July 1, 2014
By Andrew Vogel
Wooster Daily Record
For the fifth straight year, Taggart Law Firm's dominance atop the Dawg Days Summer Basketball League is an open-and-shut case.
Taggart led wire-to-wire against Team Miller on Monday to win 70-46 and take the league championship. In the five years of the Dawg Days Summer League, Taggart has won the title game all five years by an average of 21 points. Even more impressively, Taggart has lost only one game in all five summers, dropping a regular season game to Hiland Alumni in 2013 before avenging the loss to the Hawks in the title game.
"It's nice to win because this is the best the league has ever been," said David Zacour, who scored 10 points Monday. "Tonight was one of the first nights we had everybody and it made a big difference."
Throughout its five seasons atop the league, Taggart has been led by the Zacour brothers -- David (age 33), Paul (28), Daniel (27) and Stephen (26). The four brothers have been crucial to the team's success over the years, but this summer the quartet has battled injuries and have never all been together at the same time during the season -- until Monday's championship. Three of the four scored in double figures as Daniel, Paul and David tallied 29, 16 and 10 points, respectively, while Stephen pitched in six points.
"This was the first time all summer we'd had our whole team," Paul said. "Daniel missed half the year, but we were able to sneak out wins.
Taggart jumped out to a 23-9 lead at the outset and from that point the game was never in doubt. The difference was Taggart's stifling defense. While Team Miller notched a 73-64 victory over CIX Direct in the earlier semifinal on Monday, points were much harder to come by against the defending champions, with Miller scoring just 18 points after the break.
"If you hold a team to 18 points in the second half, you should win those games," said Paul. "We wanted to get an early lead, execute and keep them from getting easy transition layups."
Many of the players on Team Miller's roster are from the Dover and New Philadelphia area, aside from West Holmes standout Brady Arnold. In the first meeting between the two squads, which Taggart won 72-69, Taggart got out to an early advantage but Miller fought back into the game by pushing the tempo. The second time around, Paul said his team wanted to make sure it got back on the other end and limited the easy buckets.
"The first time we played them, it followed the same pattern," Paul said. "Because they're such good shooters and so athletic, they're tough in transition. We knew if we could take good shots and didn't turn it over, we could get back on defense, stay in front of them and turn it into a half-court game."
Arnold added that once Taggart took a double-digit lead over Miller, which was led by Ron Miller's 13 points and 10 points by Marco Colombo, it was almost a fruitless effort.
"They're killers," said Arnold, who had eight points. "Once they smell blood they're on it and it's hard to get it back.
"They're all skilled big guys," he added. "When they get to their spots, you're not going to bump them off even if you shove them."
David said that their physicality caused problems for Team Miller, which simply didn't have the size to match up on the perimeter or down low.
"We have to rotate and be physical," he said. "Our physicality bothered them as the game wore on."
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