Back in the day when a third grade school kid had produced good work on a math quiz of testing one´s division and times skills, one would get a small star plastered to your forehead and you would run home to mommy and be gleaming with joy while possibly being rewarded again with a tasty twinkie after a hard school day. In basketball it´s no different, if Kameron Taylor would have been rewarded with every amazing game and shot he had completed so far in this young season for the Dragons Rhondorf, his forehead would be hidden from site. The play of the Maryland native and ex Seton Hill(NCAA) standout has been brilliant again and brought joy again to the energetic Dragon Dome after two poor seasons where the club was clobbered in the Pro A two seasons ago winning only two contests while last season had to battle in the playdowns to secure a spot again in the Pro B this season. Taylor was averaging 23,8ppg, 6,0rpg and 4,1apg coming into the KIT SC GEQOUS Karlsruhe game and has totally dominated the Pro B leading his club to a refreshing 7-2 record this season. Even if he did play in the higher Pro A last season for Ehingen where he averaged 10,8ppg, you sometimes have to take a step back to make a step forward. He wooed fans three weeks ago with a spectacular buzzer beater against the Fraport Skyliners juniors at home and in the last two weeks has been brilliant as he combined for 69 points in the two wins at home against the EN Baskets Schwelm netting 37 points and the nail bitter win in Coburg where he dropped 32 points and help ice the cake with free throws in the last seconds preserving the 68-65 victory. Rhondorf went into the contest having found a consistent rhythm on defense again allowing an average of only 70 points per game in the last two and wanted to register their fifth home win of the season while Taylor was gunning for his third 30 plus game in a row of the season. The Dragons Rhondorf kept their winning ways, but Taylor didn´t reach his third 30 plus game of the season, but nobody noticed as the club pounded KIT SC GEQOUS Karlsruhe as 24 year old German Patrick Reusch had the game of his life pouring in 18 points while Kameron Taylor was derailed a bit in his minutes and points because of foul problems. After the big win, Taylor was raving about the fine effort his club displayed as he played only two minutes in the first half plus minus Kevin Thomas, the club still led 41-39 at the break. “Everybody stepped up today and it was a great team effort with great team basketball minus Kevin Thomas. We knew that we had to rebound well with Thomas and we did. We played solid defense forcing the opponent to many turnovers doing a good job keeping the man in front of us”, stressed ex Seton Hill(NCAA) standout Kameron Taylor. KIT SC GEQOUS Karlsruhe totally fell apart in the third quarter and could never get back into the game after head coach Jaivon Harris was rejected and Rhondorf cruised out on a 22-7 run. “We played ok in the first half, but it wasn´t our best basketball. They came out more aggressive in the third quarter and forced us right away to two turnovers and scored. Then our coach was thrown out and they had the momentum. When Rhondorf has the momentum then they are very hard to beat at home”, stressed ex BG Karlsruhe guard Aaaron Schmitz.
A big key in the game was that everyone stepped up on the Dragons Rhondorf squad as Kameron Taylor was hit with two early fouls. It was the Germans Valentin Blass, Thomas Michel and Yannick Kneesch that carried the team along with 24 year old Patrick Resuch. The young German Reusch started his career with Bayer Uerdingen and came to Bonn in 2014. He worked his self up slowly playing two solid seasons in the Regionalliga averaging 10,5ppg and 12,9ppg and arrived in Rhondorf last season. Last season was also a process as his minutes increased more in the second half and he sparkled with his aggressive defense and timely offense especially in the playdowns. This season he was struck with a tough injury that held him back and it took him a while to reach his rhythm again. In the last weeks he was making some progress on the court as he got into the last three games. The early foul trouble from Kameron Taylor was like a blessing in disguise as the German jumped up from the bench and not only fulfilled his role, but much more scoring nine points in eight minutes in the first half. His consistent production didn´t end there as his magical play continued in the second half as he scored nine more points in eight more minutes finishing with 18 points in 18 minutes while Taylor finished with 16 points in 18 minutes. After the big win the German was thrilled with the big win and modest with his own achievement on the court. “It really helped me that I hit my first two shots. That raised my confidence to want to keep taking and making shots”, stressed Patrick Reusch. The instant production was no surprise to Taylor as he has seen it over and over in practice. “He plays so hard in practice and he was coming off an injury. He came in and proved he could produce. He saw me in foul trouble and knew the team needed scoring and stepped up”, stressed Kameron Taylor. Despite the foul trouble, Taylor was on triple double course, but because the game only has four quarters and not five was denied as he finished with 16 points, seven rebounds, eight assists and two steals in only 18 minutes. “I was mad about the fouls in the first half. I had my head down at half-time, but my team told me i´m good and I should just play my game. They gave me the confidence to execute in the second half”, stressed Kameron Taylor.
