Raiders spoil Plymouth Senior Night

PLYMOUTH — Plymouth’s defense held Northridge 11 points under its average but continued its rough scoring streak without Marissa Green, and the Class 4A, ninth-ranked Lady Raiders spoiled Senior Night with a 39-25 victory at The Rock Thursday.
“Northridge is a really good team; you’ve got to give them a lot of credit,” said Plymouth head girls basketball coach Dave Cox. “They put a lot of pressure on us offensively, so we had a lot of trouble getting shots off. It’s one of those things, I think, giving them 39 points is OK; we’ve just got to score more than 25.”
The visiting Raiders’ man-to-man full court press forced the Lady Pilgrims into turnovers in their opening four possessions while holding them scoreless for the first five minutes Thursday. Plymouth coughed the ball up another six straight possessions at the start of the third frame and scored just two points in the frame on a pair of free throws by Erin Kinney, who finished with six points — as they ran out to a 31-16 lead headed into the final stanza.
“We started the game with too many turnovers; we had three or four right in a row,” said Cox. “We talked about that in the locker room. We’ll go back and work on that; we’ll try to break that down. I think that’s correctable.”
Northridge was led by two players in double digits as Emily Peppers-VanNamee scored 14 points — to complement nine caroms — and Haley Schrock put up 11.
Meagan Barron chipped in seven points to pace Plymouth, including a traditional three-point play off a Kinney inbound pass that cut Northridge’s lead to 11-9 with 49 seconds left in the opening frame, although the Pilgrims never got any closer.
Already without 6-1 forward Green following an ACL tear, the Pilgrims found themselves down another starter in senior guard Haley Smart, who saw just 9:41 of court time Thursday suffering with an ankle sprain.
“Haley probably shouldn’t have played. She’s got a long ways to go, so that kind of disrupts your rhythm,” Cox said. “Some of the juniors and sophomores were probably a little more hesitant than you want them to be, and in a game at this level you’ve got to be right at the top of your game.”
The Raiders improve to 15-2 with a 4-1 Northern Lakes Conference mark, while Plymouth falls to 13-6 and an even 3-3 NLC mark with only two games left in the regular season.
“This is a deep-in-the-tourney type game,” said Cox. “They’re a 4A school... and that’s the type of game you’ll see in the sectional final and regional level. Not to be philosophical, but I think a game like that right now is better for us than a blowout. I think this is probably a good game for us.”
At Plymouth
Score by quarters
Northridge: 14 25 31 39
Plymouth: 9 14 16 25
NORTHRIDGE (39): Brianne O’Dell 0 0-0 0, Morgan Miller 0 0-0 0, Haley Schrock 3 1-1 11, Madison Schrock 1 2-2 4, Emily Peppers-VanNamee 6 1-2 14, Sydney Sample 2 0-0 4, Tori Roberts 1 2-2 4, Emylee Smith 0 1-2 1; Totals: 13 10-12 39.
PLYMOUTH (25): Lauren Tanner 2 1-1 5, Andria Shook 0 3-7 3, Brittany Gantz 0 0-0 0, Alex Schafer 0 0-0 0, Haley Smart 0 0-0 0, Meagan Barron 3 1-2 7, Amber Redinger 2 0-0 4, Savannah Mae 0 0-0 0, Erin Kinney 2 2-4 7; Totals: 9 6-13 25.
3-point goals: Northridge 3 (J. Schrock, Peppers-VanNamee, Sample), Plymouth 1 (Tanner); Turnovers: Northridge 17, Plymouth 21; Rebounds: Northridge 20 (Peppers Van-Namee 9), Plymouth 22 (Redinger 7); Assists: Northridge: 9 (Smith 3), Plymouth 5 (Barron 3); Steals: Northridge 9 ((Smith 3), Plymouth 6 (Smart 2, Barron 2); Blocked shots: Northridge 2 (Roberts 2), Plymouth 1 (Redinger) Total fouls (fouled out): Northridge 13 (none), Plymouth 15 (none); Records: Northridge 15-2 (4-1 NLC); Plymouth 13-6 (3-3 NLC).