There was only one win where the smile was at it´s greatest for American Kameron Taylor and that was following his unforgettable buzzer beater pull up jumper against the Fraport Skyliners Juniors which saw nothing but net, but other than that one could really debate in which of the other games his smile was bigger, because the Dragons Rhondorf have easily disposed of every other opponent with Leverkusen, Munich, Schwelm and Karlsruhe that have attempted to make some noise in the loud Dragon Dome and were easily put in their place and sent home trying to figure out what went wrong. Two weeks ago, the Dragons Rhondorf easily took apart HIT GEQOUS Karlsruhe and saw the struggle of Kameron Taylor getting in early foul trouble and regrouping and having a strong second half to produce 18 points in 18 minutes while his teammate German Patrick Reusch was reborn after battling injuries and stepping up big in the absence of Taylor and racking up 18 points in 18 minutes and giving the team that much needed push form the guard position while the American was fighting with his thoughts on the bench. The Dragons Rhondorf came into the game with a potent 9-2 record and resting comfortably in second place in the Pro B south standings sporting a four game winning streak and were looking for their six win a row at home a place that has turned into that special dominating living room as they welcomed the 11th placed TG s Oliver Wurzburg as they had a miserable 1-10 record and were one place away from being the leagues doormat. The Dragons Rhondorf entered the contest as the huge favorite and showed no real signs of having difficulty in losing as they played a solid defensive game and as always when they needed instant points, they looked to Kameron Taylor who came up big in the fourth quarter scoring 12 points and leading his team to their sixth win in a row at home. After the game, the Maryland native was focused and trying to save his smile for another day even if he had flirted with a quadruple double with 22 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists and eight steals, he never noticed. “I can´t even imagine getting a quadruple double. I just play my game and my stats come on their own. Statistically this may have been my best defensive game, but I try to compare my best defense to how well we contain the opponents best player”, stressed Kameron Taylor. The focused attitude of the American had more to do with how well he really felt his team played. “It was an ugly game and we weren´t satisfied as a team. We were disappointed and feel that we could of played a lot better, but were happy we got the win. It shows what kind of team we really are when we aren´t happy with a 16 point win”, added Kameron Taylor. TG s.Oliver Wurzburg were without many key players and that showed in the play of the team. “We had a lot of guys that had to step up and play out of position. We lost so much inside and this game was a real challenge. We knew that we had to stop them on transition. I felt we defended and rebounded well for three quarters, but in the end they edged us out. Rhondorf was the better team”, stressed ex USC(NCAA) forward Garrett Jackson.
Rhondorf was without Canadian Kevin Thomas for the third consecutive game as he was still in Canada after tending to his sick dad and won´t be expected back until shortly before the new year, while TG s.Oliver Wurzburg were without the injured players Miles Cartwright and Julian Albus and key players Leon Kratzer and Dejan Kovecevic who were playing a BBL game with Wurzburg in Bayreuth. The Dragons Rhondorf knew that they had the upper hand on paper, but might also have been a bit surprised just how easily they were controlling the game in the first quarter on the defensive end. It really didn´t matter what TG s.Oliver Wurzburg did on offense, the ball just didn´t want to fall. The Dragons Rhondorf stopped the guests on their first 14 possessions and played ok offense getting only up to an 11-0 lead. On the defensive side they were solid, but weren´t doing anything out of the ordinary as TG s.Oliver Wurzburg seemed nervous at times and at other times were missing that last push to execute as well as missing some easy shots. On offense the Dragons Rhondorf did a splendid job first getting the German big man Alexander Moeller involved as he had a massive advantage inside and Kameron Taylor looked to him all night long. Moeller scored twice inside, Viktor Frankel-Maus scored on a lay up, Taylor hit a pull up jumper and Thomas Michel also scored. With a little more than seven minutes elapsed, TG s.Oliver Wurzburg finally got on the board as German 16 year old Michael Javernik snuck inside for the reverse lay up as Garrett Jackson zipped him the ball. German Anton Geretzki who played his first Pro B game at age 15 nailed a trey while Jackson scored as Rhondorf led 15-5 after 10 minutes. “We did a good job stopping 18 of their 21 possessions in the first quarter. Our execution on offense wasn´t at the level that we were used to”, warned Dragons Rhondorf assistant coach Max Schwamborn. The Dragons Rhondorf were shooting 40% from the field and 33% from outside while TG s.Oliver Wurzburg were shooting 9% from the field and 0% from outside. Rhondorf has the slim 11-10 rebound edge and four turnovers while the guests had eight turnovers.
