PLYMOUTH – They say that Rome wasn’t built in a day but Plymouth’s Lady Pilgrims took just four to become a completely different team. Unfortunately the outcome was similar Saturday as they dropped their third game but this time in overtime to Michigan City 53-47.
Just four days ago the Lady Pilgrims struggled at nearly every phase of the game in a loss to a very talented Marian team but Saturday Plymouth made a very talented team in the Lady Wolves do the struggling.
“We are different than we were a week ago and I think in another week you’re going to see a different team than you saw today,” said head coach Dave Duncan. “We have the potential to keep being better as the season goes on. There will be some highs and lows with it just like any team but I was proud of our effort.”
“The nice thing about it is that we look around our locker room right now and there isn’t a happy kid in there,” he said. “They are starting to get it. They don’t want to lose ball games and they want to compete and get better and we are taking the right steps to do that.”
The difference was in the small things like cutting and passing and a renewed vigor on defense that kept Michigan City – a team that was winning by an average score of 71-26 – to just 42 in regulation and forced them out of their comfort zone.
“We changed just a couple of things in the way we handle things,” said Duncan. “Our pass fakes were better today, our decision making was pretty good.”
The staple of the Lady Pilgrims has always been defense and while Divison I recruit Trinity Thompson carried the Wolves with 29 points and 12 rebounds, Plymouth made equally talented outside threat Kaitlyn Halfacre disappear for pretty much the entire game. Credit that to an outstanding defensive performance from defensive specialist Emma Cook.
“We have to do a little better job of guarding one person (Thompson),” said Duncan. “But we took (Kaitlyn) Halfacre out of the game. Emma Cook is such a warrior. She’s five foot nothing and weighs maybe 90 pounds and she was the biggest warrior on the floor. She did a great job of disrupting their offense and getting them out of rhythm a little bit.”
“It’s a sectional opponent, we should have at least a little confidence now going into the tournament,” said Duncan. “We’ve played them and know what to expect,” he said. “We are only going to get better.”
Tallulah Gault continued her hot hand leading the Lady Pilgrims in scoring for the third straight game pouring in 21 and leading the way with eight rebounds. Taylor Delp had eight of nine from the free-throw line and had six rebounds.
Playmaker Lindsay Janus – quiet for most of the game – exploded at crunch time to lead a 24 point fourth quarter for Plymouth to grab the tie. Trailing by 10 at the third quarter break, Janus had five of her eight points with four rebounds, three assists and four steals in the final eight minutes.
The Lady Pilgrims couldn’t capitalize on a chance to take the lead with around a minute to play and forced to foul the Wolves were able to extend that lead to the close.
“We aren’t a super experienced team but during time outs we were talking about things that we needed to do and the little things that we talked about they took them into the game,” said Duncan. “It gave us a chance to get to overtime.”
“We are still a little bit passive on the offensive end and we have to work that out,” he said. “I think in two weeks you are going to see a team that is completely different than the one you saw today. I think you will see a team that keeps growing defensively and believing in themselves. I think we are heading in the right direction right now.”
Plymouth falls to 1-3 and will be on the floor at PHS again Saturday night against another Duneland Conference opponent Valparaiso. Michigan City stays unbeaten at 3-0.
*MICHIGAN CITY 53, PLYMOUTH 47
Plymouth 7 13 18 42 47
M. City 9 17 28 42 53
Plymouth (47) – Cook 0 2-2 4, Hunter 0 0-0 0, Janus 3 1-3 8, Delp 0 8-9 8, Dragani 2 0-0 5, Gault 9 1-3 21, DeJarnett 0 0-0 0, Sheedy 1 0-0 2. Totals 16 12-17 47.
M. City (53) – Sanders 4 0-2 8, Halfacre 4 3-3 13, Kelly 1 0-0 2, Smallwood 0 0-0 0, Thompson 8 10-15 29, Santana 0 0-0 0. Totals 17 13-20 53.
3 Pt. FG – Plymouth 4 (Gault 2), M. City 5 (Thompson 3).
Rebounds – Plymouth 29 (Gault 8), M. City 30 (Thompson 12).
Assists – Plymouth 10 (Delp 4), M. City 4 (Thompson 2).
Steals – Plymouth 8 (Janus 4), M. City 8 (Thompson 3).
Turnovers – Plymouth 11, M. City 14.
Fouls (Fouled out) – Plymouth 15 (Cook), M. City 13.