LaPORTE — It’s no secret that Plymouth coach Dave Duncan doesn’t substitute many players during the course of a girls basketball game.
Heck, in one respect, he didn’t even need five Tuesday night to beat a good LaPorte team.
Only four Plymouth players scored as the Pilgrim girls pounded out a rough 51-40 victory at the Slicer gym.
Sophomore forward Hunter Stevens poured in a career-high 27 points and senior forward Amber Redinger chipped in 15 more as Plymouth dominated under the glass.
“We just got annihilated in the paint,” said an unhappy LaPorte coach Skeeter Heath, who complimented the Pilgrims for showing great discipline and patience throughout the contest. “Plymouth is a good team and they did all the things you are supposed to do to win.”
Haley Harrell (seven points) and Lauren Tanner (two) were the only other Pilgrims to score, though all seven who took the floor had a good defensive effort.
An 11-0 run in the second quarter, taking about five minutes, enabled Plymouth to break open a tight contest and open a 20-9 lead.
While the Slicers unleashed a fierce press late in the contest, they pulled no closer than nine points after halftime. With the win, Plymouth improves to 11-4, while LaPorte slips to 9-5.
Jaclyn Heath scored 10 points to lead LaPorte, with nearly every shot contested. No other Slicer reached double figures.
“We talked about which of their (LaPorte’s) kids can score, and I think we did a good job of disrupting those players,” said Duncan.
In particular, the Pilgrims hung a bulls-eye on Heath, who is normally deadly from long range.
“Our whole defensive scheme was to keep her (Heath) in front of us and try not to let her have any open looks,” said Duncan.
Meanwhile, Stevens and Redinger were simply monsters under the glass. Together they grabbed almost as many rebounds as the entire LaPorte team, and they worked tirelessly to get good shots.
Stevens shot 8-of-11 from the field and sank 11-of-12 free throws to notch her new career high.
“That was a great effort for her,” said Duncan. “But she’s having more and more of these kind of nights.”
Plymouth turned the ball over 10 times in the fourth quarter when LaPorte switched to a press, and showed some obvious fatigue at the end, but the Pilgrims didn’t panic.
“I thought our kids did a good job of keeping their composure when LaPorte started trapping,” said Duncan. “We knew it would be a physical game.”
• PLYMOUTH 51, LAPORTE 40
Score by quarters
Plymouth: 9 24 43 51
LaPorte: 6 12 32 40
PLYMOUTH (51): Lauren Tanner 1 0-0 2, Andria Shook 0 0-0 0, Hunter Stevens 8 11-12 27, Kaydon Fosler 0 0-0 0, Haley Harrell 2 2-4 7, Allie Wright 0 0-0 0, Amber Redinger 5 5-8 15; Totals: 16 18-24 51
LAPORTE (): Maddie Voelker 0 0-0 0, Abby Vaughn 1 1-1 3, Jaclyn Heath 3 3-5 10, Taylor Thompson 2 4-4 9, Delanie Alcorn 2 2-4 7, Kelsey Gushrowski 2 3-4 7, Kate Ulmer 2 0-0 4; Totals: 12 13-18 40
3-pointers: Plymouth 1 (Harrell), LaPorte 3 (Heath, Thompson, Alcorn); Turnovers: Plymouth 18, LaPorte 17; Rebounds: Plymouth 23 (Redinger 8), LaPorte 12 (Gushrowski 5); Assists: Plymouth 7 (Harrell 3, Stevens 3), LaPorte 2 (Heath, Alcorn 1); Steals: Plymouth 8 (Harrell 3), LaPorte 7 (Heath 5); Fouls (fouled out): Plymouth 19 (None), LaPorte 23 (Heath, Thompson).
Records: Plymouth 11-4, LaPorte 9-5
JV score: LaPorte 34, Plymouth 23.