PLYMOUTH – In a game that could make a bid to be the movie sequal “Fast and Furious 8” Plymouth’s Pilgrims fell to a determined Elkhart Memorial team by a final of 53-51.
A swarming man to man defense by Memorial’s Chargers put the Pilgrims on their heels at the opening tip and the Pilgrims only led once in the game at 2-0. Fromthere the Chargers led – by as much as 12 – and while the Pilgrims were able to fight back to tie late, they would never lead again.
“We shouldn’t be feeling very good right now,” said Plymouth coach Ryan Bales. “It’s one of those games that we deserved to lose by ten or twenty. They outhustled us, they outplayed us, they outcoached us and thats the bottom line. They wanted it more than we did tonight and we’ll see if we can show up tomorrow ready to go.”
Memorial played a wall to wall man defense that seemed to push the Pilgrims to do things that they didn’t want to do, and while the Chargers were not perfect on offense, they were good enough to force some uncharacteristic errors that led to points.
The other story of the game was on the boards as the undersized Chargers controlled the glass, most importantly the offensive boards and especially in the first half. Elkhart had 21 rebounds in the first half to Plymouth’s 12 and nine of those were on the offensive glass.
“We weren’t ready to play and that falls on me,” said Bales. “I’ll be honest we didn’t have a great week. Sometimes that plays out on game night a little bit differently. I am very disappointed in our intensity level and our fight. We showed a little there at the end but it was too little too late and that was the name of the game tonight.”
While the Pilgrims fought back from a seven point halftime deficit the Chargers hit a frenetic run that stretched their lead to 12 points in the third period. With the game threatening to get out of control the Pilgrims fought back to tie on Clay Hilliard’s crucial three pointer. Elkhart responded with a bucket by Trey Gallope.
With under :30 left on the clock the Pilgrims had at least a chance to tie but Nick Felke and Hilliard couldn’t make shots fall and the Chargers would come away with a conference win.
“We got outhustled, that’s the bottom line,” said Bales. “There’s no question who the hardest working team was and that was Memorial. That’s very disappointing from our standpoint, we have guys that have to have a sense of urgency and show a little fight and we didn’t bring it tonight.”
Hilliard ended the night with 22 points to lead all scorers. Felke had a solid all around game with 13 points and adding seven assists.
The Pilgrims go to 7-4 (0-2) on the season. Memorial is now 4-5 (2-0).
Score by Quarters
Memorial 12 27 41 53
Plymouth 4 20 32 51
Elkhart Memorial (53) – Joe Smith 2 0-1 4, Tryston Swartz 1 0-0 2, Iyan Jennings 3 1-2 7, Jose Soto 2 2-2 6, Hank Smith 5 0-0 12, Ga’Various Crawford 1 0-0 2, Latell Washington 0 0-0 0, Trey Gallope 8 4-4 20. Totals 22 7-9 53.
Plymouth (51) – Clay Hilliard 6 5-5 22, Cam Dennie 2 0-0 5, Nick Felke 5 1-2 13, Nathan Patterson 0 1-2 1, Travis Owen 2 0-0 4, Kadin McCrammer 2 0-0 4, Cole Filson 1 0-0 2, Garrett Tharp 0 0-0 0. Totals 18 7-9 51.
3 Pt. FG – Memorial 2-9 (H. Smith), Plymouth 8-23 (Hilliard 5).
Rebounds – Memorial 27 (J. Smith, Gallope 6), Plymouth 17 (Hilliard, Dennie 3).
Assists – Memorial 11 (J. Smith 6), Plymouth 13 (Felke 7).
Steals – Memorial 7 (H. Smith 2), Plymouth 6 (Dennie, Filson 2).
Turnovers – Memorial 15, Plymouth 14.
Fouls (Fouled Out) – Memorial 12, Plymouth 14.