MISHAWAKA — It was not one that you would write home about as Plymouth took one on the chin at Mishawaka Marian by a final of 64-43.
The pressure defense of the Knights was too much for the Pilgrims as the full court trap forced 21 turnovers in the game, 12 in the first half, and allowed Marian to get baskets in transition and run out to a big first-quarter lead that they would never relinquish.
“They are very well-coached, they play hard,” said Plymouth head coach Ryan Bales. “It’s tough to simulate things in practice but the bottom line is that we are just challenging our group to step up and fight.”
“We are playing hard we do some good things in moments,” he said “We’ve said that every single game but I don’t know that we have ever once had five guys on the floor at once that all fight together.”
Plymouth’s Nolan Bales carried the scoring in the first half beating the Marian zone for five out of six long-distance threes and 15 of Plymouth’s 19 points in the half.
Easton Strain took up the yoke in the second half putting in 15 of his 19 points. Strain also led the Pilgrims in rebounds.
While the Pilgrims were able to play even with the Knights in the second half, cutting down on the turnovers and matching Marian’s 24 points in the half, they could never put together a consistent run to climb back into the game.
“I don’t know that we have five guys that will compete at the level we feel they can compete at,” said Bales. “I think that’s where we are at. We can say every game that these guys play hard because they do but there is another level of fight that we haven’t figured out yet.”
Marian had a balanced attack that saw four players in double figures scoring including Deaglan Sullivan who had 14 along with five assists and three steals.
“We are young and inexperienced but you can still fight and we have to,” said Bales. “You can’t say that you are young and inexperienced and go out and let them do whatever they wanted to do and that’s what we let them do there in the first half.”
“There are times that we played defense the right way and it’s amazing what happens,” he said. “When we don’t we are asking for trouble.”
“A lot of this is we’ve got to get coached up better,” said Bales. “How we play on game night, our execution, ultimately falls a lot on me. We are challenged right now.
“Our entire coaching staff right now isn’t satisfied,” he said. “We aren’t happy where we are at. It’s not even about winning and losing right now there is just another level we see in our guys and we have to get them to see it in themselves.”
“Hopefully that belief will start to grow and we can start to play some basketball here.”
Plymouth stands at 0-4 and takes on NorthWood next Friday at home.
at Marian
Plymouth 6 19 32 43
Marian 18 40 53 64
Plymouth (43) – Weidner 1 0-0 2, Bales 5 0-0 15, Yoder 0 0-0 0, Wray 1 0-0 3, Strain 8 1-2 19, Feece 0 0-2 0, Aker 0 0-0 0, Mills 2 0-0 4, Creighbaum 0 0-0 0, DeLee 0 0-0 0. Totals 17 1-3 43.
Marian (64) – Sullivan 4 4-4 14, Thornton 3 0-0 6, Franklin 5 0-3 11, Kakalia 2 0-0 4, Taylor 3 0-0 7, Menting 2 0-0 6, Brooks 6 0-0 16. Totals 25 4-7 64.
3Pt. FG – Plymouth 8 (Bales 5), Marian 10 (Brooks 4).
Rebounds – Plymouth 17 (Strain 6), Marian 17 (Kakalia 5).
Assists – Plymouth 11 (Wray 4), Marian 14 (Sullivan 5).
Steals – Plymouth 4 (Mills 2), Marian 12 (Franklin 4).
Turnovers – Plymouth 21, Marian 9.
Fouls (Fouled out) – Plymouth 8, Marian 10.