PLYMOUTH-It was a slow start for the “new looked” Plymouth Pilgrims this year in their season opener on Saturday night against the Bremen. But in the end, the Pilgrims win 46-27 over their county foes.
“Yea, anytime you graduate four starters from last year, your not quite sure what to expect in your first game of the season. We have high expectations but reality is we are an inexperienced team. But I like our make-up.”, said Plymouth Coach Kevin Stuckmeyer.
That “make-up” showed signs of good things to come for Coach Stuckmeyer despite shooting a lowly 1/7 in the first quarter.
“Open game jitters, I think was the case in the first half.”, said Stuckmeyer. “Again three out of our five starters were playing their first game on the varsity and in front of several hundred Pilgrim fans.”
Pilgrims got a spark off the bench from junior-Ryan McNeil who scored his first points on varsity with a 10 foot jumper, then preceded to hit back-to-back three pointers to spread the Pilgrim lead. By the end of the second quarter, McNeil and Senior-Sean Smith combined for 14 pts in the quarter to give the Pilgrims a 23-11 halftime lead.
“Ryan will be getting playing time simply due to his work ethic. There is no player on this roster that put in more gym time during the off-season than Ryan. He really worked on his shot, we just need to improve his defense, although he didn’t hurt us at any point tonight!”, said Coach Stuckmeyer.
McNeil continued his shooting consistency by hitting his first two three-point shots he took to begin the third quarter. Plymouth went to outscore the Lions 13-7 in the third quarter.
“I was pleased how we continued to improve defensively quarter by quarter. Maybe a slight let down in the fourth quarter but still. Coach Hanyzewski is going to like his group as the season goes on because they are a scrappy team. We beat a pretty good Lions team tonight.”, added Stuckemeyer.
Stuckmeyer continued, “We really get a test this Tuesday night against Triton. They have everyone back it looks like. They have the potential to run you right out of the gym if you don’t play defense against them. So we don’t have a lot time to enjoy this win but it will help our confidence going into Tuesday night.”
BY THE NUMBERS:
Leading Scorers: Plymouth: Ryan McNeil: 16 pts….6/6 fg….4/4-3′s…0/1 ft….17:16
Bremen: Ethan Pike: 10 pts….2/3 fg….2/2-3′s…4/4 ft….17:22
Shooting: Plymouth: 16/29 (55%) Bremen: 7/24 (29%)
Rebounds: Plymouth: 20 Bremen: 21
Turnovers: Plymouth: 15 Bremen: 22
Points off Turnovers: Plymouth: 17 Bremen: 14