PLYMOUTH – It was senior night at Plymouth and it would be a highlight night for senior Clare Sheedy as Plymouth took a 44-33 win over Culver Academy.
For the second straight game, Sheedy went off on the offensive end following a 22 point performance Saturday at Wawasee with a 19 point six rebound performance to lead the Pilgrims in the win.
“She has figured a few things out,” said Plymouth head coach Micaela Schalliol of her senior post player. “When we went to Wawasee she really stepped up, she had a solid week in practice, she’s doing exactly what she needs to do at the right time. It makes it really tough for teams to defend us with two posts that are solid and that’s where all our offense came from tonight.”
The other half of Plymouth’s “twin towers” – Taylor Delp – had 13 points and five rebounds on the night.
“This is what Clare was capable of all year and we’re just glad it’s coming out of her,” said Schalliol. “There’s a lot we want to accomplish and she will be a big part of that success.”
“I guess I just had an epiphany that it has to be now or never, this is my senior year,” said Sheedy. “I just have to step up for my team. We want to win a sectional and I have to step up offensively for us to do that. My teammates are making me better every day and I’m happy I’m showing what I’ve been capable of.”
A team effort by CGA kept them in the game until late with some hot shooting from both Dionna Craig and Brighton Bird at different points in the game and some solid play in the middle from Taylor Bowen and Madi Miller.
“A lot of what we talked about is that we have to finish possessions,” said Academy head coach Bill Murchie. “We’d defend well for 25 seconds and they’d get a shot up and we wouldn’t box out. You give good teams opportunities and they are going to take advantage of them. They kept possessions alive and we just couldn’t finish.”
“We are young and at the same time not young,” said Murchie. “We lost a whole year because of COVID last year. We are young in that sense and we are just trying to learn how to win and get better every day.”
The Eagles had a prime opportunity coming out after half and getting to the free-throw line putting themselves in bonus opportunities by the second half of the third quarter. In the fourth, they were able to pressure some turnovers from the Pilgrims. Plymouth turned the ball over just five times in the first three quarters and then seven times in the fourth quarter alone.
“There were a lot of positives tonight but there are things that we need to fine-tune,” said Schalliol. “Taking care of the basketball at the end of the game is one, knocking down free throws is another. Those are the two things in close games that really matter and those are the two things that we need to get better at.”
Plymouth (13-8) will be on the road Thursday at Northridge in a game with big NLC significance. Culver Academy is 10-10 and is at home against Marquette on Thursday.
at Plymouth
Plymouth 9 22 34 44
CGA 9 14 26 33
Plymouth (44) – Himes 0 0-0 0, Hunter 1 0-0 3, E. Jones 4 0-2 4,Delp 6 1-3 13, M. Mann 0 0-0 0, L. Jones 1 0-0 2, Dragani 0 2-4 2, Miller 0 1-4 1, Sheedy 8 3-3 19. Totals 18 7-16 44.
CGA (33) – Craig 3 0-0 9, Bird 2 0-1 6, Orendain 0 1-2 1, Spiller 1 0-0 2, Seddelmeyer 0 3-4 3, Bowen 2 5-7 10 Mille3r 1 0-0 2. Totals 9 9-15 33.
3 Pt. FG – CGA 6 (Craig 3), Plymouth 1 (Hunter).
Rebounds – CGA 16 (Craig, Bowen, Miller 4), Plymouth
Assists – CGA 3 (Orendain 2), Plymouth 14 (Dragani 6).
Steals – CGA 5 (Bowen, Miller 2), Plymouth 9 (L. Jones 3).
Turnovers – CGA 13, Plymouth 14.