Lady Pilgrims lose NLC contest to Elkhart Memorial

PLYMOUTH — Plymouth’s girls hung tough for a half, but the turnovers piled up in the second half, and the Lady Pilgrims took a 49-29 defeat at the hands of a tough Elkhart Memorial squad Saturday at The Rock.
Plymouth trailed just 20-16 at the tail end of the second quarter, but a 16-4 run spanning from the end of the first half through the 3:29 mark of the third left the Pilgrims trailing 30-26 and struggling to play catch-up. After giving up just seven turnovers in the first half, the Chargers’ 1-2-2 press pestered Plymouth into 14 second-half turnovers for 16 points, and Plymouth slid to 0-3 in the Northern Lakes Conference.
“Let’s give Elkhart credit for what Elkhart is,” said Plymouth head coach Dave Cox. “That’s a really good ball club, and good teams, state level teams, they just play you four quarters. You’ve got to be able to do that, and right now the intensity level we played in the first half, we just didn’t get the job done. I thought we came out of the locker room adequately. In the first half we had a chance at 20-16, and five shots hit the bottom of the rim. We had a chance to cut that thing to two, and who knows where we would have been.”
After putting three players in double figures in a win on the road at New Prairie Wednesday, Plymouth (3-10, 0-3 NLC) scuffled to a 9-for-33 (27 percent) mark from the floor against Memorial (12-2, 2-1 NLC). The Lady Pilgrims attacked the basket to reach the line 10 times but converted only 11 of their free throw 19 opportunities in Saturday’s home loss.
“I thought through it all we were down 12 in the third, and I thought we were in pretty good shape, but you can’t shoot 57 percent from the line against a team like this. You’ve got to have everything,” said Cox.
The Chargers were led by a game-high 19 points from senior guard Brionna Barnett, who also dished out five assists in the win, while sophomore forward Khadijah Moore put up 10 points.
Plymouth freshman forward Hunter Stevens put up a career-high 18 points on 6-for-7 efficiency from the floor and a 6-for-10 clip from the line, but no one else on the Pilgrims squad was able to finish with more than four points.
“You’re beginning to see what we see, what we know; she’s really active, can really move,” said Cox of Stevens. “Amber (Redinger) is struggling with some sickness and we put her in there and she found the center of the court. We’ve also got to give credit to (Carly) Baker and (Haley) Harrell for getting the ball down there to her. And she just did a good job of not horsing around and going to the rim.”
While Elkhart Memorial improves to 12-2 and 2-1 in the conference with its eighth straight win, Plymouth slides to 3-10 with an 0-3 NLC start. The Pilgrims host LaPorte Tuesday at 8 p.m.
“This was a good step up. You don’t want to soften the blow here. We got beat, but we got beat by a really good team, and we battled for almost three quarters solid and we did an awful lot of good things,” said Cox. “This team is the type of team you’re going to see in regionals and semistate when you look at the 3A route you go. This team is good to play. We obviously wanted to win this conference game. We couldn’t do that, but we wanted to play as well as we could. I think what it did also was expose some things that we still aren’t very good at, so we’ll work on those.”
At Plymouth
Score by quarters
Memorial: 9 23 36 49
Plymouth: 7 16 24 29
MEMORIAL (49): Paige Newvine 0 0-0 0, Victora Kyle 2 2-2 6, Brionna Barnett 7 2-3 19, Monica Jones 2 1-2 6, Alyssa Wagner 2 2-2 6, Jenai Peoples 1 0-0 2, Cassidy Parsons 0 0-0 0, Tearra Holliday 0 0-0 0, Khadijah Moore 4 2-2 10, Haleigh Jones 0 0-0 0; Totals: 18 9-11 49.
PLYMOUTH (29): Lauren Tanner 0 0-1 0, Marissa German 0 0-0 0, Carly Baker 0 1-2 1, Haley Harrell 1 2-2 4, Brittany Himes 1 0-0 2, Savannah Mae 0 0-0 0, Amber Redinger 1 2-4 4, Victoria Dewar 0 0-0 0, Hunter Stevens 6 6-10 18, Allie Wright 0 0-0 0, Kaydon Fosler 0 0-0 0; Totals: 9 11-19 29.
3-point goals: Memorial 4 (Barnett 3, M. Jones), Plymouth 0; Turnovers: Memorial 11, Plymouth 21; Rebounds: Memorial 26 (Parsons 5), Plymouth 30 (Redinger 8); Steals: Memorial 11 (Kyle 4), Plymouth 3 (Harrell, Redinger, Wright); Assists: Memorial 12 (Barnett 5, M. Jones 5), Plymouth 4 (Baker 2); Fouls (fouled out): Memorial 14 (none), Plymouth 11 (none).
Records: Memorial 12-2 (2-1 NLC), Plymouth 3-10 (0-3 NLC)