When facing the #8 team in Class 3A, with one of the States’ best players, the last thing you want to have happen is cold shooting from the floor is key times of the ballgame. That’s what happened to the Pilgrims (16-6) in the 71-54 loss to the Knights (18-3).
“We needed to hit from outside and just couldn’t for one reason or another. But I really felt our boys (Plymouth) played as about as good defensively a team can against that team (Mishawaka Marian).”, said Head Coach Ryan Bales.
Plymouth struggled shooting from outside going 7/25 for the ballgame.
“Even though we struggled from outside during the whole game, it was the first quarter that really did us in.”, added Bales. “The Knights had two major runs that we never recovered from. We had our chances but could not take advantage of them. Which makes the loss tougher to swallow.”
The Pilgrims lose five Seniors, Ryan McNeil, John Ruff, Conner Flynn, Kyle Kaser, and Hayden Skirvin.
“We don’t finish 16-6 if these guys don’t buy into my system of playing hard on every possession. They did which is why we finished as well as we did. At the beginning of the season, I kept hearing this team was going to be a 6 to 7 win team. Well, we proved them wrong. I just want to thank our Seniors for making this a great season for us.”, added Bales.
Seven players should return next year for the Pilgrims, with some needed experience behind them.
“I feel this off-season will be crucial to set up next year. I think we have a very good foundation coming back. I want this group to become a “great” foundation by the start of the season.”, said Bales.
Coach Bales, who collected his 100th career win against CMA in the Sectional match, is already preparing for win 101 come next November.