third quarter saw the good defence continue from the Tigers, allowing them to push their lead to 9 points at the end of the quarter.
Newham Youngbloods started the fourth quarter much better and within a few minutes the game had once again become close and nervous. Unfortunately for Tigers their two starting point guards, Louis Ubaka and Luke Marshall along with centre Max Hufslhag were fouled out with around 3 minutes left of the game. The remaining players kept their heads up, kept fighting and held in for the first win of the season.
The game finished with Tigers winning 71 – 66. The attack was led by Louis Ubaka who scored 21 points and Issac Mourier who had 15. However it was the tremendous defensive effort from every player on the court that gave Tigers their first win.
Head Coach, Lukasz Sokolowski had this to say,
“We are happy to get our first win. I am pleased that our players responded well after our poor performance against Reading Rockets last week. We learned a great deal from that loss and played much better basketball today. Despite the win there is still a lot of improve and we will just keep learning and try to play better basketball each week.”
Next home game for the U18 Tigers will be against Brixton Topcats on 22nd October at 15:30 followed by UWIC Archers the next day (23rd October at 12.15) in the National Cup.