SYRACUSE – In a battle of teams looking to get into the win column in the Northern Lakes Conference, Plymouth made good use of extra chances to best Wawasee, 38-29, Friday night in boys buckets at the Hardwood Teepee.
It became another episode of the broken record for Wawasee. Minor details became big deals for a Wawasee squad that sits at 0-4 in the NLC. A scramble for a loose ball with just seconds left in the second quarter had Plymouth’s Nick Felke pick up the loose ball and chuck it about 22 feet, splashing home a three at the buzzer to give Plymouth a five-point lead.
Wawasee also went through a stretch of five straight offensive possessions at the end of the third quarter with an empty trip that either resulted in a foul called on the Warriors or a turnover. In that stretch, Plymouth extended its lead to 27-17. In a game where scoring was at a premium, Warrior head coach Jon Everingham belabored the counteractive trips.
“The two biggest plays were the three-pointer right at halftime and then again at the end of the third quarter where we give up five points on end of quarter situations,” Everingham said. “You don’t have those five points and it’s a different ballgame. There’s a fine line between winning and losing. It generally comes down to three or four plays. We struggled from the line again and gave up end of quarter baskets. We’ve got to clean that up.”
In a tempo in the first half that Everingham said was not planned, sometimes a dozen touches on the ball before a shot was taken was a direct effect of not having its leading scorer, Trevon Coleman, on the floor. Coleman, who was hovering near 13 points per night to lead the Warriors before tweaking his knee in last week’s loss to Memorial, was a glaring omission on the court.
Without Coleman, the Warriors only took nine shots in the first half and were 8-21 overall in the game (38 percent). Plymouth, however, wasn’t wanting to change much in pace. Plymouth did hit 5-9 from three-point range in the first half, which made a huge difference.
Wawasee would make six threes on the night, using treys from Tyler Smith and Ryan Edington to squeak back to trail just 34-28 with 46 seconds remaining. Given Everingham’s inferences to the free points Plymouth got at the end of the second and third quarters, the mistakes loomed large as Wawasee was forced to foul and hope for missed free throws from the Pilgrims, which went 9-12 from the line in the fourth quarter. Plymouth went 11-14 overall from the line, Wawasee just 7-15.
Felke would eventually lead Plymouth with 15 points and Cam Dennie scored 10 points. The Pilgrims moved to 1-3 in the NLC and 9-6 overall.
Cayden Wegener would end up leading the Warriors (4-8) with seven points. Jairus Boyer hit a pair of first-half threes but would finish at six points. Cam Schlabach and Smith each had five points.
“You take your leading scorer out of the mix, and we were struggling to score with him, and certainly that makes it more difficult,” Everingham said. “There’s an opportunity for some other guys to get some more minutes and really make a push to be that second or third scorer for us. Unfortunately for us tonight that didn’t happen.”
Wawasee’s JV opened the night with a 32-19 win over Plymouth, advancing its mark to 10-2 overall. The Warriors will visit Bethany Christian Tuesday night.