Reichard hits 1000 but Lady Pilgrims can’t hold off Penn

Halle Reichard shares a moment with team mates Kacee Peters and CeCe Robinson after scoring her 1000th career point at PHS
By: 
Rusty Nixon
Sports Editor

It seemed like the dream might live for at least one more game, but a tough second half doomed the Plymouth Lady Pilgrims bid for a regional title as they fell to Penn by a 47-28 final.
For the first half Plymouth gave Penn all they could have wanted, for the most part forcing the action and having their way and within one at the first quarter break. Towards the end of the second quarter, the Kingsmen found a chink in the armor and were able to hit a pair of three's - ironically, one a buzzer beater by Reganne Pate - to go to the half with a six point lead.
"We were down at six at halftime and I thought we could come back and maybe make something happen offensively in the second half," said Plymouth head coach Dave Duncan. "They are a great defensive team."
That goes almost without saying as Penn came into the game allowing just 31 points a game to their opponents. The Lady Pilgrims matched that defensive intensity for 16 minutes but in the second half, Penn went into another mode and simply wore Plymouth out.
Out of the locker room, Penn went into a full court press, forced two quick turnovers and pushed the lead to 12 points. From there the Lady Pilgrims would be fighting a stiff uphill battle.
"They extended us a little bit and the gaps got bigger," said Duncan. "Obviously good teams when the gaps get bigger they take advantage of that. Their guards are hard to keep out of the paint. They are physical. They tied us up a lot with us just trying to make passes."
"They are physical. They are great at every position," said Duncan. "They rebound the heck out of the ball and they kind of wore us down there at the end."
For the entire second half the Lady Pilgrims were pushed to the limit as Penn seemed to be able to get into every passing lane and their one on one defense was close to flawless.
"If you look at the deflections in the game and total those things out how many touches did they get on the ball?" said Duncan. "It just seemed like every pass we had had some kind of deflection on it."
"We didn't have an answer for their athleticism and their physicality as well," said Duncan. "They were very physical. I was proud of our kids for hanging in there."
"When you get behind like that you have to create offense," said Duncan. "You aren't running what you want on offense and that's what happened in that game."
"We felt like if we could get to the free throw line it would be to our favor," he said. "We had a hard time getting there today."
The one positive that came out of the game was Plymouth senior Halle Reichard hitting her 1000th point.
Duncan left Reichard on the floor until late in the game to make sure that she would leave as the second leading scorer in Lady Pilgrim history.
"It was very important to us," said Duncan. "We all had an emotional moment together as a team in the locker room. She's been a big part of what we've done and we wanted to be sure she got that milestone."
"It gets to the point where you are family," said Duncan. "Our senior class really got us back to where we wanted to be as a program."
Plymouth ends the year with a 20 win season (20-6), their first since 2008 and a sectional championship, their first since 2013-14, and their first in class 4A.
•PENN 47, PLYMOUTH 28
at LaPorte
Plymouth 9 14 17 28
Penn 10 20 33 47
Plymouth (28) - Tanner 1 3-4 5, Holiday 3 3-3 9, Peters 0 0-0 0, Reichard 2 3-3 7, Flynn 0 0-0 0, Robinson 2 0-0 4, Clady 0 0-0 0, Weir 0 3-4 4. Totals 8 12-14 28.
Penn (47) - Jordyn Smith 4 1-1 11, Pate 2 2-3 8, Kilmer 2 8-10 12, Jada Smith 0 2-2 2, Shelton 1 0-0 2, Adams 1 0-0 2, Clinton 1 7-8 9, Patton 0 1-2 1. Totals 11 21-26 47.

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