tharpdrivePLYMOUTH – A pair of games led to a pair of wins for Plymouth’s Pilgrims as they survived a furious run by Lakeland and a defensive slugfest with Westview to sweep their contests in the Plymouth Shoot Out.


Plymouth 38, Westview 32


In the day’s highlight game two of the states storied programs faced off in a battle that highlighted defense and patience and Plymouth was able to force Westview into some very uncharacteristic bad decisions on offense in taking a win in the day’s final game.


A game that had the pace of two prize fighters standing and slugging each other to a decision ended in a wild run for the final two minutes that saw the Pilgrims hold onto a two point lead and extend in in a game that each possession was precious.


“We knew this was going to be a battle,” said Plymouth head coach Ryan Bales. “They are very physical and they screen better than anybody that we’ll play all year. They do an incredible job of running their stuff. I have to give our assistant coaches a lot of credit. At halftime they talked a lot about pushing tempo and I thought it sped up a little bit in our favor. We got some run outs and we got them to take some quick shots too. That’s something they don’t like to do.”


Westview had one of the largest leads of the night in the game’s fourth quarter when the Pilgrims changed all that.


“Our kids executed,” said Bales. “We were down by five at the time out (in the fourth quarter) and we decided to put it in Nick’s (Felke) hands. He drove it to Clay (Hilliard) just like we talked about and made a great kick and Hilliard buries a three. It was a two possession game at that time. It was a great team win tonight.”


Hilliard had a big day shooting but no bigger sequence than that particular three possession span. With a team high 10 points in the game Hillard had seven of those on those three possessions and helped the Pilgrims grab the lead they would never relinquish.


“He shot the ball a little inconsistent for him today but he still had a nice day,” said Bales. “You still trust when that shot goes up for him that it’s gonna be online or it’s going in. We’ve told him if he gets that open look we don’t want to see a shot fake we want to see it going up.”


Defense was still the story of the game and the Pilgrims continue to grow on that side of the floor.


“We’re getting there,” said Bales. “There were some times this morning (against Lakeland) when it was frustrating because I thought we were a little too nice. There are still moments when we do things like stand up on a screen and they took advantage of that. It’s the disipline of doing it on every single possession and of five guys moving together as one. That’s what we’ve been preaching. We’re getting there.”


Plymouth moves to 7-3 on the year with the two wins. Westview is now 6-3.


Plymouth 58, Lakeland 49


A shakeup in the starting lineup brought some new heroes to the front as the Pilgrims survived a tough run by Lakeland and came away with a game one win.


Early in the contest it was Garrett Tharp who came up big with nine points and six rebounds carrying the Pilgrims in the first quarter before getting in foul trouble later in the game. In fact all the Plymouth “bigs” came up big with Nate Patterson, and Tyler Games logging critical minutes and Cole Filson and Travis Owen also having a stong games.


“Cole Filson had some big minutes for us in the second half and just played really solid and we need that from him,” said Bales. “Early they were hurting us on the boards especially with their guards they were shooting a lot of threes and getting a lot of long rebounds. Nate (Patterson) really stepped up and got great minutes, especially when Travis (Owen) and Garrett got a couple of early fouls. Tyler comes to practice everyday and works hard and he didn’t hesitate and competed hard in the post.


“Those four (Filson, Patterson, Games and Owen) I was really proud of the way they stepped up and responded.”


Response was critical as Lakeland – who entered the game with just one win – gave the Pilgrims everything they could handle for three quarters. The Lakers Cameron Bontrager buried 14 points in the first half on his way to a double/double with 10 rebounds and at the 2:30 mark in the third period Lakeland led by 10. By quarters end the Pilgrims had recovered the lead by one.


“We had to find a way to speed them up, turn them over and we were able to do that during a key stretch of that third period and closed that gap pretty quick,” said Bales.


Red hot in the first half Bontrager managed just one basket and a free throw in the second half.


“You know it’s amazing that sometimes you talk and kids don’t listen,” said Bales with a smile. “We really stressed Bontrager and how good he was in the scouting report. We compared him with players like Vince Miranda (NorthWood) and Matt Strong (Glenn) as to just how good he was. Once they saw it I think they understood just how good he was and he was somebody we had to find.”


Game One

Score by Quarters

Lakeland 13 25 39 49

Plymouth 9 25 40 58


Lakeland (49) – Britain Issacs 3 3-5 11, Ian Fey 0 0-0 0, Miles Mast 0 0-0 0, Cole Harp 6 0-0 13, Tyler Holt 2 2-2 6, Jeff Patrick 1 0-0 2, Camron Bontrager 6 3-5 17,Christian Roose 0 0-0 0,Drew Grossman 0 0-0 0. Totals 18 8-13 49.


Plymouth (58) – Clay Hilliard 4 3-4 14, Cam Dennie 1 0-0 2, Ryan Carmichael 0 0-0 0, Nick Felke 5 1-2 11, Nathan Patterson 1 0-0 2, Travis Owen 3 0-0 6, Kadin McCrammer 4 0-0 9, Cole Filson 1 3-4 5, Tyler Games 0 0-0 0, Garrett Tharp 4 1-1 9. Totals 23 8-11 58.


3 Pt. FG – Lakeland 5-19 (Issacs, Bontrager 2), Plymouth 4-18 (Hilliard 3).

Rebounds – Lakeland 31 (Bontrager 10), Plymouth 24 (Tharp 6).

Assists – Lakeland 12 (Bontrager 5), Plymouth 11 (Felke 4).

Steals – Lakeland 3 (Harp, Holt, Bontrager), Plymouth 11 (Felke, McCrammer 3).

Turnovers – Lakeland 14, Plymouth 9.

Fouls (Fouled Out) – Lakeland 11, Plymouth 17.


Game Two

Score by Quarters

Westview 8 19 27 32

Plymouth 10 19 23 38


Westview (32) – Chalie Yoder 1 0-0 2, Elijah Hales 3 2-2 9,Nolin Sharick 1 0-0 2, Cody Collyer 3 2-2 9, Josh Hostetler 0 0-0 0, Lucas Yoder 1 00 2, Nic Rensberger 4 0-0 8. Totals 13 4-4 32.


Plymouth (38) – Clay Hilliard 3 2-2 10, Cam Dennie 0 0-0 0, Ryan Carmichael 2 0-0 5, Nick Felke 4 0-1 9, Nathan Patterson 0 0-0 0, Travis Owen 0 0-0 0, Kadin McCrammer 1 0-0 2, Cole Filson 1 5-5 7, Garrett Tharp 2 1-1 5. Totals 13 8-9 38.

3Pt. FG – Westview 2-11 (Hales, Collyer), Plymouth 4-11 (Hilliard 2).

Rebounds – Westview 17 (Lucas Yoder 6), Plymouth 19 (Felke 5).

Assists – Westview 4 (Hales 3), Plymouth 7 (Felke 5).

Steals – Westview 9 (C. Yoder, Sharick, Collyer 2), Plymouth 2 (Felke, McCrammer).

Turnovers – Westview 12, Plymouth 15.

Fouls (Fouled Out) – Westview 15, Plymouth 13.