Jon Dinan | Democrat
Roscoe’s Rob Taurino is Section IX’s top scorer with a 25 points per game average. His speed off the dribble has been tough to defend, leading to easy layups, pull-up jumpers or passes to open teammates.
Story by Jon Dinan
January 4 He’s only 5 foot 9 inches and plays for the smallest school in Section IX. But Roscoe’s Rob Taurino is certainly standing tall as the high school basketball season enters its second month of play.
The junior guard is the leading scorer in Section IX, averaging 25 points per game, helping Roscoe to a respectable 3-3 start. Not bad for someone who only started playing basketball in the seventh grade and is just six games into his second varsity season.
“I’m not scared,” said Taurino. “I’m not twitchy when I have the ball, I feel very comfortable with the ball in my hands, and I love to shoot.”
He’s also pretty adept at passing as evidenced by the nine assists he had in Roscoe’s last game against Downsville a night where he admittedly wasn’t shooting well.
“He has an incredible ability to find teammates when the defenses are concentrating on him, then once he has them anticipating the pass, he seeks out scoring opportunities,” said longtime Roscoe head coach Fred Ahart.
Taurino has improved his scoring average by almost eight points from last season.
“I have built up my confidence level through practicing and playing in games,” said Taurino, who was also named to the Democrat’s All-Star football team as a defensive back. “Doing different drills and things with my teammates has helped me steadily improve my game.
“I like to get my team involved because without them I wouldn’t be where I am now,” he added.
What makes Taurino so tough to defend is his triple threat abilities. He is a smooth ballhandler, a silky left-handed shooter and an unselfish passer.
“He's quick off the dribble and gets to the rim fairly easily,” said Downsville coach Kevin Wilbur about Taurino. “Once he blows by the defender and gets layups, it causes the defender to sag off which gives him an opportunity to shoot open jump shots.
“He is a streaky shooter so if he hits his first open three it will probably be a long night for the opposing defense.”
Taurino says he hopes his career will continue into college, but has not yet begun to look at schools.