“There’s nothing like returning home, the crowd gave us a lot of energy,” said Plymouth head coach Ryan Bales. “This was night and day from Saturday. We had a couple tough ones last week but these guys have responded all year. The only way we look past Saturday is to respond tonight. A great team effort.”
Kadin McCrammer had arguably his best game of the year – a double/double of 13 points and 13 rebounds. None of those 13 boards were bigger than the final three off missed St. Joe free throws in double overtime that helped seal the win.
“Kadin McCrammer was huge tonight,” said Bales. “He hit a big three that settled us down but I thought his rebounding was huge. Thirteen rebounds is an incredible number. I don’t remember the last time somebody had 13 rebounds for us. The mentality of him going to get it was more important than the stat. You could see he was going to be the one to get it, he was not going to let us lose the game.”
The Pilgrims had a chance to put the game away at the free throw line in the first overtime, but couldn’t make some shots fall while the Indians refused to go away hitting shots to erase a five point Plymouth lead in the final minute.
On senior night a freshman had a big impact. Sharpshooter Jake Reichard did not hit a shot from the field but buried four free throws in overtime key for the win as he traded time in Plymouth’s late game offense/defense rotation with senior Benji Nixon.
“I told Jake he got his steps in tonight going in and coming back out,” said Bales. “One day he’s going to be on the floor on the defensive end too but Benji (Nixon) is just too good a defender to not have on the floor. They understand their roles. Benji played incredible defense on (Hunter West) tonight.”
St. Joe scored the first basket and didn’t lead again until late in the fourth quarter. The Pilgrims jumped to an 11-6 lead in the first quarter with help from another senior.
“I think Payton (Skirvin) was a huge lift for us to start the game, he had a couple nice offensive rebounds early on to keep things alive and that was just huge for us,” said Bales. “We weren’t real efficient but it was those hustle plays we were able to generate that made the difference.”
“What can you say about Garrett Tharp?” said Bales. “He had a solid steady influence tonight, He played a lot of minutes, hit a few big free throws there at the end. Had some great tip ins and some huge offensive rebounds.”
Tharp wasn’t far behind McCrammer for player of the game consideration as he posted a double/double of his own with 10 points and 12 rebounds.
The Pilgrims erased the sour memory of a loss on Saturday at Penn and gained some momentum headed into a first round sectional match up against Elkhart Memorial at North Side Gym on Wednesday.
“It’s a big week coming up but we are going to enjoy tonight,” said Bales. “We went through a lot last week and we’re not going to take winning for granted. They are basically on their home court and we know we’re going to have to play our best game to beat them.”
Plymouth ends their three game skid and end the regular season at 13-9.
•PLYMOUTH 60, ST. JOE 53
St. Joe 6 22 35 42 50 53
Plymouth 11 25 35 42 50 60
St. Joe (53) – Stangebye 2 0-0 4, Powers 2 0-0 4, Robles 4 0-1 8, Ratigan 2 0-1 4, West 3 5-7 12, Konieczny 5 1-2 11, O’Dell 1 0-0 2, Terry 3 0-0 8. Totals 22 6-11 53.
Plymouth (60) – Nixon 1 1-2 3, Hilliard 9 0-5 24, Filson 1 3-4 6, McCrammer 3 5-6 13, Reichard 0 4-4 4, Tharp 4 2-4 10. Totals 18 15-25 60.
3 Pt. FG – St. Joe 3-20 (Terry 2), Plymouth 9-25 (Hilliard 6).
Rebounds – St. Joe 41 (Terry 10), Plymouth 38 (McCrammer 13).
Assists – St. Joe 6 (West 4), Plymouth 9 (Tharp 4).
Steals – St. Joe 2 (Ratigan, Konieczny), Plymouth 7 (Hilliard 3).
Turnovers – St. Joe 11, Plymouth 2.
Fouls (Fouled out) – St. Joe 19, Plymouth 11.