PLYMOUTH – It’s now four in a row for Plymouth’s Pilgrims as they’ve rebounded from a mid season slump to take another win, this time a convincing 68-29 victory over Wawasee.
The Pilgrims jumped out to a quick 12-0 lead and never looked back on the early offensive surge of Cole Filson who drove to the basket with authority on the first play of the game and had Plymouth’s first nine points in spurring his team to never look back. Filson ended the night with 12 points.
“To play a team that likes to slow it down it’s important to get off to a quick start and Cole (Filson) was a big part of that early,” said Plymouth coach Ryan Bales. “He finished strong. When we can get him going early it opens up a lot of things for our other shooters and Cole had a great game tonight.”
It became even more important as Plymouth post Garrett Tharp came out of a scrum under the basket on the third play of the game with a gash on his forehead that required five stitches to close. While he was getting sewed up Payton Skirvin and Brayson Leazenby were forced to take on Wawasee’s Trevon Coleman and did a masterful job in holding down the Warriors top player.
“Credit goes to (Garrett) Tharp and (Payton) Skirvin and (Brayson) Leazenby down low,” said Bales of his post players effort. “We kept running all three guys at him. Garrett went out with the stitches early but the way Payton and Brayson have played we have full confidence that they are going to go out and compete hard and not let him get to the block. I don’t think we had any kind of let down.”
The Pilgrim defense never gave Wawasee a moment’s peace forcing 22 turnovers as their full court pressure took the game to the Warrior guards and kept Coleman far away from his comfort zone under the basket. He ended the night with nine points.
“They are a little short handed with injuries and sickness,” said Bales. “I know they had to put some guys in new roles tonight, but the game plan was to take away (Trevon) Coleman and I thought we did that. We got some things in the full court, we had a great team effort.”
The Pilgrims also got an outstanding performance from Clay Hilliard. In addition to a hot shooting night with five of seven from behind the arc on his way to 28 points, Hilliard ended the night with four rebounds and five steals.
Kadin McCrammer distributed the ball with six assists and added four rebounds.
“I thought we played the game the right way,” said Bales. “It would have been easy in that second half to lose composure and get away from what we did. It would have been easy to come out and say ‘go and get yours’ but we didn’t. The first possession of the second half we had a great ball reversal and got something going down the lane. I was proud of the way our guys played tonight.”
“We felt like we were prepared for two of the three defenses. I just don’t think we beat ourselves.”
Plymouth moves to 9-6 on the year and Wawasee is now 3-10.
•PLYMOUTH 68, WAWASEE 29
Wawasee 5 12 27 29
Plymouth 15 30 53 68
Wawasee (29) – Wegener 1 0-0 3, Millwer 4 1-1 11, boyer 1 0-0 2, Edington 0 0-0 0, Coleman 3 1-1 9, Hardy 1 2-2 4. Totals 10 4-4 29.
Plymouth (68) – Nixon 0 1-2 1, Hilliard 8 7-8 28, Carmichael 1 0-0 2, Filson 5 1-1 12, Zeigler 1 0-0 2, McCrammer 2 0-0 6, Tremaine 0 1-2 1, Reichard 2 4-4 9, Skirvin 0 1-2 1, Tharp 3 0-0 6. Totals 22 15-20 68.
3 Pt. FG – Wawasee 5-19 (Miller, Coleman 2), Plymouth 9-15 (Hilliard 5).
Rebounds – Wawasee 18 (Coleman 6), Plymouth 27 (McCrammer, Leazenby, Tharp 4).
Assists – Wawasee 2 (Wegener, Hardy), Plymouth 15 (McCrammer 6).
Steals – Wawasee 4 (Coleman 2), Plymouth 11 (Hilliard 5).
Turnovers – Wawasee 22, Plymouth 7.
Fouls (Fouled out) – Wawasee 18, Plymouth 13.