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Pilgrims win final home contest

February 28, 2014

By Rusty Nixon

PLYMOUTH – It wasn’t pretty at times but it was basketball, and it was senior night, and it was a win as Plymouth defeated Wawasee 52-42 in their final regular season home game.

“Tonight was an ugly game that’s Wawasee’s plan,” said Plymouth head coach Ryan Bales. “They knew they were undermanned at a few positions and they had a great game plan. They slowed us down. Over the course of the game we started to gain some energy, we started to get some hustle plays and that was a great thing for our team.”

The Warriors stayed around for virtually the entire game, frustrating Plymouth senior standout Mack Mercer and holding him scoreless in the first half. That doesn’t mean he wasn’t a force however.

“A key play for him in the first half – we ran a set play for him where he is usually able to catch the ball and get a shot out of that play,” said Bales. “They got into him and he didn’t get a shot but he took the ball to the basket and got a big drop off to (Josh) Anders underneath the basket for a layup. Those are huge plays that he has to understand how important that is to our team.”

Mercer ended the night with a double/double of 10 points and 11 rebounds. While Wawasee was able to stay within a point or two for most of the game, it was patience and discipline paying off for the Pilgrims as they were able to extend the lead and finish the game off in the last three minutes.

“Sometimes they’ve been a group that hasn’t shown a whole lot,” said Bales. “We’ve been through a lot this season. We’ve been through a lot of adversity and we did challenge them and all six of them stepped up.”

It was fitting on senior night to celebrate the six Pilgrims that played their last home game of their high school careers and were the main reason for a Plymouth turnaround that enabled them to end their season at 10-10.

“Right before the New Prairie game coach Bales sat us six seniors down and kind of opened up our eyes,” said senior Nick Bayley. “Every game has to be 100 percent effort. I wasn’t playing that much and I took that to heart for the last five or six games and I hope I made him happy.”

The Pilgrims will face Mishawaka in the first round of Sectional play at South Bend Washington on Wednesday.

Score by Quarters

Plymouth 10 24 34 52

Wawasee 9 22 31 42

Plymouth (52) – Matt Flynn 0 0-0 0, Jack Barron 0 1-2 1, Cam Eveland 0 0-0 0, Nick Felke 4 0-0 11, Nick Bayley 0 0-0 0, Mack Mercer 4 2-3 10, Reis Yoder 3 0-0 9, Trent Briles 1 0-0 3, Josh Anders 5 3-3 13, Tom Felke 1 3-4 5, Scott Carmicheal 0 0-0 0, Tyler England 0 0-0 0. Totals 18 9-12 52.

Wawasee (42) – Aaron Voirol 2 0-0 4, Jeffrey Moore 4 0-0 12, Gage Reinhard 1 4-4 7, Jake Hutchinson 0 0-0 0, Chase Myers 0 1-2 1, David Rocha 0 0-0 0, Sam Clark 0 0-0 0, Alex Clark 6 2-3 16, Stori Bright 1 0-0 2, Kody Carpenter 0 0-0 0. Totals 14 7-11 42.

3 Pt. FG. – Wawasee 7-18 (Moore 4), Plymouth 7-18 (N. Felke, Yoder 3).

Rebounds – Wawasee 14 (A. Clark 5), Plymouth 19 (Mercer 11).

Assists – Wawasee 0, Plymouth 7 (Briles, T. Felke 2).

Steals – Wawasee 6 (Reinhard 2), Plymouth 7 (T. Felke 3).

Turnovers – Wawasee 12, Plymouth 12