PLYMOUTH – It was the one that got away for Plymouth’s Pilgrims as they won much of the night but not the game as Tippecanoe Valley was able to grab a win in the final minutes 34-28.
The Pilgrims spent nearly all the game as the leader until the 3:39 mark in the fourth quarter when the Vikings took their first lead and held on to the end for the win.
Valley’s Nolan Cumberland, silent for three quarters, came alive in a big way for the Vikings as he netted all 11 of his points in the final eight minutes including the three that would eventually be the game-winner.
“It shows where we are at right now. We have some guys that in pressure situations kind of lose their basketball I.Q.,” said Plymouth assistant coach Tony Plothow. “We are getting good looks, we are getting opportunities, we can’t hit layups, we can’t take care of the ball. We are struggling right now.”
The pace of the game was drastically different than what Plymouth had seen in two earlier games this week, with both squads content to play a half-court game and methodically work their offenses for a good shot.
Even with the “good looks”, neither team shot very well from the floor. Plymouth hit just 30 percent (9-30) with Valley connecting on 10-27 (37 percent).
The difference would be at the free-throw line where Valley hit 12 of 17. Plymouth hit 6 of 14.
Ironically it would be full-court pressure in the fourth quarter that would change the game. With 6’7″ Dawson Perkins on the point in the full-court press, Plymouth really had no answer as they made five key turnovers in the final quarter.
Early on Plymouth had the better of it finding an answer to the athletic Perkins with solid defensively play from Owen Yoder along with backside help to limit his effectiveness.
Plymouth had a balanced attack offensively with Easton Strain the only player able to get into double figures with 10. Nolan Bales had six, and Yoder had five.
Tanner Feece had six rebounds for the Pilgrims.
“Our kids are working their tails off, they are on the floor after loose balls, they are taking charges, but every mistake you make now on the defensive end is magnified because you’re only scoring 30 points a game,” said Plothow. “Every box out counts, every pass counts, and if you don’t get it, well, here we are.”
Plymouth is now 2-10 with an NLC game Friday at Concord.
*TIPPECANOE VALLEY 34, PLYMOUTH 28
Valley 4 10 16 34
Plymouth 8 13 19 28
Valley (34) – Perkins 5 3-4 13, Cumberland 3 3-4 11, Stump 1 1-2 3, Kirchenstein 0 3-5 3, Estep 1 0-0 2, Sehpherd 0 2-2 2. Totals 10 12-17 34.
Plymouth (28) – Strain 3 2-2 10, Bales 2 0-1 6, Yoder 1 3-4 5, Wray 2 0-2 4, Mills 1 0-0 2, Feece 0 1-4 1. Totals 9 6-14 28.
Rebounds – Valley 21 (Perkins 8), Plymouth 18 (Feece 6).
Assists – Valley 6, Plymouth 7 (Feece 2).
Steals – Valley 6 (Shepherd 3), Plymouth 9 (Bales 3).
Turnovers – Valley 14, Plymouth 12.
Fouls (Fouled out) – Valley 15, Plymouth 14.