The Dragons Rhondorf were without Kevin Thomas who was home in Canada spending time with his sick dad. Both teams came out hot from downtown as KIT SC GEQOUS Karlsruhe took the quick 6-3 lead with two trey´s from Croatian sniper LuKa Drezga and ex Speyer guard Aaron Schmitz as Rhondorf tallied with a Thomas Michel three. The first quarter remained a tight affair as there were four lead changes and no team ever led by more than three points. Michel gave Rhondorf their first lead 9-7 after he followed a Andreas Moeller basket. Drezga regained the lead for KIT SC GEQOUS Karlsruhe with a trey only to see it melt with two buckets in a row by Michel who gave Rhondorf the 13-11 lead as Rhondorf were getting easy bucket after easy bucket inside as KIT SC GEQOUS Karlsruhe was lacking physicality and good 1-1 defense. KIT SC GEQOUS Karlsruhe got the lead back on Florian Rothenberg free throws 19-18, but in the last few minutes Patrick Reusch sparked Rhondorf with five points and Kneesch made a lay in keeping Rhondorf in front 24-22 after one quarter. “We did a good job compensating the foul trouble of Kameron Taylor and Kevin Thomas absence. We were attacking well and got easy baskets”, stressed Dragons Rhondorf assistant coach Max Schamborn. The Dragons Rhondorf were shooting 58% from the field and 25% from outside while KIT SC GEQOUS Karlsruhe was shooting 43% from the field and 57% from outside. The Dragons Rhondorf had the 10-5 rebound edge and both teams had two turnovers apiece.
In the second quarter despite a slow start, the Dragons Rhondorf would control the quarter and lead by as much as eight points, but KIT SC GEQOUS Karlsruhe clawed back and trailed by only two points at the break. KIT SC GEQOUS Karlsruhe upped their intensity and aggressiveness on the defense end stopping Rhondorf on their first five possessions, but got only two buckets in the paint by German second Bundesliga Veteran Jeremy Black who averaged 13 points and 8 rebounds in six Pro A seasons. Taylor was hit with his third foul and left after a few seconds. However Rhondorf stuck together and were tough as nails as their two imports were off the floor and it was the Germans and Latvian Lion Ronalds Elksnis who brought the club back on a potent 13-3 run to retake the lead 37-29. In the run, Rhondorf totally crushed KIT SC GEQOUS Karlsruhe in the paint area as they scored 11 points there. Viktor Frankl-Maus carried the team with his aggressiveness and crafty play netting eight points. Moeller made an offensive rebound and put back and Kneesch connected on a pretty running hook shot. Rhondorf also displayed their immaculate transition offense as KIT SC GEQOUS Karlsruhe lost focus and intensity. KIT SC GEQOUS Karlsruhe got out of their funk riding into the locker room at halftime with some momentum going on a 10-4 run to trail only 41-39. Dutch player and ex Tennessee State(NCAA) center Chaed Wellian hit a trey and scored inside while ex Speyer guard Banjamin Kaufhold made a pull up jumper while using Reusch´s body to flick the ball at and get back as he could find no teammate open in the inbounds pass and Drezga nailed a trey. “The second quarter wasn´t pretty. We didn´t have a good start as they stopped us on our first five possessions. But there were 2-3 situations where we rebounded well which led to transition baskets and helped us back into the game”, added Rhondorf assistant coach Max Schwamborn. The Dragons Rhondorf were shooting 44% from the field and 11% from the three point line while KIT SC GEQOUS Karlsruhe shot 54% from the field and 58% from the three point line. Rhondorf had the 22-12 rebound edge and five turnovers while KIT SC GEQOUS Karlsruhe had 10 turnovers.
