Taunton Huish Tigers U18's went into the first game of a double header weekend against Brixton Topcats missing four of their main players due to injury but with a big desire to play better basketball than in their last outing.
Saturday's game happened to be another close contest. Tigers started with good defensive effort but also with low shooting percentage. After 5 minutes the game was tied with a tentative score of 4 – 4. Both teams refused to back down early with tough defence remaining to the end of the quarter, leaving Brixton with a narrow lead 11 – 10.
Taunton's attack worked much better in the second quarter. Lead by Lewis Ubaka, Ben Hayes and Luke Marshall Tigers finished the second quarter leading by 3 points.
The third quarter proved that small mistakes and failure to execute offensive and defensive principles can turn a game upside down. By the end of the quarter Brixton had again overhauled the Tigers and ended with a 6 point lead.
A great start to the fourth quarter for the Tigers and better concentration closed the gap between the teams slowly but surely. With just 5 seconds remaining on the clock Bradley Stocker was fouled during a 3 point attempt with the game tied 54 &ndahs; 54. Bradley scored two out of three free throws putting Tigers up by 2 points. Unfortunately with time running out Bradley fouled a player from Brixton on a three point attempt, giving them the chance to win the game at the line. The first two free throws were good but the third was short, hitting the front of the rim and sending the game into overtime.
In overtime Tigers took control of the game. Great defensive effort from the whole team but especially from Ben Hayes, Lewis Ubaka and Isaac Mourier gave Tigers a win 67 – 61. Leading point scorers for Taunton were Louis Ubaka with 28 and Isaac Mourier with 12.
Head Coach, Lukasz Sokolowski had this to say,
“We are obviously very happy with the win. It was a difficult game for us, losing Lorenzo to injury before the game put us at a big disadvantage. Lorenzo had secured 22 rebounds in our previous game but our remaining big players showed amazing effort on defensive and offensive boards. There were mixed moments: some really good and some not so good. It was another close home game and again the boys showed that they can play with plenty of heart at the end of the game and were able to keep their composure and stay focused during key moments of the game. Overall it was a good performance but now we must play the same way during away games.”