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Pilgrims recover for 51-48 home win over LaPorte

January 14, 2013

PLYMOUTH — The outcome was different, but it didn’t get any easier for Plymouth’s Pilgrims as they ended a doubleheader weekend with a home win over LaPorte by a final of 51-48 Saturday.
It was a much-needed tonic for a weary team after an NLC slugfest at Concord the night before, but the effects of the tough loss the night before were evident early as the Pilgrims were sluggish on both ends of the floor. Early foul trouble for guard David Lee turned up an unlikely hero in the first half.
Matt Flynn — seeing his first varsity minutes since early in the season — spelled the weary Plymouth backcourt with solid second quarter minutes helping the Pilgrims hold on to a tenuous lead.
“He started the year with us and got moved down to JV, and I loved his response. He stayed at it, he kept working,” said Plymouth head coach Ryan Bales. “One thing our team is in need of is a backup guard right now. We watch JV games. We pay attention. We watch and observe and evaluate. Matt is someone if he handles the basketball and makes a simple play there could be a spot for him.”
The Pilgrims struggled to find any continuity for much of the game except for Mack Mercer. The Plymouth middle man posted another double double — 20 points, 10 rebounds and four blocked shots — and carried the day until the fourth quarter.
Then Plymouth found their defense — and Joe Knapp got his groove back.
The Pilgrims turned up the heat defensively to force five fourth quarter turnovers from the Slicers (2-12). Knapp — quiet for much of the game — poured in 12 fourth quarter points and a pair of steals, triggering the Plymouth run that would give them a win.
“Tom Felke took the ball to the basket a few times. Joe had a couple pull-ups, and I thought he really stepped up,” said Bales. “Mack battled hard all night; he was just getting beat on. Just a really good team effort ,a really good team win.”
“They are a scary team because they are so streaky,” Bales added of LaPorte. “You saw it in the game; there are times when they don’t have a very good possession, then they go on a big run. They have a lot of guys who can really knock down shots. I thought they had a good game plan tonight of really attacking the paint.”
Plymouth moves to 10-2 on the year with a game at Wawasee on Friday.
• PLYMOUTH 51, LaPORTE 48
At Plymouth
Score by quarters
Plymouth: 14 23 35 51
LaPorte: 11 21 33 48
PLYMOUTH (51): Matt Flynn 0 0-0 0, Jack Barron 0 0-0 0, Joe Knapp 5 4-8 14, David Lee 2 1-1 5, Nick Bayley 0 0-0 0, Mack Mercer 6 6-7 20, Ike Kastner 0 0-0 0, Kyser McCrammer 0 2-2 2, Trent Briles 1 0-0 3, Josh Anders 0 0-0 0, Tom Felke 3 1-2 7, Michael Kaser 0 0-0 0, Tyler England 0 0-0 0, Reid Yoder 0 0-0 0; Totals 17 14-20 51.
LaPORTE (48): Blake Arnett 0 0-0 0, Arthur Hurt 0 0-0 0, Logan Dubbs 0 0-0 0, Mitch Mrozinski 4 1-3 9, Josh Fleming 4 1-8 9, Aaron Vaughn 0 0-0 0, Miles Browder 0 0-0 0, Tyler Littlejohn 0 0-0 0, Zach Kiger 3 0-0 6, Jacob Jones 2 2-4 6, Gage Ott 7 4-6 18; Totals 20 4-6 48.
3-pointers: Plymouth 3 (Mercer 2), LaPorte 4 (Jones 2); Rebounds: Plymouth 24 (Mercer 10), LaPorte 21 (Kiger 5); Assists: Plymouth 10 (Kastner 4), LaPorte 9 (Fleming 3); Steals: Plymouth 3 (Knapp 2), LaPorte 3 (Fleming 3); Turnovers: Plymouth 10, LaPorte 12; Fouls (fouled out): Plymouth 14 (Mercer), LaPorte 18.
Records: Plymouth 10-2, LaPorte 2-11
JV score: Plymouth 37 (Josh Anders 13, Flynn 32), LaPorte 32

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