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PERU â€” It may have been cold and rainy outside at Peru last night, but the Pilgrims had no trouble setting the nets on fire inside Tig-Arena in a 57-37 victory against the Tigers.
Plymouth came out of the gate running.
Mack Mercer pushed the opening tip to Ike Kastner, who hit Joe Knapp in stride for the gameâ€™s first two points, sparking a 10-0 run over the first two minutes of the game. Plymouth scored on its first four possessions, highlighted by a pair of old-style 3-point plays from Mercer.
Early defensive pressure helped the offense once again as the Pilgrims forced Peru to turn the ball over in each of its first four possessions.
The Tigers finally got on the board at the 6:04 mark when big man Seth Adelsperger hit the second of two free throws to put his team down nine at 10-1.
The Plymouth defense allowed only one other basket in the first frame, forcing nine Tiger turnovers and running out to a 19-point first quarter lead.
â€śI thought we came out and attacked their zone a lot better tonight,â€ť Plymouth coach Ryan Bales said of his teamâ€™s fast start. â€śOur intensity was good, and it opened us up to a good start in the first half.â€ť
The Pilgrims opened up the second quarter with much of the same. A steal by Matt Flynn and a quick pass up court to David Lee led to another transition bucket. Mercer followed that with the next eight points, giving him 16 for the half to go along with four rebounds and three blocks.
Mercer led the Pilgrims for the game with 20 points, and it was to the credit of the rest of his team feeding him the ball at the right times. The Pilgrims assisted on 17 of the teamâ€™s 21 made shots, led by Kastnerâ€™s five.
â€śBefore the game one of our keys was execution. It was the first time I put it up on the board this year and thought we needed concentrate on our offense a little. We have a very unselfish team, and they were able to find the open guy,â€ť Bales said. â€śWe not only passed the ball well but we limited our turnovers, and that was nice to see.â€ť
Plymouth moves to 5-0 with the victory and will open up Northern Lakes Conference play next Friday when it hosts the NorthWood Panthers. Tip-off will be at 7:45 p.m.
Peru drops to 1-2.
â€˘ PLYMOUTH 57, PERU 37
Score by quarters
Plymouth: 22 35 51 57
Peru: 3 12 22 37
PLYMOUTH (57): Matt Flynn 1 0-0 2, Jack Barron 0 0-0 0, Joe Knapp 5 2-2 14, David Lee 1 1-2 3, Zach Stone 0 0-0 0, Mack Mercer 6 8-8 20, Ike Kastner 1 0-0 3, Kyser McCrammer 3 0-0 6, Trenton Briles 1 0-0 3, Joshua Anders 1 0-1 2, Tom Felke 2 0-0 4, Evan Parkhurst 0 0-0 0; Totals: 21 11-13 57
PERU (37): Cooper Blankenship 0 0-0 0, Brodie Brooks 4 1-1 9, Kreighton Ray 0 0-0 0, Michael Richardson 0 0-0 0, Eddie Childers 1 1-2 3, Tarran Townsend 3 0-0 8, Paul Huneryager 0 0-0 0, Connor MacDonald 3 0-0 7, Seth Adelsperger 1 2-4 4, Joe Comerford 3 0-0 6; Totals: 15 4-7 37
3-point goals: Plymouth 4 (Knapp 2, Kastner, Briles), Peru 3 (Townsend 2, MacDonald); Turnovers: Plymouth 13 (Lee 4), Peru 18 (Richardson 5); Rebounds: Plymouth 18 (Mercer 6), Peru 18 (Brooks 5, MacDonald 5); Assists: Plymouth 17 (Kastner 5), Peru 7 (Brooks 4); Steals: Plymouth 8 (Lee 5), Peru 6 (MacDonald 2, Adelsperger 2); Fouls (fouled out): Plymouth 10 (None), Peru 16 (Richardson)
Records: Plymouth 5-0, Peru 1-2
JV Score: Plymouth 42, Peru 34