Lady Pilgrims roll at New Prairie

NEW CARLISLE — The signs outside of the New Prairie gymnasium read “Welcome to our House.” Once the Lady Pilgrims settled in, they made themselves comfortable.
After a back-and-forth first quarter, Plymouth jumped out to a 35-20 halftime lead and never looked back, rolling to a 59-35 win over the host Lady Cougars on the road in New Carlisle Thursday night.
The Pilgrims hit 24-of-42 (57 percent) of their shots from the floor in the win, and eight different players made a balanced scoresheet in the win.
According to Duncan, it all came down to aggression.
“We’re just trying to be a little more aggressive. I thought we went through a stretch where we weren’t aggressive on each end of the floor, so we’re trying to attack the basket a little more,” said Duncan. “I think tonight was one of those indications that we can do that.”
Plymouth was led by reserve guard Bailey Brown’s game-high 15 points earned at a 5-of-8 clip from outside at the game, while Kaydon Fosler finished with 11 points. Freshman forward Nicole Horvath managed nine points to go with a team-best five rebounds, while Allie Wright, known for spearheading the Pilgrims’ formidable defense, got in on the offensive action, scoring four points and dishing out three assists off dribble penetration against the Cougars’ 2-3 zone.
“(Brown) was open, and she just hit shots,” said Duncan. “She has that ability to do that, but more importantly I thought her defense got better tonight.
“We shot the ball really well tonight, and we hadn’t shot the ball well for awhile, and I think that’s important — that our kids can put the ball in the basket, and they feel comfortable doing that.”
Meanwhile, Duncan described point guard Haley Harrell’s floor leadership in glowing terms as well.
“Sometimes I know she doesn’t get all the recognition with the scoring, but she just handles all the pressure on the floor. Great team leader,” said the Lady Pilgrims boss. “A lot of people don’t maybe watch what she does on both ends of the floor — she’s directing kids and getting them where they need to be. I just think that the stuff that she does on the floor is so important, and I’m elated to have her.”
While New Prairie was able to hang around through an opening frame that saw five ties and two lead changes, the home team wasn’t able to mount much offense after that, finishing the night at an 11-of-42 (26 percent) clip from the field.
The Pilgrims opened the second quarter on a 14-5 run, capped off by four points from reserve Dylan Holiday, to take a double-digit lead by the 1:45 stop of the period, and they never once looked back in their second straight win.
“That was communication. We hadn’t practiced all week, and I know New Prairie hasn’t either. I thought at the beginning we did not communicate at all — our kids didn’t talk, we were losing shooters, losing kids cutting through the lane — and then we had a nice little talk at halftime and we changed a few things,” said Duncan. “I thought the third quarter our kids came out and really, really talked, and they were trying to find the girls a little bit better.”
The Pilgrims move to 9-4 on the season with their second straight win after a rebound victory over Brebeuf at their home shootout over the weekend. The team takes on Elkhart Memorial in a Northern Lakes Conference game at home this Saturday at 1 p.m.
“We thought the second half of the Norwell game, and then the Brebeuf game and then tonight I thought were an indication that we’re starting to play a little bit better,” Duncan said. “I think it goes back to being aggressive on both ends of the floor, so hopefully we can kind of keep that rolling. We’ve got Memorial on Saturday, a vastly improved team. They come back with one starter from last year so they started out a little bit rocky but they’re playing pretty good basketball right now. An NLC game, we want to try and hopefully get ready for that.”
At New Carlisle
Plymouth: 16 35 51 59
New Prairie: 14 20 27 35
PLYMOUTH (59): Ashley Harrell 0 0-0 0, Elise Patrick 0 0-0 0, Hunter Stevens 4 1-4 9, Bailey Brown 5 4-4 15, Kaydon Fosler 4 1-1 11, Haley Harrell 1 0-0 3, Allie Wright 2 0-0 4, Dylan Holiday 2 0-0 4, Shannon Stephenson 2 0-0 4, Nicole Horvath 4 1-1 9; Totals: 24 7-10 59.
NEW PRAIRIE (35): Maddie Durbin 2 3-6 7, Ashley Campos 3 2-4 11, Madison Cody 1 4-4 6, Brooke Kresca 2 0-0 4, Faythe Bashaw 1 0-0 2, Brooke Prestin 0 1-2 1, Abby Smith 1 0-0 2, Rachel Saylor 0 0-2 0, Lili Adnson 1 0-0 2, Simarah Reyes 0 0-0 0; Totals: 11 10-18 35.
3-pointers: Plymouth 4 (Fosler 2, H. Harrell, Brown), New Prairie 3 (Campos 3); Rebounds: Plymouth 22 (Horvath 5), New Prairie 20 (Kresca 7); Steals: Plymouth 9 (Wright 4), New Prairie 11 (Kresca 5); Turnovers: Plymouth 15, New Prairie 19; Assists: Plymouth 13 (Harrell 4), New Prairie 5 (Durbin 2); Fouls (fouled out): Plymouth 15 (none), New Prairie 14 (none).
Records: Plymouth 9-4, New Prairie 2-10
JV score: Plymouth 30 (Kara Morwood 8), New Prairie 14.