MISHAWAKA – Plymouth’s Lady Pilgrims ended their season the way they started it, laying it on the line to the final buzzer this time falling short in round one sectional play to LaPorte 50-46.
In spite of a scrambling defense that forced 14 turnovers, Plymouth could not overcome a hot shooting night by LaPorte and in particular an outstanding performance by post player Lauren Pollock who ended the night with a double/double of 16 points and 12 rebounds.
Plymouth’s unlikely offensive star of the night Emma Cook hit a three to draw the Lady Pilgrims within three with just under a minute to play but forced to foul Plymouth could never get closer.
“They (LaPorte) shot the heck out of the ball. They came out focused,” said Plymouth head coach Dave Duncan. “They stuck us a little bit early and we battled and tied it two or three times but we could never get over the hump. It seemed like every time we had a good swing they would come back and they’d score.”
LaPorte shot 55 percent as a team on the night and 60 percent in front of the arc. Plymouth on the other side shot just 44 percent on the night and 37 percent inside of the three-point line.
“We came down and countered some shots and even had a chance to take a lead a couple of times,” said Duncan. “We just couldn’t get the shot to fall. They were sharp tonight. They put the ball in the basket.”
Plymouth fell behind by as much as seven in the first quarter and ended the first break down by five. By halftime, they had whittled the Slicers lead to just three where it would stay for most of the final two quarters.
Quickly out of the locker room, Plymouth tied it at 24 at 5:05 and again at 28 at 3:07 in the third but could never take a lead with several opportunities.
Taylor Delp gave the Pilgrims an offensive spark and Clare Sheedy had key flashes as well but LaPorte always seemed to find an answer defensively.
The Lady Pilgrims were never really able to find an answer of their own for Pollock.
“Last time we played them she got in a little foul trouble but she was a big factor for them tonight,” said Duncan. “We talked about little things like making sure that we got a hip on her every time she shot but she was able to get second and third putbacks and she was big for them.”
LaPorte ended the night with a big advantage on the boards with 26 to just 12 for Plymouth.
Plymouth’s seniors – Tallulah Gault, Kenzie Dejarnatt, Emma Cook, and Lindsay Janus – went out fighting as Cook had a breakthrough night shooting the ball hitting three big threes on her way to 11 points. Lindsay Janus also had 11 with six assists and four rebounds.
“You prepare for a lot of things but as a coach that’s something that you never prepare for,” said Duncan. “All of those seniors have been tremendous for our program, whether it was a contribution on the court, in practice, all four of those kids have competed. They play so hard all the time and they left it on the court tonight.”
Plymouth ends their season at 11-10.
*LaPORTE 50, PLYMOUTH 46
Plymouth 10 19 30 46
LaPorte 15 22 33 50
Plymouth (46) – Cook 4 0-0 11, Hunter 0 0-0 0, Janus 4 2-2 11, Delp 4 1-3 9, Dragani 1 0-0 3, Gault 1 0-0 3, Sheedy 4 1-3 9. Totals 18 4-8 46.
LaPorte (50) – Biggers 3 0-1 8, Shreves 2 0-0 4, Theim 3 0-0 6, Hartsburg 1 0-0 2, Ott 5 3-4 14, Schreeg 0 0-0 0, Pollock 6 4-5 16. Totals 20 7-10 50.
Rebounds – LaPorte 26 (Pollock 12), Plymouth 12 (Delp 6).
Assists – LaPorte 10 (Schreeg 3), Plymouth 10 (Janus 6).
Steals – LaPorte 2 (Pollock, Ott), Plymouth 6 (Cook, Janus 2).
Turnovers – LaPorte 14, Plymouth 7.