NAPPANEE — NorthWood was rolling while going on a 17-0 in the second quarter of Friday's boys basketball game against Plymouth.
Then Jake Reichard re-entered the game for the Pilgrims with two fouls and Plymouth rallied, with the eventual outcome being a 52-47 Pilgrims victory.
Reichard, who came in averaging 23.7 points a game, scored 13 of his 19 points in the second half. His two assists and two defensive rebounds in the fourth quarter were also factors in the Plymouth win.
"He was well rested," joked Plymouth coach Ryan Bales about Reichard, who sat for over six minutes in the second quarter after picking up his second foul. "We're a different team with him on the court. It's a great team win for us."
"We had a bad stretch in the second quarter and we challenged our team at halftime to step up and show some guts. Sometimes you can have turnovers, but it was the way we were turning it over that bothered me."
Plymouth bad stretch, which included seven turnovers in the second quarter, helped NorthWood go on a 17-0 run and take a 27-17 lead with 14 seconds left in the second quarter. Freshman Easton Strain's 3-pointer for the Pilgrims cut the deficit to 27-20 going into halftime.
Reichard played the entire second half and the game got tighter with him on the floor.
A 9-0 Pilgrims' run capped by a Reichard 3-pointer gave the visitors a 32-29 lead with 5:05 left in the third quarter.
"I thought (Plymouth) did a nice job in the third quarter of adjusting to our zone," said NorthWood coach Aaron Wolfe, whose team fell to 6-2 overall and 0-1 in the NLC. "They made some shots, which gave them some momentum."
NorthWood rallied to take a 37-34 lead to start the fourth quarter after Cooper Wiens scored with a minute left in the third.
"I give our guys some credit," Wolfe said. "We battled back and took a three point lead."
Cold shooting prevented the Panthers from keeping that advantage in the fourth. NorthWood missed its first seven shots in the final quarter and would finish the quarter missing 13 of its 16 shots.
"We just struggled to find points this week and I think it carried over into tonight," Wolfe said.
NorthWood defeated Jimtown, 41-35 in overtime on Tuesday, and finished 0-of-11 behind the arc in that contest.
Plymouth was quite the opposite Friday when it came to shooting in the fourth quarter, as the Pilgrims made their first seven shots in the fourth and took a 49-43 lead with 1:15 left in the game. Brady Hissong's layup off an assist from Reichard gave Plymouth that lead.
"The ball was going in," Bales said. "That's been a struggle for us all year. We're shooting a very low percentage."
Despite the shooting woes, the Panthers had a chance to tie the game in the final seconds. The Panthers got within 50-47 with :14.4 left after getting a field goal from Trent Edwards. NorthWood then got the ball back after a Plymouth turnover. The rally then ended as Cooper Wiens missed a 3-pointer and Strain grabbed the rebound for the Pilgrims and was fouled with :05.7 left. He calmly made two free throws to give Plymouth a 52-47 lead.
"We're glad he's a freshman," Bales said. "He's up there for a reason. I was proud of him. He gave us some great minutes in the second half. We needed him to play like a warrior. There's a lot of toughness to hit free throws in that situation."
Wolfe wasn't disappointed in the shot his team got from Wiens at the end.
"In late game situations we're just trying to get an open look," Wolfe said. "Cooper has been one of our better 3-point shooters this year. I was very happy that he had the courage to pull up and take that shot. Sometime in his career that shot is going to go the other way for him."
Hissong scored 15 points and Adam Hunter added 11 for Plymouth, which finished with eight 3-pointers compared to one for NorthWood.
"(Reichard) is a very good basketball player," Wolfe said. "I thought we made him earn some points tonight, but at the same time I thought their other guys did a pretty good job of knocking down some shots when they needed them."
Edwards led the Panthers with 18 points, while Jamarr Jackson added 14. He scored 12 of his points during NorthWood's 17-0 run.
"I thought Jamarr Jackson was excellent for us in the open floor tonight," Wolfe said.
PLYMOUTH 52, NORTHWOOD 47
PLYMOUTH: Joe Styers 0 0-0 0, Brady Hissong 6 1-2 15, Joe Barron 1 0-0 2, Cameron Weidner 0 0-0 0, Jake Reichard 8 0-1 19, Grant Houin 0 0-0 0, Adam Hunter 4 1-1 11, Owen Yoder 0 0-0 0, Easton Strain 1 2-2 5. Totals: 20-39 (.512), 4-6 (.666), 52.
NORTHWOOD: Jason Borkholder 1 4-4 6, Brock Flickinger 1 0-0 2, Jamarr Jackson 4 6-8 14, Trent Edwards 7 4-5 18, Ben Vincent 1 0-2 3, Cooper Wiens 1 0-0 2, Josh Stratford 1 0-0 2, Ian Raasch 0 0-0 0. Totals: 16-41 (.390), 14-19 (.736), 47.
Scoring By Quarters
3-point goals: Plymouth (8) - Reichard 3, Hunter 2, Hissong 2, Strain; NorthWood (1) - Vincent. Rebounds: Plymouth (22) - Hissong 6, Barron 5; NorthWood (22) - Edwards 6, Borkholder 5. Turnovers: Plymouth 18, NorthWood 12. Steals: Plymouth (6) - Houin 2; NorthWood (9) - Borkholder 3, Jackson 3. Total fouls: Plymouth 18, NorthWood 15. Fouled out - none. Records: Plymouth 3-4 (1-0 NLC), NorthWood 6-2 (0-1 NLC). JV: NorthWood 47, Plymouth 39.