PLYMOUTH – A big win in a tough game against a very good opponent cannot be underestimated as you head to sectional time in Indiana and Plymouth’s Pilgrims got that in their final home contest of the year defeating Huntington North by a final of 45-40.
“We showed some guts tonight. We showed some toughness and that’s a game you want to see your kids win because we outworked them for most of the game,” said Plymouth head coach Ryan Bales. “You knew they (Huntington)weren’t going to quit, they have too much character on that team and their coach is a great coach, he isn’t going to quit or give in. We were fortunate to hold on.”
Hold on they did against an opponent coming in with a 16-5 record who had won nine of their last ten, their only defeat in overtime to Fort Wayne Carroll. A slow start for both teams offensively spoke to the nature of the game – a physical defensive struggle from the start that the Pilgrims were able to come away from a winner.
The tone was set by Plymouth’s seniors who were up to the physical challenge imposed by a very physical and athletic Huntington lineup.
“They get it,” said Bales, “There is a sense of urgency on their part. And that sense of urgency isn’t found in panic. It’s found in keeping composure, poise, bottom line is we played outstanding defense. Every single guy that came in played their butt off. It took every hustle play that we had – those are huge – our kids deserve the credit for that.”
“It’s been a team effort this last month of the season. When we have balance, we have other guys that are a threat to score the ball that makes us so much better. I’m very proud of our seniors they led it again on the defensive end and that’s why we were able to get the win tonight.
With the theme of seniors on senior night Nick Felke and Dyllon Pavey continued to impress but two other Plymouth seniors had big games that led to the win.
“Ryan (Carmichael) had a gutty effort. He’s playing within himself, he knows his role,” said Bales of the senior guard who was on Huntington scoring leader Hunter Hollowell for the night.
Senior Tyler Games had another assignment of stopping post presence Chazz Bruce.
“Tyler has been our most physical guy in practice and sometimes he rubs guys the wrong way but I love that, and what he did tonight was probably play his best one on one defense that he’s played also,” said Bales. “We had other guys in the right position, but that starts with your one on one defense you have to keep guys in front.”
“We’re playing our best basketball right now,” said Bales. “We’re playing with toughness which I love. It’s been a great team effort as much as possible. Overall we competed extremely hard and our kids are very deserving of it.”
The Pilgrims are 13-8 with a final game at South Bend St. Joe on Tuesday. Huntington North is now 16-6.
Score by Quarters
Huntington 5 14 21 40
Plymouth 6 21 35 45
Huntington (40) – Luke Pulver 0 0-0 0, Joe Stoffel 0 0-0 0, Sam Daugherty 2 1-2 5, Mitchell Geller 1 0-0 3, Nolan Betterly 2 0-1 4, Zach Daugherty 1 3-4 6, Hunter Hollowell 5 3-3 16, Sawyer Stoltz 0 0-0 0, Chazz Bruce 3 0-0 6. Totals 14 7-10 40.
Plymouth (45) – Clay Hilliard 3 4-4 13, Cam Dennie 1 0-0 3, Ryan Carmichael 2 1-2 6, Nick Felke 5 2-4 13, Nathan Patterson 2 0-0 4, Travis Owen 0 0-0 0, Kadin McCrammer 0 0-0 0, Dyllon Pavey 1 0-0 2, Tyler Games 0 0-0 0, Garrett Tharp 1 0-0 2. Totals 16 7-10 45.
3 Pt FG – Huntington 5-17 (Hollowell 3), Plymouth 6-17 (Hilliard 3).
Rebounds – Huntington 26 (Bruce, Betterly 5), Plymouth 17 (Felke, McCrammer 3).
Assists – Huntington 5 (Pulver 3), Plymouth 12 (Felke 9).
Steals – Huntington 5 (S. Daugherty 3), Plymouth 12 (Felke 3).
Turnovers –Huntington 14, Plymouth 12.
Fouls (Fouled out) – Huntington 16 (Z. Daugherty, Bruce), Plymouth 15.