The turning point of the contest occurred in the third quarter as KIT SC GEQOUS Karlsruhe head coach Jaivon Harris was kicked out of the game and the Dragons Rhondorf launched a brutal 22-7 run to open up the game and the club would never look back. The Dragons Rhondorf got off to a quick start right away and went on a 8-2 run before Jaivon Harris was ejected. Kameron Taylor was back on the court and got very aggressive on the offensive end and scored twice as did his playmaking side kick Frankl-Maus as the home club led comfortably 49-41. Then came the ejection of KIT SC GEQOUS Karlsruhe head coach Jaivon Harris. He had been at odds all game long with the referees and despite being warned by, he didn´t get a second warning as he was ousted from the game. This rattled KIT SC GEQOUS Karlsruhe which propelled the Dragons Rhondorf to an unstoppable 21-7 run as three´s rained down for the basketball heaven as the club led 70-48. When the damaged had ended, KIT SC GEQOUS Karlsruhe had witnessed six trey´s as the Dragons Rhondorf didn´t miss as the basket looked as big the ocean. Rhondorf got three point support from Michel with two and also from Frankl-Maus, Taylor, Blass and Kneesch. The Dragons Rhondorf kept up the pressure on offense as Taylor scored two more times inside and Reusch hit another trey as KIT SC GEQOUS Karlsruhe trailed 77-54. “Coach Adelt told us at halftime that we had to improve our three point shooting. He said shoot if your open, but also go inside. We were open and shot and mostly scored”, smiled Kameron Taylor. “We had big problems trying to stop them in their run. We gave them too much room and let them score to easily”, added Aaron Schmitz. The Dragons Rhondorf shot 53% from the field and 33% from the parking lot while KIT SC GEQOUS Karlsruhe shot 49% from the field and 44% from the parking lot. Rhondorf had the 31-18 rebound edge and had seven turnovers while KIT SC GEQOUS Karlsruhe had 15 turnovers.
In the fourth quarter there were no let downs by the Dragons Rhondorf as they finished strongly and also got solid input from players like Joe Kaschade and Fabian Vermun who got some extra garbage time. The Dragons Rhondorf started off quickly going on a 6-2 run to extend their lead to 83-56 as Reusch continued his stellar play with two drives inside that resulted in layins and a Michel layin. Both teams continued to score at ease while the defense took a break. Rhondorf had the huge lead and wouldn´t lose any more on this evening. The fans saw a pretty Kameron Taylor tap in alley-oop in which Geretzki dished him the perfect pass. Young German talent Anton Geretzki also hit a trey and Alexander Moeller hit a jumper who had a solid game with nine points and five rebounds as Rhondorf led 92-67. Down the stretch KIT SC GEQOUS Karlsruhe German Marcel Davis scored inside and Taylor added some fine tuning to his stat sheet with free throws closing out the 98-73 Rhondorf victory. “We never let up on the court. Our bench did a good job keeping the energy up and closing out the game”, expressed Kameron Taylor. “It is hard to come back when your down by 25 points. The mental part played a big role. Rhondorf continued to play their game and we couldn´t stop it”, stressed Aaron Schmitz. The Dragons Rhondorf were led by Patrick Reusch with 18 points. Kameron taylor added 16 points. As did Vikto Frankl-Maus. Thomas Michel added 13 points and Yannick Kneesch had 11 points. KIT SC GEQOUS Karlsruhe were led by Luka Drezga with 20 points. Chaed Wellian supplied 14 points and Jeremy Black and Florian Rothenberg added 10 points apiece. The Dragons Rhondorf shot 52% from the field and 34% from outside while KIT SC GEQOUS Karlsruhe shot 49% from the field and 39% from outside. Rhondorf won the rebound duel 39-27 and had only eight turnovers while KIT SC GEQOUS Karlsruhe coughed up the ball 19 times.