NAPPANEE – It was another tough night shooting and another tough night all around as Plymouth’s Pilgrims took a loss on the road – more importantly an opening loss in NLC play – falling to NorthWood 75-57.


Red hot shooting (50 percent from three point and 87 percent from the free throw line) by NorthWood and another night of poor shooting for the Pilgrims (33 percent from the field in the first half, 58 percent from the line in the game) had a lot to do with the outcome.


“They shot a great percentage and we didn’t,” said Plymouth Coach Ryan Bales. “I thought we had pretty good execution from an offensive standpoint. I thought we had some shots inside that we just didn’t finish. I thought we played through things a lot more, to their credit they were the aggressive team at key stretches, they were the ones hitting the free throws, they shoot 29 of 37 from the line that’s tough to beat.”


The Panthers jumped out to a lead and never looked back in taking the win, Dakiyron Fox and Braxton Linville were keys in the NorthWood win with Fox putting in 21 points and adding nine rebounds – one shy of his double/double average on the year. Linville made up for it with 11 points and 11 assists for a double/double of his own.


“I thought we had a lot of fight, it’s just that timely offensive rebound that they got whenever we’re starting to make a run,” said Bales. “They found a way to get it and put it in. They’re a good team and there’s not a lot of margin for error against a team like that.


“Fox and Linville were great and you’re not even mentioning (leading scorer for the Panthers Vince) Miranda. Those three are unbelievable offensive players. I thought we had a good game plan. I thought we went at them. We just did not finish shots inside. I don’t think we took many bad shots. We just have to do a better job finishing.


“There’s not many games on the road that you’re going to win shooting around 50 percent from the free throw line. Those are free shots that we have to take advantage of.”


The Pilgrims saw positive’s from two places that will have to continue if they are to get back in the win column with a rough stretch of games (South Bend Riley, and the Westview Shootout) on the horizon.


Nick Felke had a red hot third quarter – something his coach would love to see more of.


“I don’t know what the formula is. We need more of that for 32 minutes,” said Bales. “As a player he’s too good to take a back seat to other guys. He hit some three’s in the third quarter but he also got to the paint and that gets him going.”


In the post Bales also saw some things he liked.


“If we can get him (Josh Anders) down low like that – we keep emphasizing that and there were a few times when I would have liked to see him be a little more greedy on offense,” said Bales. “I thought Matt Friar did a great job being aggressive from the high post.


“It’s not going to get any easier. We just have to go back to work. It’s a long conference season, we’ve got a lot to play for.”


The Pilgrims are now 5-2 with a game Tuesday at home against South Bend Riley. NorthWood moves top 7-1.



Score by Quarters

Plymouth 11 20 38 57

NorthWood 15 36 50 75


Plymouth (57) – Trevor Neidlinger 1 0-0 3, Jack Barron 1 1-2 3, Cam Eveland 1 1-2 4, Ryan Carmichael 1 0-0 3, Nick Felke 7 2-4 18, Travis Owen 0 0-0 0, Dyllon Pavey 0 0-0 0, Josh Anders 8 1-3 17, Matt Friar 2 3-4 8, Braydon Davidson 0 0-0 0, Garrett Tharp 0 1-2 1, Ty Irwin 0 0-0 0. Totals 21 9-17 57.


NorthWood (75) – Braxton Linville 4 3-4 11, Luke Zurcher 3 6-6 13, Vincent Miranda 4 9-10 19, Brad Delio 0 0-0 0, Chad Sellers 1 2-2 5, Caleb Glick 0 0-0 0, Dakiyron Fox 7 7-11 21, Caleb Lung 3 0-0 6, Trey Bilinski 0 0-0 0, Nathan Schmitt 0 0-0 0. Totals 22 27-33 75.


3 Pt. FG – Plymouth 6-15 (Felke 2), NorthWood 4-8 (Miranda 2).

Rebounds – Plymouth 20 (Eveland 6), NorthWood 27 (Fox 9).

Assists – Plymouth 9 (Barron 4), NorthWood 16 (Linville 11).

Steals – Plymouth 8 (Eveland 3), NorthWood 3 (Miranda 2).

Turnovers – Plymouth 9, NorthWood 3.

Fouls (Fouled Out) – Plymouth 23, NorthWood 15