In the second quarter TG s.Oliver Wurzburg got into an early rhythm that helped them get back into the game. The guests connected on their first two possessions as ex Saarlouis German Tim Leonhardt fed Garrett Jackson for the tap in alley-op and 18 year old talented German Phillipp Hadenfeldt hit a step back jumper. Garrett Jackson also scored on the fest break as the guests had surprised Rhondorf with a quick 6-2 run and were trailing only 17-11. The Dragons Rhondorf followed the Wurzburg run with their own 6-3 run to quickly extend their lead to 23-14. Moeller continued to remain active in the paint area scoring twice while Geretzki scored inside again. Little runs continued to dominate this quarter as TG s.Oliver Wurzburg cut the Rhondorf advantage to 23-19 as 19 year old 205cm German Jonas Weitzel who came from the BG Goettingen program scored inside as did Javernik. As both teams were going on runs, Kameron Taylor was letting his presence be felt all over the court as he wasn´t scoring as much now, but setting up his teammates getting in passing lanes and making big blocks as his athleticism continues to be a hidden strength in his game still not noticed as much. The Dragons Rhondorf ran into halftime with a 9-4 run to lead 31-25 at the break. In the run, the Dragons Rhondorf continued to be a pest in the paint ramming the ball to Moeller as he got two easy lay ups with the assists going to Taylor. Tobias Weigl who has been with TG s.Oliver Wurzburg since 2012 and has improved his scoring and rebounding average each season scored as did Hadenfeldt with a floater. “We gave up too many easy lay ups and didn´t keep our man in front, rotated or helped well enough either. When we switched to the 1-3-1 zone we gave up four points on eight possessions. We still didn´t execute well enough on offense”, stressed Dragons Rhondorf assistant coach May Schwamborn. The Dragons Rhondorf were shooting 32% from the field and 11% from the three point line while TG s.Oliver Wurzburg were shooting 36% from the field and 11% from the three point line. Rhondorf had the 24-20 rebound edge and only eight turnovers while the guests had 14 turnovers.
In the third quarter, TG s.Oliver Wurzburg continued to battle and cut the lead down of Rhondorf to only two points, but just were unable to get over the hump as Rhondorf practiced key scoring keeping their lead up. The first quarter was totally forgotten for TG s.Oliver Wurzburg in terms of execution as like in the second quarter they got a healthy rhythm going on a fast 8-4 run to trail Rhondorf only 35-33. Garrett Jackson continued to be that ultimate workhorse as he scored twice inside, made a free throw and Leonhardt dropped another trey. The game continued to stay true to the famous basketball phrase “basketball is a game of runs” as Rhondorf was able to pull away again a little going on a 8-2 run to extend their lead to 44-35. Rhondorf continued to stay shy of the three point line except for a big trey from Frankl-Maus, but did their damage inside as Michel who played 3 BBL games for the Telekom Baskets Bonn scored twice and Moeller connected once. Rhondorf´s aggressive defense led by Kameron Taylor sparked their offense while Wurzburg was undergoing some lapses on the defensive end. TG s.Oliver Wurzburg was never totally out of this game and caused another lightening run scoring seven unanswered points to cut the Rhondorf lead to 44-42. Garrett Jackson did damage again with free throws and a lay in and 20 year old Marc Kunz who played 4 Pro A games with Baunach hit a trey. However Rhondorf closed out the third quarter as Kameron Taylor was getting heated up for a big fourth quarter finish as he nailed a pull up jumper and then connected on a tough off balance jumper at the buzzer as the Dragons Rhondorf led 49-43 after 30 minutes. “We weren´t finishing and giving up easy chances for buckets. Jackson is a great player and almost singlehandingly beat us”, stressed Kameron Taylor. “We just did a good job sticking together. We knuckled down”, added Garrett Jackson. The Dragons Rhondorf were shooting 39% from the field and 17% from the parking lot while TG s.Oliver Wurzburg was shooting 39% from the field and 23% from the parking lot. The Dragons Rhondorf had the slim 30-28 rebound lead, but only 13 turnovers while TG s.Oliver Wurzburg had 21 turnovers.
In the fourth quarter, the Dragons Rhondorf didn´t waste anytime, but just buckled down on defense and executed on offense at a better rate as TG s.Oliver Wurzburg got tired. Taylor and Hadenfeldt traded trey´s, but Rhondorf still led 52-46. Then it was the Latvian lion Ronalds Elknis who scored, but Garrett Jackson scored again keeping Wurzburg in the hunt trailing only 54-48. Frankl-Maus hit another trey, but Jonas Weitzel followed up with an easy lay in as Leonhardt gave the extra pass keeping Wurzburg close trailing only 57-50. However Rhondorf got mean as it was Taylor time rudely slamming the door shut on TG s.Oliver Wurzburg as they went on a furious 12-2 run to lead 69-52 and put a seal on the victory. In the run it was the one man wrecking crew of Kameron Taylor who scored 9 points starting with a massive dunk from the wing and closing with an acrobatic lay in. In between he hit a step back jumper and scored over Garrett Jackson. “My teammates told me to be more aggressive. I had an open lay up and passed up for an extra pass. I started to attack and score and that is when my mood changed”, smiled Kameron Taylor. Garrett Jackson and Moeller traded baskets ending the game. “It was a great game from Taylor. He is so unselfish. It always seems like he is only looking for the open man”, stressed agent Jens Weller. “Taylor did a great job hitting contested shots”, added Garrett Jackson. The Dragons Rhondorf were led by Kameron Taylor with 22 points and 11 rebounds. Alexander Moeller had 18 points and nine rebounds. Thomas Michel chipped in with 12 pints and Viktor Frankl-Maus with 11 points. TG s.Oliver Wurzburg were led by Garrett Jackson with 18 points, 16 rebounds and five assists. Jonas Weitzel produced 12 points and Phillipp Hadenfeldt had 10 points. The Dragons Rhondorf shot 39% from the field and 23% from outside while TG s.Oliver Wurzburg shot 39% from the field and 25% from outside. Rhondorf won the rebound battle 44-36 and had 14 turnovers while the guests coughed up the ball 25 times.