It was a battle from the beginning with both teams trading leads and throwing stifling intensity at the other on defense for all of the regulation period. From the third quarter on neither could walk away with a lead on the other until the end.
“I’m extremely proud of our girls. They came to battle tonight. Warsaw is a good team and they play very hard,” said Plymouth coach Dave Duncan. “I thought our kids ran our stuff well on offense. We were patient we got great shots. I thought our defense – our 1-3-1 zone – was effective at times taking them out of their rhythm on offense.”
Plymouth did that early and often as the zone look seemed to keep the Lady Tigers on their heels for much of the game, especially in the first half. Warsaw did much of the same with Emma Bohenkamper and Maddie Ryman assigned to Alli Andrews and Halle Reichard one on one, making each work hard for any looks at the basket they could manage.
“I thought everybody that was on the floor the effort was there,” said Duncan of his team. “We’ve been looking for that all year. They were all out. I appreciate that effort.”
Another area of effort that was key in the game for Plymouth was rebounding with the Lady Pilgrims holding their own even with Warsaw on the night, neutralizing a traditional Lady Tiger strong point.
“Maybe the last six games our effort on the glass has been a lot better,” said Duncan. “I felt like there were stretches early in the ball game that didn’t go our way and you think about those later in the game they come back and you realize that was a big difference.”
Plymouth had a chance to end it in regulation holding a two point lead with 6.2 seconds to play but Kacy Bragg got a shot just outside the block and banged it in at the buzzer to send it to the first overtime.
Neither team would score in the first overtime period with Plymouth killing much of the clock looking for a good shot. Both teams hit ten points in the second overtime period with the crucial blow to Plymouth a pair of three pointers – the only shots of the game for Halle Shipp, in off the bench for just the second time in the game.
In the end the story would be Kylee Patton hitting 15 of 16 free throws in the game and five of five with a three pointer in the third overtime to give Warsaw the win.
“I thought we used our bench pretty well early to keep kids fresh,” said Duncan. “We really had a great team chemistry out there today. Kids were working. They were talking. One little break and it might go another way.”
“Our goal is to be the best we are by the first of February and I think we climbing that ladder,” he said. “It’s been little steps but we’re getting there.”
Plymouth is now 7-8 on the year and have another NLC match up on Saturday with Elkhart Memorial. Warsaw moves to 11-5.
•WARSAW 68, PLYMOUTH 60
Plymouth 9 22 35 47 47 57 60
Warsaw 7 24 35 47 47 57 68
Plymouth (60) – Tanner 3 0-0 7, Holiday 0 3-4 3, Cook 0 0-0 0, Owen 0 0-0 0, Reichard 7 0-0 18, Nifong 0 2-2 2, Andrews 4 7-9 11, Quissell 0 0-0 0, Robinson 4 3-4 12. Totals 18 13-18 60.
Warsaw (68) – Ships 2 0-0 6, Ryman 4 2-2 14, Harrison 1 1-3 3, Bragg 5 2-4 12, Bohenkamper 3 0-1 7, Patton 4 15-16 26. Totals 19 20-25 68.
3 Pt. FG – Plymouth 10 (Reichard 4), Warsaw 10 (Ryman 4).
Rebounds – Plymouth 23 (Holiday 6), Warsaw 23 (Harrison 7).
Assists – Plymouth 5 (Holiday 2), Warsaw 2 (Patton 2).
Steals – Plymouth 2 (Holiday, Reichard), Warsaw 4 (Bragg 2).
Turnovers – Plymouth 9, Warsaw 9.
Fouls (Fouled Out) – Plymouth 23 (Tanner, Andrews), Warsaw 15 (Bohenkamper).