PLYMOUTH – While there were many positive things to take away from Friday night’s game it will still be tough to swallow as Plymouth’s Pilgrims matched NorthWood blow for blow for nearly 28 minutes but came away with a 66-62 overtime loss to start the NLC season.


“We had good looks offensively,” said Plymouth head coach Ryan Bales. “Those are shots we need to take. We didn’t hit enough tonight. On top of that we didn’t get great offensive rebounding. When you don’t hit the three’s and you don’t get great offensive rebounding that’s a tough combination.”


It was a night that saw many stories but one of the biggest was two of the area’s best guards going at each other in a classic battle. Nick Felke hooked up with NorthWood’s Vince Miranda in a struggle that went to the end of the overtime period. Both led their teams in points and assists with Felke adding four steals to pace the game in that category.


“Nick Felke did an oustanding job on Vince Miranda just locking him up and took it from him,” said Bales. “We haven’t seen anybody do that to him all year. A couple of those defensive situations gave us a couple of extra possesions we come down and get a couple of quick buckets. Just not enough.


“It’s two guys that have been going at it quite awhile and two guys that didn’t want their teams to quit, just two great competitors.”


Neither put up eye popping numbers early in points, Miranda with just two in the first half and Felke with five but each saved their best for last, putting up big numbers in the closing minutes.


Trailing by as much as 10 points the Pilgrims fought back in another game where no lead seemed safe. The experienced Panthers were able to jump out time and again but the Pilgrims refused to go away.


“We had chances where the game could have been lost but we continued to claw back and fight,” said Bales. “We really did everything but win the game. We felt like we battled our guts out and they just made a few more plays down the stretch. Had a little better execution.


“Our kids didn’t flinch. There were times there were two or three possessions there, I think we came out of one time out down by 10 points and we go on a huge run and get great response from our guys, just making plays.”


It came down to simple things, who won the boards (NorthWood had 32 rebounds to the Pilgrims 21) which resulted in extra Panther opportunities.


“I think back to some rebounds, and we had a couple possessions in the first half where they got some extra shots,” said Bales. “Those are things we have to finish. Especially if we go with a smaller lineup. There’s always room for improvement.”


“(Garrett) Tharp has been solid all year and Travis Owen gave us solid minutes off the bench. I think (Cole) Filson gave us solid minutes coming in there. That first half when we went Owen and Filson we went on a big run. For the most part we did a pretty good job with one on one defense on the ball all night.”


Plymouth is 5-2 on the year and NorthWood stays unbeaten at 5-0.



Score by Quarters

NorthWood 17 24 42 53 66

Plymouth 15 23 37 53 62


NorthWood (66) – Lucas Zurcher 7 5-8 21, Vincent Miranda 8 2-2 21, Brad Delio 0 0-0 0, DeAndre Smart 0 0-0 0, Caleb Glick 2 0-0 5, Caleb Lung 5 2-2 12, Trey Bilinski 2 2-3 7. Totals 24 11-15 66.


Plymouth (62) – Clay Hilliard 2 0-0 5, Cam Dennie 5 1-2 13, Ryan Carmichael 1 0-0 3, Nick Felke 6 0-1 15, Travis Owen 1 0-0 2, Kadin McCrammer 3 0-0 8, Cole Filson 0 0-0 0, Garrett Tharp 5 4-4 14. Totals 23 7-9 62.


3 Pt. FG – NorthWood 7-15 (Miranda 3), Plymouth 9-28 (Felke 3).

Rebounds – NorthWood 32 (Zurcher 8), Plymouth 21 (Dennie, Felke, McCrammer 4).

Assists – NorthWood 13 (Miranda 5), Plymouth 16 (Felke 6).

Steals – NorthWood 3 (Zurcher 2), Plymouth 10 (Felke 4).

Turnovers – NorthWood 14, Plymouth 7.

Fouls (Fouled Out) – Plymouth 13, NorthWood 11.