WALKERTON – It was a positive debut for Plymouth’s Pilgrims as they came away from a very tough venue with an opening night win over Glenn by a 56-44 final.


The difference in the game was literally an 11-0 opening tip run for the Pilgrims that would essentially be the difference in the game. The Falcons were able to strike back to take the lead early on but a similar third quarter opening run that would put the game out of reach.


“I think we played hard. I don’t think that over 32 minutes we played as hard as we needed to,” said Plymouth head coach Ryan Bales. “Part of that was they got really aggressive in some key stretches but I thought we gave up some easy baskets inside – a couple of offensive rebounds at the end. We have to do a better job of putting the hammer down when we make a run. We did that to start the first quarter. We did that to start the third quarter, just not enough in between there.”


“We knew they were going to respond. We couldn’t ask for a better start but they started hitting shots, started making some plays. We did a poor job defensively in that stretch giving up too much dribble penetration and then they really got aggressive and we didn’t.”


Plymouth’s experience was a deciding factor in the end. The Pilgrims put five starters on the floor with two years or more varsity experience, while Glenn graduated nine seniors a year ago. Two of those Plymouth starters made a big impact in the game in Nick Felke and Josh Anders.


Anders ended the night with 21 points and eight rebounds. Felke put in four three pointers scoring 14 points with three rebounds and steals.


“He’s (Anders) able to make some plays athletically,” said Bales. “I was most proud of him because he was under control. I thought he was very relaxed tonight. We got the ball inside to him a few times and he was very effective.”


“We got great contributions from our bench. Ryan Carmichael came in and gave us some great minutes. Neidlinger came in and gave us some good hustle plays and good defense on the ball. I thought Jack (Barron) played really well tonight. Hopefully we’ll keep this going and come back and learn.”


While the Pilgrims come away with an opening win, Bales knows there is still obvious work to be done.


“We played a lot of minutes that were very good minutes of basketball,” he said. “We had some other minutes that we would like to have back. We had enough runs in the first half and second half to put them away. I’m glad we could find a way to do that.”


Plymouth opens at 1-0 with a game Saturday at home against New Prairie.


Score by Quarters

Plymouth 17 27 43 56

Glenn 15 21 31 44


Plymouth (55) – Trebor Neidlinger 0 0-0 0, Jack Barron 0 0-0 0, Cam Eveland 2 5-5 10, Ryan Carmichael 2 0-0 5, Nick Felke 5 0-3 14, Kadin McCrammer 0 0-0 0, Josh Anders 9 2-3 21, Matt Friar 2 0-0 4, Braydon Davidson 0 0-0 0, Garrett Tharp 1 0-0 2. Totals 21 7-11 55.


Glenn (44) – Billy Harness 3 2-4 9, Daniel Wallace 1 0-0 3, Alec Runyan 2 4-6 8, Daniel Hadden 5 1-1 12, Matt Strong 2 2-2 8, Mike Machnic 0 0-0 0, Isaac Porogi 2 0-0 4, Collin Barker 0 0-0 0, Zac Mago 0 0-1 0. Totals 15 9-14 44.


3 Pt. FG – Plymouth 7-17 (Felke 4), Glenn 5-14 (Strong 2).

Rebounds – Plymouth 30 (Anders 8), Glenn 21 (Runyan 7).

Assists – Plymouth 10 (Eveland 5), Glenn 7 (Runyan 2).

Steals – Plymouth 6 (Felke, Anders 3), Glenn 8 (Strong, Harness 2).

Fouls (Fouled out) – Plymouth 18, Glenn 16.