In Girls Basketball week, there’s a familiar game on the boys schedule that is circled on the calander. Warsaw! Last Thursday represented the match-up between two conference foes that transcends decades of great basketball, including the honor of having one of Indiana’s longest rivalries. By games end, it lived up the hype as a blocked shot with one second left, lifted the Pilgrims to a 57-56 win over the Tigers.
“That last quarter we had to cause chaos; we had to make plays,” said Plymouth coach Ryan Bales. “The group we had out there was tired. We didn’t quit until the final buzzer. To put ourselves in that position it was our guys scrapping and fighting. We found a way to get to the basket and get to the free throw line. I don’t know what happened, but we got the win, that’s all I know.”
That “real” choas started with :50 seconds left and the Pilgrims had taken a lead on a Mack Mercer pass to David Lee in the paint that resulted in a 57-56 with only a little over :07 on the clock, Warsaw in-bounded, ran the floor and got the ball in the hands of John Swanson for what looked like the game winning lay-up, but Mack Mercer blocked the shot which was contested by Warsaw as goal-tending, as the horn sounded.
If you were a basketball fan, no matter what team, you enjoyed this game. “Chaotic” is the BEST word to describe play in that fourth quarter.
“When you are in that situation — Warsaw was hitting 3s, they were on fire — we told them you can’t worry about getting beat,” said Bales. “You have to deny hard. Our kids trapped at the right time, we made some deflections and they (Warsaw) started to get on their heels, holding the ball as opposed to the third quarter when they were swinging it side to side playing confident.”
Plymouth (15-3) will travel to Culver Academy Tuesday night. WTCA Pre-Game Show begins around 7PM.