June 30 , 2015
By Andrew Vogel
Wooster Daily Record
The annual ruling has been reached on the court-Taggart Law Firm reigns supreme atop the Dawg Days Summer Basketball League.
Taggart used its stingy defense to hold off CIX Direct 55-44 on Monday during the championship, held inside at Dalton High School due to the weather. Taggart, led by Daniel Zacour's 19 points, has now captured the title each of the last six years and has won the crown every summer since the league began in 2010.
Paul Zacour said while Taggart, which finished the season with a record of 11-0, has finished on top year-in and year-out, this summer marked the best field since the league's inception. Taggart held off Hiland Alumni 71-62 in the first semifinal game on Monday.
"We love competing in this league," said Paul Zacour, who finished with nine points and has routinely been Taggart's best perimeter defender. "Morgan (Wenger) does a great job (running the league) and this year it was the deepest it's been with quality players."
The key to Taggart's run starts on the other end of the floor. Simply put, when opponents face off against Taggart during the month of June, easy buckets are about as rare as ice storms. Paul Zacour said the team, which also includes Josh Garrison, Jock Rottman, Stephen Zacour and David Zacour, has always had a defense-first mentality.
"It's just about grinding," Paul Zacour said with a smile. "When we can't hit shots, we're still in the game. Just like tonight, it wasn't pretty, but we got it done."
After CIX Direct routed the Tuslaw Mustangs in Monday's other semifinal, Taggart Law Firm was the heavy favorite heading into the championship and promptly raced out to a 10-3 advantage.
From there, though, CIX Direct, whose roster included Matt Hawks, Jacob Bolyard, Matt Babcock, Tommy Brenner, Corey McDaniel, Darrell Parker, Damon Robinson and Drew Frizell, came up with a 15-4 run, led by a couple key buckets from Bolyard, to take an 18-14 lead.
Taggart, however, responded by locking down defensively and used a gutsy old-fashioned play from Rottman to take a 29-20 lead after a 14-2 run.
"We got stops and we just had to make them work harder defensively," Paul Zacour said. "Once we started screening and moving, we got better looks and eventually they started to fall."
"We tried to identify mismatches and work to get the shots we want," Daniel Zacour said. "If we get the shots we want, eventually we'll make enough of them."
In the second half, CIX Direct was able to cut the deficit down to as little as six points (42-36), but it was never able to knock down enough shots to complete the comeback. Bolyard said that has everything to do with Taggart's ability to dictate tempo.
"They control the momentum," said Bolyard, who had a team-high 13 points. "We needed to get stops to beat them and came up short. We got it down, but we just couldn't close the gap."
When the Zacours started their run, many of them were recently out of college and close to their high school playing days. Now some of them are close to 30 and married, but still as dominant as ever.
"This gets us all together," Paul Zacour said. "We're all going in different directions, but we don't like to lose."
Based on their six-year reign, there's certainly plenty of evidence to support that argument.
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