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Red hot second half pushes Pilgrims to win

January 11, 2019

ColeDUNLAP – It was a road battle for two quarters, but Plymouth’s Pilgrims survived a first-half scare from Concord to take Northern Lakes Conference win number three, 57-48.

“We challenged them tonight to play with some guts,” said Plymouth head coach Ryan Bales. “We got out-hustled, out-shot, out-executed, out-everything in that first half. The scoreboard reflected that. There was nothing that we were going to draw up on a board.”
The Pilgrims had a tough first half against a Concord team that had an excellent game plan and executed it nearly to perfection. Still the Pilgrims were able to stay close trailing 25-21 at halftime.
“We had to go back to what we were doing last week, which is a lot of screening, a lot of cutting,” said Bales. “Tonight we were dribbling and nobody was getting open. Part of that was on the dribbler and part of that was on the cutters.
“In the second half we were able to get the ball in the paint and kick it back out to some shooters and we got some stops obviously.”
Defense once again was the savior of Plymouth as Concord’s talented 6-foot-4 post man Michael Johnson had his way in the first half, not just scoring, but facilitating wide open threes from Drew McDougle.
In the second half, Johnson met 5-11 Bryce Carmichael, who stuck to him, in spite of giving up a lot of size, and took Johnson out of the mix.
“We challenged Bryce and we put him on (Johnson),” said Bales. “He’s undersized and he did a great job of battling him and I think he got a little frustrated. We aren’t going stop a kid like that. We don’t have the size or athleticism to do that on every single play. You have to show guts and I think we did that.”
Getting help from Cole Filson, Carmichael was able to double team Johnson nearly every time he got the ball and the rest of the Pilgrims took away the wide open looks for McDougle.
“We only have one way we can play,” said Bales. “We can’t play soft. We have to do the little things that Plymouth does. Our focus was in the right spot. Our guys stepped up collectively.”
Clay Hilliard had an outstanding night, not just shooting the ball (21 points), but he also had six rebounds and four steals. Jake Reichard had seven assists to go with 10 points.
“You have to play 32 minutes as hard as you can and I don’t think we did that,” said Bales. “Fortunately for us there was the second half.”
Plymouth is now 10-3 (3-0) with a game against LaPorte on Saturday night. Concord is 2-8 (1-1) with Elkhart Central on the road next week.
At Dunlap
Plymouth 9 21 37 57
Concord 11 25 32 45
PLYMOUTH: Hunter 3, Hilliard 21, Carmichael 2, Filson 10, Reichard 10, Hissong, Tremaine, Dolan 8, Barron 3, Winkle, Houin, Styers, Himes. TOTALS: 22 5-6 57.
CONCORD: D’Arcy 3, Shoemaker 2, Taylor, Southern 2, Starrett, McDougle 15, Troyer 2, Johnson 21, Swartout, Smith. TOTALS: 15 8-10 45
3-pointers: Plymouth 8-17 (Hilliard 3, Reichard 2, Dolan 2, Barron), Concord 7-23 (McDougle 5, D’Arcy, Johnson)
Rebounds: Plymouth 17, Concord 22
Turnovers: Plymouth 8, Concord 15


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