PLYMOUTH — Plymouth’s top five has been playing pretty well the past few weeks. When one of the Lady Pilgrims reserves steps up, it makes them downright tough to stop.
Sixth man sophomore Kaydon Fosler gave her team a spark with eight straight points at the front end of an 18-7 second frame, and the Lady Pilgrims cruised to an eventual 56-36 Northern Lakes Conference win over visiting Concord Saturday afternoon.
Plymouth started tentatively to fall behind 5-0 early, but, following a timeout, the home team went on a 9-0 run cued by a Haley Harrell triple off the top of the key to take its first and last lead of the game.
Concord remained close at 11-9 headed into the second quarter, but consecutive 3s from Fosler and eight straight points from the sophomore stretched Plymouth’s lead to double digits, and the Minutemen were never really in it again.
“We were really passive in the beginning. That’s what the timeout was about. We wanted the kids to understand that we wanted to be a little more aggressive with the basketball,” said Plymouth girls basketball coach Dave Duncan.
“Kaydon came in and just had a great stretch with the basketball there at the beginning, and I think from that point on we got a little more comfortable on the offensive end.”
Fosler was one of three Pilgrims in double figures with 14 points behind starting sophomore forward Hunter Stevens’ 15, while senior forward Amber Redinger put up 11 points with eight rebounds in the win.
“Amber’s one of those kids that just keeps plugging along,” said Duncan. “She’s rebounding the ball tremendously. Sometimes she gets you 15, sometimes she gets you 10, but it’s always been that double figure. She’s pretty solid.”
While Plymouth was led offensively by Stevens, Fosler and Redinger, the team got characteristically steady play from starters Lauren Tanner, Haley Harrell and Allie Wright.
Tanner finished with just three points but dished out four assists, while Wright scored six points off a team co-leading four steals — a tally equalled by Stevens — as the visitors turned the ball over 22 times compared to seven TOs by the home team. Andria Shook chipped in four points with a pair of steals, meanwhile, as Plymouth won its fifth straight.
“Our kids are playing pretty well right now. They’re playing with a lot of confidence,” said Duncan. “Coming into this game we knew Concord is a good team, and we didn’t want to come in and think we can be a team that just steps on the floor. We want our kids to be ready to play all the time. (Minutemen coach) Dan (Ross) is doing a good job at Concord, and his kids are going to do better.”
Anna Heck did the bulk of Concord’s scoring, putting up a game-high 16 points with two steals, while Chanice Matthews scored eight in the loss, which drops the Minutemen to 6-10 overall with an 0-4 NLC mark.
The win keeps Plymouth in the hunt for a top NLC finish at 3-1 along with Elkhart Memorial — which the Lady Pilgrims dispatched back on Jan. 5 — behind league unbeaten Warsaw, which handed Plymouth its only conference loss so far and currently stands at 4-0 in NLC play. The team will resume conference play next Saturday at home against Wawasee with tip-off scheduled for 7:45 p.m.
“Warsaw definitely has a couple tough games coming up with NorthWood and Goshen,” said Duncan. “Those are a couple games that’ll be tough for them, and we’ve got to take care of things too. We have ‘Ridge and Goshen and Wawasee coming up, so we’ve got three really tough teams coming up too.”
• PLYMOUTH 56, CONCORD 36
Score by quarters
Concord: 9 16 24 36
Plymouth: 11 29 44 56
CONCORD (36): Jade Iavagnilio 6, Bre Bloch 2, Jenna Makin 2, Chanice Matthews 8, Michelle Detwiler 2, Anna Heck 16; Totals: 15 2-5 36.
PLYMOUTH (56): Lauren Tanner 3, Andria Shook 4, Hunter Stevens 15, Kaydon Fosler 14, Haley Harrell 3, Allie Wright 6, Amber Redinger 11; Totals: 23 6-14 56.
3-pointers: Concord 4 (Iavagnilio 2, Heck 2), Plymouth 4 (Tanner, Fosler 2, Harrell); Rebounds: Concord 20 (Detwiler 6), Plymouth 25 (Redinger 8); Turnovers: Concord 22, Plymouth 7; Steals: Concord 4 (Heck 2, Matthews 2), Plymouth 14 (Stevens 4, Wright 4); Assists: Concord 2, Plymouth 9 (Tanner 4); Fouls (fouled out): Concord 13, Plymouth 10.
Records: Plymouth 12-4 (3-1 NLC), Concord 6-10 (0-4 NLC)
JV score: Plymouth 30 (Elise Patrick 8), Concord 18 (Rachel Hahaj 15).