PLYMOUTH — It was a rare Monday night game for Plymouth’s Pilgrims and while the defense continues to inspire the offense left nothing to write home about again as the Goshen Red Hawks took a 45-31 NLC win over Plymouth.
The Pilgrims were aware of the guard play of the Red Hawks, especially junior and three-year starter at point guard Drew Hogan, but Plymouth never really found an answer for the Goshen playmaker who ended the night with 25 points.
“We knew that coming in, he’s a veteran guard and does a lot of great things,” said Plymouth head coach Ryan Bales. “He got loose a couple of times and he’s a kid that will make you pay and we didn’t have an answer quick enough for him.”
Hogan was most of the offense in the first half hitting 13 of Goshen’s first 16 points.
The Pilgrims got solid minutes defensively but with leading scorer, Easton Strain still sidelined the points have been coming at an even greater premium.
“Our kids continue to fight, Feece and Aker continue to give us good minutes especially defensively,” said Bales. “(Owen) Yoder getting in foul trouble didn’t help. He’s been scoring some the past few games, he was in double digits on Saturday.”
Goshen was able to stretch the lead to 10 right before half, but Plymouth chipped away quickly in the third until a big play on an offensive rebound by Goshen’s Quinn Bechtel put three on the board at a key moment.
Rebounding, especially offensive rebounds, would be an issue again for the Pilgrims who were outrebounded 27-15.
“Our kids hung around,” said Bales. “We get it back to six in the third and they get a big play on the ‘and one’ that was off an offensive rebound and that really ended up being a backbreaker for us.
“The timeliness of some of them (offensive rebounds) is really hard,” he said. “Teams are capitalizing on our miscues on the rebounds. Give them (Goshen) a lot of credit they made the plays.”
Plymouth would fight back but could never cut into the Goshen advantage. Davis Wray had a strong second half adding some offensive punch with decisive drives to the basket. He ended the night with eight points and four rebounds.
“I thought Davis (Wray) responded in the second half being a little tougher which we really need out of him,” said Bales. “He got aggressive, got to the paint still played under control. He’s one of the kids that we have who can break people off the dribble and I thought he did that especially in the second half.”
Still, Plymouth could not capitalize on some great opportunities unable to finish with points in spite of good looks at a shot.
“We had some good looks,” said Bales. “I really don’t know what we have to do to make the ball go in the basket. I wish I had an answer. We might have responded a little differently. It’s tough to watch us hang around and you just want to see that shot go in, get that clutch shot to fall and we just haven’t been able to do that.”
Plymouth falls to 2-16 for the season and will take on rival Warsaw at home on Friday night.
•GOSHEN 45, PLYMOUTH 31
Plymouth 8 14 25 31
Goshen 13 24 34 45
Plymouth (31) — Caden Weidner 0 0-0 0, Cam Weidner 1 2-2 5, Bales 3 0-0 8, Yoder 2 0-0 4, Wray 4 0-0 8, Feece 1 1-1 3, Aker 0 0-0 0, Mills 0 0-0 0, Sheely 1 1-1 3. Totals 12 4-4 31.
Goshen (45) — Hogan 9 3-5 25, Alford 0 0-0 0, Subera 0 0-0 0, Hill 3 1-1 9, Bechtel 1 2-3 4, Worthman 0 2-2 2, Sawatsky 1 0-0 3, Williams 0 0-0 0, Weiss 1 0-0 2. Totals 15 8-11 45.
3 Pt. FG — Plymouth 3 (Bales 2), Goshen 7 (Hogan 4).
Rebounds — Plymouth 16 (Cam Weidner 4), Goshen 27 (Hill 7).
Assists — Plymouth 7 (Cam Weidner 4), Goshen 9 (Bechtel 5).
Steals — Plymouth 4 (Feece 2), Goshen 4 (Bechtel 2).
Turnovers — Plymouth 10, Goshen 14.
Fouls (Fouled out) — Plymouth 13, Goshen 10.