DSC_1333PLYMOUTH – It was another step – and in the right direction – as Plymouth scored early and often on their way to a 68-35 win over Rochester.


“Definitely a step,” said Plymouth coach Ryan Bales. “I think we played a little bit more the way we are capable and a lot of it started on the defensive end. Can we get better? Yes. We are going to see some team’s coming up with a lot of offensive weapons – NorthWood coming up, South Bend Riley coming up after a semi-state appearance – we definitely want to stay grounded in what were doing. I want us to stay grounded and continue what we’re doing but I’m definitely proud of our effort tonight.”


It was an effort that was born of defense and an emphasis that was place on it during practice after a win at Triton. While the Pilgrims came away with a “W” the Trojans exposed some areas that had the Pilgrim coaching staff focusing on defense the Plymouth way.


“Before the game I talked about splits and I think we had three in the first half – where we got separated up top – and none in the second half,” said Bales. “That after a game where we had 12.”


It also saw the Pilgrims bring out a full court defense for the first time this season.


“It’s not a full out full court press, a little more containment but yet we want our guys always looking to make plays,” said Bales. “We had one of our better nights shooting the ball but I was very proud of our defense.


“Its always a process in the first half of the season, I think that we walk away tonight no matter what the score easy feeling better about ourselves and the way we played the game. I thought we played hard. Guys played within themselves, looking for each other.”


Bales also saw solid minutes from his bench once again and two players in particular seemed to step up to the occasion


“Brayden Davidson hasn’t played a ton of minutes but he can do some amazing things when he has the basketball,” said Bales. “I was very impressed with him on his help side defense he was competing, doing things that we teach, playing very smart on the defense. Those are things that I look at more. I was very proud of his defense tonight.”


A sophomore in the post, Garret Tharp also continues to grow and show he could be a positive piece to the Plymouth puzzle as the season becomes more demanding.


“He’s grown up a lot from last year,” said Bales. “He’s always had a great attitude, very coachable, but what I love about him is that no matter how long he’s out there, two minutes or five minutes, he’s always learning, always willing to listen and that’s a sign that somebody is going to keep getting better.”


Plymouth stays unbeaten at 4-0 on the new season with games next week against Knox on Tuesday and Peru on Friday. The Pilgrims won the JV game 66-29.



Score by Quarters

Rochester 5 18 26 35

Plymouth 18 34 52 68


Rochester (35) – Nigh 1 0-0 2, Holland 6 0-0 15, Ullmer 1 0-0 2, Notz 1 0-0 2, Reinholt 0 0-0 0, Lee 1 0-0 2, Dishon 1 2-2 4, Bennett 1 0-2 2, Perez 2 2-3 6. 14 4-6 35


Plymouth (68) – Neidlinger 1 0-0 2, Barron 2 0-0 5, Eveland 4 0-0 10, Carmichael 1 0-0 3, Felke 6 0-0 16, Owen 0 0-0 0, Anders 5 2-2 12, Friar 1 0-0 2, Davidson 3 0-0 9, Tharp 3 0-0 6, Irwin 1 0-0 3. Totals 27 2-2 68.


3pt. FG – Rochester 3-17 (Holland 3), Plymouth 12-20 (Felke 4).

Rebounds – Rochester 25 (Bennett 5), Plymouth 23 (Eveland, Carmichael, Anders 4).

Steals – Rochester 3 (Dishon 2), Plymouth 7 (Davidson 2).

Assists – Rochester 7, (Reinholt 3), Plymouth 20 (Barron 9).

Fouls (Fouled Out) – Rochester 7, Plymouth 7.