PLYMOUTH – It seems that Cam Eveland wants to play a little more basketball before his senior season is over.

The Plymouth guard had 24 points and six rebounds to lead the Pilgrims to a come from behind 68-63 win over South Bend Clay to move on to the sectional semi-final on Friday night.

The Pilgrims were far from sharp in the first quarter as the Colonials crashed the offensive boards and forced turnovers to run out to a 17-7 lead at the first break. That’s when Eveland decided to take matters into his own hands. He hit ten points in the second eight minutes as the Pilgrims clawed their way back to within five at the half 30-25.

“It seems sometimes we just need somebody to get us going, he was definitely the guy tonight,” said Plymouth head coach Ryan Bales. “He just took it to the basket, he was just being aggressive and he just looked like a senior who didn’t want to go home. It kind of woke the rest of us up and we were able to get our energy level going and we were finally able to get some stops, but not just stops, stops with rebounds which is a huge key against a team like that.”

The Pilgrims could do little of either of those things in the first quarter but after Eveland’s second quarter eruption – and a discussion in the locker room – the Pilgrims seemed to be a different team from the third quarter on. After a big three pointer from Brayden Davidson in front of the Plymouth student section, the momentum for the Pilgrims was irresistible.

While Clay was able to grab 20 offensive rebounds – an eye popping stat – Plymouth was able to overcome it. A big reason, an outstanding team effort.

“They played off one another very well,” said Bales of his team. “Brayden (Davidson) came in and made some big plays for us off the bench, (Garrett) Tharp made some big plays off the bench, really everybody who played contributed in some way. Nick (Felke) had a little bit of a struggle there for a quarter and a half but he got more aggressive. It was just a great team win.”

Offensive execution was a big key, but the Plymouth coach pointed to “Plymouth Basketball” i.e. doing the little things well, that led to the victory.

“I like to say it’s always defense that gets us started,” he said. “I think we were a little slow jumping to loose balls in the first quarter, we were getting stops but we weren’t jumping for the rebounds and against a team like that if you don’t jump for rebounds you’re in trouble. I think we got a little faster to loose balls, we were fortunate that we were able to get them in foul trouble in both halves and were able to chip away getting to the free throw line.

“We were 21-24 from the line which was one of our better efforts, but again it was because we were very aggressive. They are a scary team, but I think our discipline and our composure won out tonight.”

Plymouth (15-8)  lives to fight another day taking on XXXX in the second semi-final game on Friday night.


Score by Quarters

Plymouth 7  25 45 68

Clay  17 30 39 63

Plymouth (68) – Barron 1 0-0 2, Eveland 6 11-12 24, Carmichael 0 0-0 0, Felke 4 8-9 16, Anders 6 2-3 14, Friar 3 0-0 6, Davidson 2 0-0 6, Tharp 0 0-0 0. Totals 22 21-24 68.

Clay (63) – Sheppard 4 2-2 11, A. Johnson 0 0-0 0, Jalen Johnson 1 0-0 2, Rick Coleman 2 0-0 4, Jahmyr Johnson 9 1-3 19, Beane 6 2-2 14, Allen 1 0-1 2, Auston 1 0-0 3, Hill 3 0-0 6. Totals 27 5-8 63.

3 Pt. FG – Plymouth 3-7 (Davidson 2), Clay 4-20 (Coleman 2).

Rebounds – Plymouth 23 (Eveland, Felke 6), Clay 32 (Sheppard, Jalen Johnson 7).

Assists – Plymouth 10 (Felke 6), Clay 13 (Jalen Johnson 5).

Steals – Plymouth 7 (Felke 3), Clay 13 (Jalen Johnson, Jahmyr Johnson 4).

Turnovers – Plymouth 17, Clay 15.

Fouls (Fouled out) – Plymouth 11, Clay 23 (Sheppard).