KNOX – A game that saw both teams meet defensive objectives ended with the Plymouth Pilgrims happy to come home with a hard fought 48-47 win at Knox on a Tuesday night.


The Redskins did their best to shut down Plymouth captain and leading scorer Nick Felke, and the Pilgrims made a concerted effort to do the same with Knox offensive leader Kooper Broeker.


“Offensively they do a lot of dribble penetration so our plan was to try to keep them from getting into the paint and preventing those splits,” said Knox head coach Rob Krueger. “I think it seemed it had them a little off balance.”


“I thought (Ryan Carmichael) gave us some good minutes and I thought Kadin (McCrammer) did as well off the bench,” said Plymouth head coach Ryan Bales. “Ryan (Carmichael) is proving to be one of our best one on one defenders and I thought he was really good off the ball, trying to deny the ball to Broeker. He can be very physical. He did a good job making it really difficult on him.”


Broeker ended the night with just 11 points well under his 20 per game average and the 39 he scored just a game ago against Tippecanoe Valley, but found other ways to contribute with a team leading five rebounds along with distributing the ball to team mates, especially Brendon Binkley who went off for 19 points missing just one shot on the night.


“He has great practices,” said Krueger of Binkley’s performance. “We’ve just been waiting for a night like tonight. Once he gets in a flow he’s a really good shooter especially when he gets his feet set.”


Krueger had also expressed some concern about his defense prior to the game but hoped that the performance against the Pilgrims was a sign of things to come.


“They brought it, they executed. The last game we played at Tippy Valley they did the exact opposite of what you saw out there (tonight),” he said. “Maybe they learned something from that. We have to be a good defensive team if we’re going to be any good at all. I thought we played well enough offensively to hang in there and have a chance to win in the fourth quarter but I think we went down three or four times and turned the ball over and it’s always those little plays that come back to hurt you.”


Felke was well under his scoring average too, but once again hit the crucial three that would give the Pilgrims the lead for good, and sealed the win with a pair of free throws with just :13.2 that were quite literally the difference in the game.


They did a great job on Nick and we’ve got to get to the point where we trust others,” said Bales. “We know he’s (Felke) going to respond. He’s a senior and a captain for a reason. The third quarter I think we got a little more into the game plan we wanted to. It was good to see some other guys step up. Production is an important thing and if we aren’t getting it from the guys on the court it’s tough to keep them in the rotation.”


Bales also had some concerns with his defense.


“We’re spending a lot of time in our practices right now on one on one defense and I think it’s obvious that it shows we need to work on it,” he said. “When they got really aggressive tonight we didn’t turn it up and we played tentatively and you can’t play that way. We have to get better.


Cam Dennie had his best night of the year putting in 19 points of his own adding four rebounds, assists and steals.


The Pilgrims are now 4-1 with a game at Peru on Friday. Knox falls to 2-3 and is on the road at Culver on Saturday night.


Score by Quarters

Plymouth 7 21 39 48

Knox 9 23 34 47


Plymouth (48) – Clay Hilliard 2 0-0 4,Cam Dennie 7 4-6 19, Ryan Carmichael 4 0-1 9, Nick Felke 1 3-4 6, Nathan Patterson 0 0-0 0, Travis Owen 0 0-0 0, Kadin McCrammer 1 2-3 5, Cole Filson 1 0-0 3, Garrett Tharp 1 0-0 2. Totals 17 9-14 48.


Knox (47) – Brendon Binkley 8 0-0 19, Cade Krueger 2 0-0 6, Eian Coad 1 0-0 3, Aaron Fletcher 1 1-1 3, Kooper Broeker 4 3-4 11, Brad LaRowe 4 0-1 8. Totals 20 4-6 47.


3 Pt. FG – Plymouth 5-18 (Filson, McCrammer, Felke, Carmichael, Dennie), Knox 6-16 (Binkley 3).

Rebounds – Plymouth 25 (McCrammer, Carmichael 5), Knox 28 (LaRowe 8).

Assists – Plymouth 10 (Dennie 4), Knox 13 (Coad 3).

Steals – Plymouth 10 (Dennie 4), Knox 5 (Binkley 2).

Turnovers – Plymouth 11, Knox 12.

Fouls (Fouled Out) – Plymouth 11, Knox 12.