PLYMOUTH — It won't be one for the ages, but a win is a win as Plymouth's Pilgrims stayed unbeaten in NLC play with a 52-44 victory over Concord.
"I'm really more excited that we took care of business here at home," said Plymouth coach Ryan Bales. "We had a great crowd, a great atmosphere. We've been here before with a double-digit lead and fell flat on our face. Against (Gary) Roosevelt I think the lead was 13 and we came out in the second half just flat. I'm proud of our kids for playing hard and bringing some excitement and we have to keep doing that no matter what."
Early on it was a struggle with Concord controlling the boards and forcing Plymouth errors with the Pilgrims holding just a two-point lead at the quarter break. Jake Reichard had 10 of his game-high 29 to spur Plymouth to a 15-13 lead.
"I thought in the first few minutes, really the first quarter, in general, we didn't rebound very well," said Bales. "They had a really good game plan they were bringing their big guy (Zaven Koltookian) down low, posting hard. He was a load down there when he wanted the ball."
Concord had nine first-quarter rebounds to five for Plymouth and held their own. But an adjustment in quarter number two would be the difference in the game.
"Obviously we had to go to a trap a little more in the half-court and get some ball pressure that way," said Bales. "Our kids did a great job of executing that."
"We sped them up a little bit and started playing harder," he said. "You put in the trap sometimes that brings your intensity level up a little bit. That did that for our team tonight."
"We had to go to that honestly because they were picking us apart," said Bales. "Our post defense was a question mark, our ball pressure, we have to get better in our man to man. We need to improve in those areas."
Plymouth doubled up the Minutemen at half allowing them just two points in the second quarter and never looking back from there.
Along with 29 points Reichard also had seven rebounds, three assists and a pair of steals.
"I thought Jake (Reichard) had a great night overall but I think a lot of other guys did a great job finding him," said Bales. "We shared the ball well. Great execution on our end."
"We know that he (Reichard) can score whether outside or inside," he said. "When he wants to get a rebound there is nobody that is going to take it from him he's such a strong kid and he uses his body well. He did a great job knowing when to kick it tonight. When you see your leader doing things like that I think it makes you play a little harder as well."
Plymouth (6-8) is unbeaten at 3-0 in NLC play and has Wawasee at home next week. Concord is now 0-9.
•PLYMOUTH 52, CONCORD 44
Plymouth 15 30 43 52
Concord 13 15 24 44
Plymouth (52) — Hunter 3 0-0 7, Weidner 1 0-0 2, Styers 0 0-0 0, Yoder 1 0-0 2, Reichard 11 3-5 29, Hissong 1 0-0 2, Houin 2 1-2 5, Strain 2 1-2 6. Totals 21 5-10 52.
Concord (44) — D'Arcy 0 0-0 0, Starrett 0 0-0 0, Taylor 0 0-1 0, Dixon 3 2-2 10, Smith 5 0-0 14, Moore 3 2-2 8, Fish 0 2-2 2, Swartout 0 2-2 2, Koltookian 4 0-0 8.
3 pt. FG — Plymouth 6-17 (Reichard 4), Concord 6-23 (Smith 4).
Rebounds — Plymouth 27 (Strain 8), Concord 22 (Koltookian 5).
Assists — Plymouth 11 (Reichard, Hunter 3), Concord 11 (D’Arcy 4).
Steals — Plymouth 7 (Reichard 3), Concord 7 (Moore, D’Arcy 2).
Turnovers — Plymouth 16, Concord 11
Fouls (Fouled out) — Plymouth 10, Concord 10.