Lady Pilgrims get take upset over Northridge in home finale

Kacee Peters goes for two in Plymouth's win over Northridge
By: 
Rusty Nixon
Sports Editor

In a game that was decided by defensive effort it was fitting that the game winning play was a defensive rebound, as Plymouth took an upset win to end their home season over Northridge by a final of 45-43.
Coming into the game the Lady Raiders were unbeaten in NLC play at 6-0 and while they still will take the conference title, the Lady Pilgrims gained some confidence for the rematch in round one of sectional play on Tuesday.
“We’ve got some tired kids right now,” said Plymouth coach Dave Duncan after the game. “Our defensive effort tonight was phenomenal.”
One player in particular earned the coach’s praise.
“What about Pete (Kacee Peters)?,” said Duncan. “She came ready to play tonight on both ends of the floor. She got us going. She’s so active on the defensive end and she frustrated their guards up front, and I was proud of our kids, we got the lead and were able to keep the lead.”
Peters had four steals in the first half, keying a Plymouth defense that forced 10 uncharacteristic turnovers from Northridge in the first two quarters. Kacee ended the night just short of a double/double with 10 points and seven steals adding three assists.
Plymouth jumped out to a quick early lead and then held it throughout the game stretching the lead as far as 10 with just around three minutes to play. Northridge however wasn’t about to go away.
A quick time out and switch to a trapping, pressure full court defense cut the lead quickly until the Lady Raiders tied the game at 43 with just under two minutes to play.
“We put the ball in Claire’s (Tanner) hands and she has to handle two or three kids trapping her,” said Duncan. “Then we started getting our big kids over the top and getting to the ball. We know we have to work on that half court trap, getting people to the middle, shortening up the passes.”
“We told our kids we didn’t want the ball below the free throw line,” said Duncan. “We were working the ball out there and we started getting back door cuts. We play a little high catching the ball and we have to work on staying low and knifing through the traps a little bit.”
Plymouth was able to adjust to the pressure and run the clock with Cassidy Holiday hitting a free throw to give the Lady Pilgrims a cushion they would be able to ride out. Holiday had 10 points in the game, all in the second half.
The sure hands of Cece Robinson played a role too as she was able to help the Plymouth guards withstand the pressure and had key rebounds in the final minutes.
“She’s kind of the glue,” said Duncan. “She comes and establishes herself and catches the ball and she probably can absorb a trap as well as anybody on our team.”
Northridge had one last look at the basket but the shot by Sienna Miller wouldn’t fall and the Plymouth defensive rebound along with a quick pass to Claire Tanner to dribble out the final three seconds made the difference.
It sets up a rematch in just five days between the two teams in the first round of sectional play at Northridge.
“We know what we’re going to see Tuesday,” said Duncan. “We just have to handle that pressure and adjust to it.”
Plymouth is now 16-5 and are scheduled to take on CGA at the Academy on Friday night. Northridge ends their year at 17-6.
•PLYMOUTH 45, NORTHRIDGE 43
at Plymouth
Plymouth 12 19 36 45
Northridge 6 16 27 43
Plymouth (45) - Tanner 4 0-0 9, Holiday 3 4-6 10, Peters 3 4-5 10, Reichard 3 0-0 6, Janus 1 0-0 2, Flynn 0 0-0 0, Robinson 2 2-2 6, Clady 0 0-0 0, Weir 1 0-0 2. Totals 17 10-14 45.
Northridge (43) - Love 0 0-0 0, King 3 0-0 8, Litwiller 8 3-4 19, Miller 3 0-0 9, Weinert 0 2-2 2, Bontrager 1 1-2 3, Knepp 0 0-0 0, Beckler 1 0-0 2, Walker 0 0-0 0. Totals 16 6-8 43.

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