FelkeMISHAWAKA – It was another tale of two nights as Plymouth’s Pilgrims again rebounded from a disappointing Friday night loss to post an impressive Saturday night win on the road at Mishawaka 61-57.

The night began with a shake up as Plymouth head coach Ryan Bales made the decision to start all five of his seniors, Nick Felke, Ryan Carmichael, Dyllon Pavey, Travis Owen and Tyler Games, hoping to spark a focus and energy that was lacking in the first four minutes a night before.

“I’m proud of our kids all the credit goes to them,” said Bales. “We felt we needed to shake it up a little. I give them credit – those five seniors – first of all they are the greatest team mates. They work their tails off every night, they pull for every single player at every given time. If I’m a senior getting a chance to get out there I’m going to set the tone. They did exactly what I wanted them to do, what I expected them to do. And I think our young kids picked up on it.”

Pavey and Games each took charges in the game’s opening minutes and Pavey scored the first points of the game as the Pilgrims made a huge turn around. The Cavemen were far from uninspired as well and in spite of Plymouth’s focus found a way to deal blows of their own to keep the game back and forth.

“Its physical and some things aren’t going to go our way,” said Bales. “I thought we showed great composure.  As well as we played early on we were down. I thought Mishawaka came out and I think that might be the best they’ve shot the ball.

“I thought our defense tonight was for the most part pretty solid inside the three point line. Part of our game plan was we wanted to force them to shoot threes and give them credit they stepped up and hit them.”

The Pilgrims found a way to make some threes of their own when Mishawaka surprise the Pilgrims in a zone defense in the second period. Felke, Clay Hillard and Cam Dennie hit big shots beating the zone from the outside and stretching the Pilgrims lead that would remain double digits until the waning seconds.

On a night that started with senior energy it was another senior having a milestone game. Nick Felke score his 1000th point as a Pilgrim in the game at the 2:50 mark of the second quarter. For Felke it was more than a milestone, it was an exclamation point as he also had eight assists and four rebounds to go with his 22 point night.

“Nick really asserted himself and found ways to get to the basket,” said Bales. “To see him get assists tonight, last night he did not do that as well. Tonight he was seeing the drop off passes and the open guys. Whatever he had tonight hopefully we can bottle it up for the rest of the way. Not just the points but his defense on the ball, he was definitely zeroed in tonight.”

Plymouth is 10-7 and has a Thursday night game with Goshen. Mishawaka falls to 5-10.

Score by Quarters

Plymouth 17  33  47  61

Mishawaka  14  27  38  57

Plymouth (61) – Benji Nixon 0 0-0 0, Clay Hilliard 3 2-4 11, Cam Dennie 1 1-2 4, Ryan Carmichael 0 0-0 0, Nick Felke 8 5-5 22, Nathan Patterson 2 2-3 6, Travis Owen 1 0-0 2, Kadin McCrammer 3 0-0 8, Dyllon Pavey 1 0-0 2, Cole Filson 0 0-0 0, Tyler Games 0 0-0 0, Garrett Tharp 3 0-1 6. Totals 22 10-17 61.

Mishawaka (57) – Payton Johnson 0 0-0 0, Grant Jablonski 0 0-0 0, Luke Shively 3 1-1 8, Sam Shively 5 4-5 19, John Binion 5 5-5 15, Tre Sean Jeffries 0 0-0 0, Kenny Meniefield 0 0-0 0, Dylan Hall 4 2-2 11, Devin Wakes 2 0-0 4. Totals 19 12-13 57.

Rebounds – Plymouth 19 (McCrammer 5), Mishawaka 22 (Binion 8).

Assists – Plymouth 15 (Felke 8), Mishawaka 12 (Jefferies 4).

Steals – Plymouth 5 (Dennie 2), Mishawaka 5 (L. Shively 4).

Turnovers – Plymouth 9, Mishawaka 8.

Fouls (Fouled out) – Plymouth 15, Mishawaka 18.