PLYMOUTH — Comfortable with chaos, Michigan City’s Wolves were able to cause enough of it to walk away from Plymouth with a mid-week 59-50 win.
While Michigan City led most of the game, they never were able to run away from the Pilgrims as Plymouth fought back to single digits with three minutes to play. It was at that point the Wolves were able to take their attacking defense to another level and take home the win.
“I’m very proud of our kid’s effort,” said Plymouth coach Ryan Bales. “Our goal going in was to play with some enthusiasm and some passion, and it allows us to compete. I never for one moment questioned our competitiveness and our fight. In some of our other games earlier in the year, I’m not sure we showed the fight we are showing right now.”
That fight gave the Pilgrims a quick lead that they were able to hold for much of the first quarter but a dry spell in quarter number two gave Michigan City the cushion they would ride to the end.
The Pilgrims were able to throw some quick punches out of halftime but Michigan City absorbed them.
“I thought we strung together some good possessions there in the third quarter,” said Bales. “Then they bank in a three, hit a couple of acrobatic shots, and sometimes that’s the way they like to play. They want a crazy game. They want to crash the boards and get up and down the court.”
“We’ve come a long way in two weeks,” he said. “I know an ‘L’ goes into that column for us but Michigan City is very explosive. They are a great team and they are going to be a tough out come tournament time.”
They were a tough enough ,out on Tuesday as the Wolves took some punches again in the fourth quarter watching their lead dwindle but were able to get the tempo back in their favor with their high-pressure defense and force some key turnovers.
“You can’t relax for a second,” said Bales. “There were a few times when I think our kids thought they had a rebound secured or a pass in the middle secured. The experience part of that helps. When we did the right thing, got the ball in the right spots we did some good things tonight. We got some great efforts out of guys, our fight was there.”
“The important part of a game like this is you have to be alert,” said Bales. “If you were off the ball you had to be in the right spot. If you were on the ball you have to be alert that at any moment they can bring a random guy or knife in to get a steal. There are a lot of things that they throw at you defensively. It seems like sometimes you are playing against seven or eight guys out there. When we got sped up and dribbled the ball along the sideline that’s exactly what they want.”
Easton Strain led the Pilgrims with 16 points and 10 rebounds.
“In my mind we are a different team right now than what we were the weekend of the NorthWood and Triton games,” said Bales.
Plymouth is now 2-8 on the year with a game at home Friday night against Mishawaka. Michigan City is 8-1.
at Plymouth
Plymouth 9 13 30 50
MC 13 27 42 59
Plymouth (50) — Cam Weidner 0 4-4 4, Bales 1 1-2 3, Yoder 4 1-2 9, Wray 2 2-2 7, Strain 7 2-4 16, Feece 3 1-2 7, Aker 0 0-0 0, Mills 2 0-0 4, Caden Weidner 0 0-0 0. Totals 19 11-17 50.
MC (59) — Laurent 3 0-0 7, Sails 1 0-0 3, Watson 2 1-2 6, Hatch 3 1-2 7, Pointer 1 0-0 3, Hodges 10 2-2 23, Bush 3 2-4 10. Totals 16 6-10 59.
Rebounds — Plymouth 27 (Strain 10), MC 21 (Bush 5).
Assists — Plymouth 11 (Feece 3), MC 11 (Hodges 2).
Steals — Plymouth 1 (Strain), MC 12 (Watson 3).
Turnovers — Plymouth 24, MC 17.
Fouls (Fouled out) — Plymouth 13, MC 19