ELKHART — Elkhart's North Side gym has seen its fair share of classics and last night's game will surely take it's place in that list as Plymouth's Jake Reichard buried a three at the buzzer to give the Pilgrims a 53-50 win over Elkhart Memorial.
"They are a scary team. They've been really streaky all year long just like us," said Plymouth head coach Ryan Bales. "With their style of play, you could see how quickly the game got away from us in the middle quarters. A lot of that was them. They executed their game plan in those middle quarters and obviously, we did not. "
It was without question a "streaky" game with each team having peaks and valleys with the Pilgrims coming out of the box grabbing an 18-9 first-quarter lead that grew to 30-16.
That's when it all changed. By half the Chargers had whittled it down to seven and the Chargers won the third quarter 20-6 and took a six-point lead to the final eight.
"During that stretch, you're feeling pretty good with it 30-16," said Bales. "But I know better than that here. You have to give them a lot of credit."
Quarter number four belonged to Jake Reichard hit 12 of his game-high 30 points in that eight-minute span including the game-winner as the buzzer went off
"It was a game in which we could have folded," said Bales. "For a while there our body language was really down and we were kind of walking back to the huddle. Memorial is a team that they aren't going to hold it. They are going to keep playing the game. We knew we would have a chance if we could get some defensive stops."
The Pilgrims got the stops they needed and weathered a furious defensive effort by Memorial and took the win.
"It was the defense for us and we started executing our sets," said Bales. "Reichard obviously had some great moments but you have to give our other guys some credit for trusting him with the ball."
The final shot was exactly as it was drawn up with 11 seconds left but the part of the plan that worked was getting the ball in Reichard's hands.
"We would have liked to get the ball a little closer to the basket," said Bales. "He's got a great offensive game and he's able to get separation on his jump shot and obviously able to knock down a very tough shot."
The Pilgrims are now 5-6 on the year and unbeaten in NLC play. Memorial is 4-5 and 1-1.
•PLYMOUTH 53, MEMORIAL 50
At North Side Gym
Plymouth 18 30 36 53
Memorial 9 23 43 50
Plymouth (53) — Reichard 9 7-8 30, Hunter 4 0-0 11, Strain 3 0-0 6, Styers 1 1-3 3, Weidner 1 0-0 3. Totals 18 8-11 53.
Memorial (50) — Miller 6 3-5 17, Emmons 4 3-4 11, Rogers 2 1-2 6, Lewis 2 0-1 5, Anderson 2 1-1 5, Brooks 2 0-0 4. Totals 19 8-13 50.