Pilgrims fall in double OT at Goshen

GOSHEN — You live by the three; you die by the three.
If that old basketball saying is correct, the Goshen Redskins must have been living the good life lately.
The Redskins hit nine 3-pointers on the night, the last coming with five seconds left in the second overtime period to escape with a home win over the Plymouth Pilgrims, 58-55.
Goshen junior Sam Stegelmann was the hero for the Redskins, hitting the long distance shot from near the top of the key for the win.
The game wasn’t always as close.
Goshen was able to pull out an early lead on the strength of its 3-point shooting. Five different Redskins hit from beyond the arc in the first half. The Pilgrims weren’t able to answer those points on a consistent basis and went into halftime down 13 points.
The second half was a different story for Plymouth on both the offensive and defensive sides of the floor. The Pilgrims started the half with a traditional 3-point play by Mack Mercer and followed that up with a John Ruff offensive rebound and putback to cut the lead to eight. Plymouth went on an 11-2 run over the final 6:30 of the third quarter, ending on a drive down the lane and dunk by Mercer to cut the lead to one at 38-37.
The Pilgrims picked up the intensity on defense in the third quarter, forcing five Goshen turnovers and holding the Redskins to 2-of-8 shooting from the field.
Plymouth was finally able to get the first tie of the game at the 3:05 mark of the fourth quarter on a 3-pointer by Joe Knapp from the wing. Knapp would tie the game again on another 3, this time assisted by Ryan McNeil with :47 left.
Goshen had a final chance to win it in regulation but missed a shot at the buzzer to send the game into overtime.
Scoring was pretty scarce in the first overtime period for both teams. Knapp opened the scoring halfway through the period on a drive and lay-up around a Goshen defender giving Plymouth its first lead of the game, 48-46.
Goshen answered with a basket of its own on the next possession. The Pilgrims turned the ball over with :05 left to give the Redskins another chance at winning the game. Goshen was able to get the ball up the court and got a deep 3-point attempt off at the buzzer, but it was blocked by Mercer to end the first overtime period.
Goshen jumped back on top 26 seconds into the second overtime on a free throw by Jesse Good.
Plymouth answered with a Knapp reverse lay-up on the next possession. The Redskins’ next possession restarted the 3-point barrage that had been stagnant since the first half. Louis Kissinger hit a 3 to give Goshen the lead back. Knapp tied the game once again with two free throws at the 2:37 mark of the period. The second Goshen 3, this time by Austin Henke from the corner, gave the Redskins another lead with just over a minute left to play.
Knapp would hit another 3 for the Pilgrims seconds later to tie the score one last time before the game-winning shot by Stegelmann with :05 left to play.
Plymouth drops to 10-5 with the loss and move to 3-2 in Northern Lake Conference play. Goshen raises its record to 7-8 and 3-3 in the NLC.
Plymouth returns home tonight with a non-conference game against New Prairie. Game time is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.