PLYMOUTH — It was an opener to remember for one team, a game to forget for another as Plymouth defeated Bremen on Saturday night at the Rock by an 83-48 final.
From the tip the Pilgrims took the lead and never looked back, but while the final was a bit lopsided the game itself really turned on a specific moment. Bremen was able to battle back to single digits at 39-30 late in the first half, but a Plymouth timeout changed the momentum as the Pilgrims were able to pull away out of the halftime break.
“We regrouped a little bit and made a nice run, but as soon as they called a timeout they fired it up and came out and played even harder and we relaxed,” said Bremen head coach Ryan Eakins. “All it took was two quick possessions and they’d scored the last six points (in the half), and we went into halftime hanging our heads and they went in at halftime in control.”
“Bremen traditionally is always a hard-nosed team, you see that on the basketball floor; in football, in all their sports they don’t quit,” said Plymouth head coach Ryan Bales. “They hung with it. They hit a couple 3s and weathered the storm, but I think we started to wear them down a little with our defense. They have some really nice players. They are going to win a lot of basketball games.”
“Plymouth is a good basketball team, but what makes them good is how hard they work,” said Eakins. “Every guy that steps on the floor busts his rear end, and that’s what makes them a good team is how hard they play. A lot of the mistakes we made tonight we could control, but we couldn’t come close to matching their intensity level tonight.”
Plymouth got outstanding shooting from Tom Felke off the bench who nailed his first three 3-point attempts on his way to 11 first half points that were key to the Pilgrims holding off the Bremen late half run. Trent Briles was red hot, shooting 100 percent from the field for his 11 points. Mack Mercer led all scorers with 18 points, blocked two shots and picked up five rebounds. Joe Knapp had 12 points and seven rebounds for the Pilgrims.
Bremen was led by Ethan Pike’s 13 points and seven rebounds. Kai Slough had 11 for the Lions.
“It’s not an easy place to play the first week of the season, but regardless of when we play or where we play I’d hope the effort level would be there and I just didn’t feel we had that tonight,” said Eakins. “Regardless of win or loss I want us to play with 100 percent effort and 100 percent teamwork at all times.”
“Watching the film will be interesting to see if we see the same things we saw during the game,” said Bales. “I know the hustle was there, the effort was there and the team work. I liked our passing a lot tonight and that led to some easy buckets for us. It helps when you have good defensive intensity early and get some easy buckets. That helps guys relax.”
Plymouth opened at 1-0 and will host Triton Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.
Bremen slipped to 1-1 and will travel to Goshen Friday for a 7:45 p.m. tip-off.
• PLYMOUTH 83, BREMEN 48
Score by quarters
Bremen 13 30 42 48
Plymouth 22 45 68 83
BREMEN (48): Alex Lowe 0 0-0 0, Don Browning 2 0-0 5, Wes Burkholder 2 0-0 6, Reid Zellmer 0 0-0 0, Ethan Pike 6 0-0 13, Jacob Box 4 0-0 9, Sam Lacher 2 0-0 4, Austin Adams 0 0-0 0 Phoenix Ricketts 0 0-0 0, Kai Slough 4 0-0 11, Dillon Mullen 0 0-0 0; Totals: 20 0-0 48.
PLYMOUTH (83): Matt Flynn 0 0-0 0, Gabe Vervynckt 3 0-1 8, Joe Knapp 4 3-4 12, David Lee 4 0-0 9, Zach Stone 0 0-0 0, Mack Mercer 8 2-3 18, Ike Kastner 1 0-0 2, Kyser McCrammer 3 0-0 6, Trent Briles 3 3-4 11, Josh Anders 3 0-0 6, Tom Felke 4 0-0 11, Evan Parkhurst 4 0-0 0; Totals: 33 8-12 83.
3-pointers: Bremen 8 (Slough 3, Burkholder 2), Plymouth 9 (Felke 3, Vervynckt, Briles 2); Rebounds: Bremen 18 (Pike 7), Plymouth 27 (Knapp 7); Turnovers: Bremen 24, Plymouth 6; Assists: Bremen 9 (Slough, Box, Pike 2), Plymouth 10 (Kastner, Felke 3); Steals: Bremen 1 (Ricketts), Plymouth 13 (Felke, Lee, Mercer, Kastner, McCrammer 2).
Records: Plymouth 1-0, Bremen 1-1