SOUTH BEND — It was a tale of two halves for the Lady Pilgrim basketball team at St. Joseph High School Tuesday night.
Plymouth used solid defense to take a 17-9 lead in the first half but couldn’t hold on in a 28-24 loss to the sectional-rival Indians.
Plymouth was back to its defensive self in the first half, causing the Indians to shoot only 14 percent from the floor while finding some good looks offensively, mostly on out-of-bounds plays, to head into the locker room with a 17-9 lead.
Plymouth senior Brittany Himes assisted on back-to-back out of bounds plays, once to Lauren Tanner for a 3-pointer and then on the next possession to an open Hunter Stevens under the basket for two, giving the Pilgrims their first lead of the game at the 2:15 mark of the first quarter. Another play from out of bounds, again on a Himes pass to Stevens, ended the quarter with the Lady Pilgrims up three.
Plymouth coach Dave Cox liked the offensive output on the set out-of-bounds plays.
“We’ve struggled to score this year off of them, but tonight we were able to have some success that we have seen in the past,” he stated. “Those are some of our best sets.”
The Pilgrims were able to extend the lead to five midway through the second quarter on an offensive rebound and put-back by Haley Harrell. Harrell then finished the scoring for the quarter on a drive to the basket to put her team up eight points at the break.
Plymouth wasn’t able to continue its first-half shooting performance and struggled offensively after the break to the tune of 16 turnovers, a 25 percent field goal percentage, and an 0-for-6 clip at the free throw line. Most of the struggles could be attributed to the increased defensive pressure by the Lady Indians, and an apparent ankle injury to Tanner early in the second half didn’t help the Plymouth cause.
The St. Joe offense started clicking and producing points halfway through the third quarter.
Michelle Weaver did most of the damage for the Indians, scoring 12 second-half points en route to a game high of 16. She scored seven straight points in the third, the last two on free throws with under a minute left that gave her team its first lead since the beginning of the game, and the Indians were able to seal the win in the fourth quarter at the free throw line.
Plymouth may not have to wait to long to get another shot at the Indians. If St. Joe is able to get a first round win in Sectional 19 play the two schools will face off again next Friday at New Prairie High School.
Cox thought there were some positives to take away from Tuesday’s game that can be used to prepare for the next possible match-up.
“St. Joe’s kids play so hard, and one of the objectives that I had was for our kids to match them, go toe-to-toe with them, and I think we did that,” he said.
Before that game can be played the Lady Pilgrims have one more regular season home game to play Thursday night against the Goshen Redskins. It will be Senior Night at The Rock and game time is set for 7:30 p.m.
• ST. JOE 28, PLYMOUTH 24
At South Bend
Score by quarters
Plymouth: 9 17 19 24
St. Joe: 6 9 18 28
PLYMOUTH (24): Lauren Tanner 1 0-0 3, Marissa German 0 0-0 0, Carly Baker 0 0-0 0, Haley Harrell 2 0-2 4, Brittany Himes 0 0-3 0, Savannah Mae 0 0-0 0, Amber Redinger 3 0-1 6, Victoria Dewar 0 0-0 0, Hunter Stevens 4 0-2 8, Allie Wright 1 0-0 3, Kaydon Fosler 0 0-0 0; Totals: 11 0-9 24.
ST. JOE (28): Nicole Przybyslawski 0 3-5 3, Jordan Wawrzyniak 1 1-2 3, Kelsey Majcher 0 0-0 0, Nicole Francouer 0 0-0 0, Madeline Raster 1 2-2 4, Emily Ferro 0 0-0 0, Michelle Weaver 5 4-4 16, Alex Kubsch 1 0-2 2; Totals: 8 10-15 28.
3-pointers: Plymouth 2 (Tanner, Wright) St. Joe 2 (Weaver 2); Turnovers: Plymouth 27, St. Joe 14; Rebounds: Plymouth 28 (Tanner 5), St. Joe 26 (Kubsch 6); Assists: Plymouth 9 (Himes 5), St. Joe 4 (Wawrzyniak); Steals: Plymouth 3 (Baker, Stevens, Wright), St. Joe 10 (Weaver 3); Fouls (fouled out): Plymouth 20 (Stevens), St. Joe 14 (None).
Records: Plymouth 6-13, St. Joe 14-5.
JV score: Plymouth 23, St. Joe 21.