Pilgrims drop 4th straight

PLYMOUTH — Offensive and turnover woes continued to plague Plymouth, and the Lady Pilgrims lost their fourth straight with a 50-38 home defeat at the hands of Tippecanoe Valley at The Rock Thursday.
The Pilgrims (1-4) shot just 31 percent from the field with a 13-for-42 conversion rate, including a 1-for-9 clip in the first quarter as they fell behind 8-2 at the first quarter break. Plymouth fared little better at the foul line, reaching the stripe 14 times but converting on just 12 of 26 free throws.
“We shot that way going in, we shot that way at practice, we shot that way in the game,” said Plymouth Head Girls Basketball Coach Dave Cox. “I think we shoot that way. I don’t have the answers or I’d correct that right away. We’ve struggled, and you can’t be in games doing that.
“You’ve got to be able to shoot better than 46 percent (at the foul line). They’ve got to shoot, but the good news is you got there that many times. Some good there; you got to the line, you’re doing the right thing driving the ball to the rim and so forth. So we can build on that.”
Plymouth’s young squad also struggled with turnovers against the Tippy Vally (4-1) full court press, surrendering 22 TOs, which the Vikings capitalized off of with 18 points.
One bright spot for Plymouth was its rebound numbers as the Pilgrims outhustled the visitors off the glass for a decisive 40-28 rebounding advantage led by Hunter Stevens’ 10 and eight apiece from fellow freshman Haley Harrell and junior Amber Redinger. The team was unable to translate its impressive numbers off the offensive glass into many put-backs, however, as the Pilgrims tallied just 12 second-chance points off 19 offensive caroms.
“The downside of that is when you miss a lot of shots, you get a lot of rebounds. They’re pretty active. We’re moving around inside; we’re trying to get in position and so forth,” said Cox. “But turnovers, we’re still running about six to seven turnovers too many. We need to be down there about 15, and we’re up there about 22. I thought tonight we didn’t do as well against their press. I think it was not a press that we should have made as many passes that we’re just not touching; the ball’s way high, you can’t go up and get it. I thought we had a better chance to maybe go underneath with a bounce pass, so that’s something we’re going to work on.”
Senior guard Staci Groom led Tippecanoe Valley with a game-high 29 points, including a 14-for-16 turn at the line.
Plymouth was led offensively by Redinger as the 6 foot junior finished with 12 points earned at a 5-of-9 clip from the floor. She scuffled to a 2-of-7 finish at the line, however, while fellow leading scorer Lauren Tanner tallied just six points against a mixture of defenses, including some zone-and-one looks targeting her early.
“Lauren plays hard, and she does a lot of good things, but we’re just flat out not getting enough points out of her,” said Cox. “I don’t know what you do, you just keep going with them, but those two kids need 30 points, and they got 18. So we’re coming up about a dozen short, and the other kids just aren’t ready to make up the difference.”
The Plymouth offense only just started to take off in the fourth quarter. The Pilgrims trailed 33-19 headed into the frame but doubled that total in the last seven minutes of play.
Stevens put up all six of her points in the frame, and Plymouth even briefly cut the Vikings’ lead to single digits as a driving bucket from Harrell brought the score to 45-36 with 44 seconds remaining in the game. But Tippy Valley ran out the game 5-2 with a 5-for-6 turn at the charity stripe as the Pilgrims were forced to foul to stop the clock, extending its win streak to three while handing Plymouth its fourth straight loss after a season-opening win against Peru.
The Pilgrims travel to South Bend Washington next Wednesday for a game scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
“It’s just a matter of everything we see right now is always something new to us,” Cox said. “So we’ve got to digest it, evaluate it, and hopefully teach from it. You hope you’re better down the road because of the experience.”
At Plymouth
Score by quarters
Tippy Valley: 8 20 33 50
Plymouth: 2 11 19 38
TIPPY VALLEY (50): Kelsey Ball 3 0-1 6, Megan Bibler 0 0-1 0, Danielle Bussard 0 0-1 0, Connor Fraser 0 1-2 1, Staci Groom 6 14-16 29, Tori Keirn 1 5-6 7, Courtney Newsome 1 3-5 5, Brooke O’Connor 0 0-0 0, Caylie Teel 0 2-2 2; Totals: 11 25-34 50.
PLYMOUTH (38): Lauren Tanner 2 2-4 6, Brittany Gantz 1 0-0 2, Marissa German 0 2-2 2, Carly Baker 1 0-0 2, Haley Harrell 1 2-5 4, Brittany Himes 1 0-0 2, Savannah Mae 1 0-0 2, Amber Redinger 5 2-7 12, Victoria Dewar 0 0-0 0, Hunter Stevens 1 4-8 6, Allie Wright 0 0-0 0; Totals: 13 12-26 38
3-pointers: Tippy Valley 3 (Groom 3), Plymouth 0; Turnovers: Tippy Valley 16, Plymouth 22; Rebounds: Tippy Valley 28 (Ball 7), Plymouth 40 (Stevens 10); Assists: Tippy Valley 7 (Keirn 5), Plymouth 5 (Stevens 2); Steals: Tippy Valley 11 (Groom 4), Plymouth 7 (Harrell 4); Fouls (fouled out): Tippy Valley 23 (none), Plymouth 27 (none).
Records: Tippecanoe Valley 4-1, Plymouth 1-4
JV score: Plymouth 32 (Dylan Holiday 14), Tippecanoe Valley 13 (Taylor Trippiedi 4, Caylie Teel 4)