PLYMOUTH — Plymouth’s swarming halfcourt defense can give a team fits under normal circumstances. When even the open shots aren’t falling, things can get pretty lopsided.
The Lady Lions converted a woeful 5-of-51 shots from the field, and the host Pilgrims jumped on the visitors early in a 56-12 rout at The Rock Tuesday night.
“We couldn’t hit,” said Bremen head coach Tonja Lucchese. “At the halftime they had four more shots than us from two-point range; we were even on the 3s. If you can’t hit, it’s tough to battle.”
While Bremen struggled to get its offense going, Plymouth sophomore Haley Harrell gave her team a big offensive spark in the first quarter.
Harrell knocked down her first four 3-point attempts on swing passes to the corners for all 12 of her points during a 20-2 first quarter, forcing Bremen out of its 1-3-1 zone and into man coverage early. That opened up Plymouth’s inside game and allowed the Pilgrims front court to go to work. The home team pushed its lead to a near 30-point cushion at the half, moved to a 40-point advantage at 47-7 on a Hunter Stevens high-low to Amber Redinger roving the baseline at the 3:02 stop of the third quarter, and the Pilgrims coasted to their biggest margin of victory in four games so far this season.
“When you have the kid who has the confidence, you find her and you go to her, and I think the team did a good job of finding her tonight,” said Plymouth coach Dave Duncan of Harrell.
“We still have a long way to go (on offense). Our biggest skill to understand is how to take a lead and build it. That’s coming, and we’ll find out because we’ve got some very good teams coming up here in the next couple weeks. We’ve got to understand it’s OK to take that transition to get the lead, but once you get the lead you’ve got to do something to take care of it.”
While Harrell kick-started Plymouth’s offense, Redinger scored 11 of her game-high 15 points in the second half to go along with an impressive 19 rebounds as the Pilgrims enjoyed a 50-31 advantage in the battle of the boards Tuesday. Stevens finished with 11 points as the Pilgrims lineup continued to deliver balance on the offensive end.
“Amber is just playing like a senior right now,” said Duncan. “I talked to her before the game; I told her I was proud of her that she’s coming in and she’s having fun and working hard. I think that’s a great reward for her.”
Bremen had few bright spots in the loss as Ashley Lucchese and Brooke Snyder each finished with four points, Jasmine Schafer put in a solid defensive effort, and freshman reserve forward Chelsea Huppert clutched nine rebounds in the loss.
“I thought Jasmine Schafer got out on defense really well for us. She did what we wanted her to do,” said Tonja Lucchese. “And Chelsea Huppert had a nice rebounding game.”
The young Lions slip to an 0-5 start in Lucchese’s first year at the helm after the team graduated five seniors last year. They travel to Westview Nov. 29.
“I think the morale will be alright. They’re good kids, they keep trying no matter what,” Lucchese said. “The first part of our schedule is tough. Usually they don’t start out very well as it is.”
Plymouth stays unbeaten at 4-0 and will host Knox Nov. 28.
“We’re going to take Thursday off and have some turkey, and we’re going to come back on Friday and run a little bit,” chuckled Duncan.
• PLYMOUTH 56, BREMEN 12
Score by quarters
Bremen: 2 7 9 12
Plymouth: 20 35 50 56
PLYMOUTH (56): Lauren Tanner 1 4-4 6, Andria Shook 0 3-4 3, Hunter Stevens 5 1-2 11, Bailey Brown 0 0-2 0, Kirstin Riise 0 0-0 0, Kaydon Fosler 1 1-3 3, Haley Harrell 4 0-1 12, Allie Wright 1 2-2 4, Dylan Holiday 0 2-2 2, Amber Redinger 7 1-2 15, Shannon Stephenson 0 0-0 0; Totals: 19 14-22 56.
BREMEN (12): Jasmine Schafer 1 1-2 3, Cassie Sears 0 0-0 0, Brooke Fitch 0 0-0 0, Alexa Harshbarger 0 0-0 0, Ashley Lucchese 2 0-0 4, Megan Stouder 0 0-0 0, Sara Slabaugh 0 0-0 0, Rachel Czarnecki 0 0-2 0, Brooke Snyder 2 0-0 4, Chelsea Huppert 0 1-2 1, Alyssa Bailey 0 0-0 0; Totals: 3 2-6 12.
3-pointers: Bremen 0, Plymouth 4 (Harrell 4); Rebounds: Bremen 31 (Huppert 9), Plymouth 50 (Redinger 19); Turnovers: Bremen 29, Plymouth 19; Assists: Bremen 2 (Sears, Lucchese), Plymouth 8 (Wright 3, Tanner 3); Steals: Bremen 11 (Fitch 2, Slabaugh 2, Snyder 2), Plymouth 17 (Redinger 5, Tanner 4); Fouls (fouled out): Bremen 17 (none), Plymouth 9 (none).
Records: Plymouth 4-0, Bremen 0-5
JV score: Plymouth 32 (Bailey Brown 8), Bremen 23 (Brooke Fitch 5, Chelsea Huppert 5).