Reichard shot sends Plymouth to double OT win

Plymouth's Halle Reichard hits the game winner in Plymouth's victory over Northridge
By: 
Rusty Nixon
Sports Editor

It has been a great season for the Plymouth Lady Pilgrims, but it appears that even at that they’ve saved the best for last. They found a way to take a win in double overtime in round one of the sectional over Northridge by a final of 57-54.
It was the second win in a week for Plymouth over the NLC conference champs. While both teams struggled offensively, neither defense struggled as neither team was able to stretch a lead more than five points in a back and forth game.
Both teams leading scorers struggled to find anything for most of the game with Lady Raiders leading scorer Morgan Litwiller scoring just three points in the game’s first half and missing point blank shots that normally fall. Plymouth’s Halle Reichard struggled as well with only a single basket in regulation time and unable to find her normal shooting touch.
But as usually happens, big-time players make big-time plays as Litwiller came alive for nine points in overtime, including a huge long-distance three near the time line to send the game to a second overtime.
Reichard answered in overtime number two. After burying two late free throws, she then hit the biggest shot of the game, a game-winning three from the corner with just three seconds left.
“I thought those two free throws broke the ice for Halle at the end,” said Plymouth coach Dave Duncan of Reichard’s second overtime performance. “Claire (Tanner) got into the lane and she made the right decision, she found Halle in the corner. Halle is a catch and shoot player and, wow, what a big shot.”
It was a night for many players stepping up. Northridge’s Sierra Miller hit two big threes in the fourth quarter to help push the game to overtime and Plymouth’s CeCe Robinson had seven points and three rebounds in the final eight minutes of regulation. Tanner had an outstanding game handling the Northridge pressure at the point and leading the Lady Pilgrims with 15 points.
“Litwiller is such a great player and she’s had such a great career,” said Duncan of the Northridge senior. “She almost just willed her team to the win. I think she had three at half time and she broke loose in the second half. We told our kids that she was going to find a way to score and she did.”
Litwiller ended the night near her average with 18, 15 of those in the second half. But the Plymouth defense was able to force 12 turnovers, which would be a big reason for the win. Along with out rebounding the Lady Raiders 22 to 16. Cassidy Holiday had six boards for Plymouth to go with Robinson’s eight.
“Our defensive intensity has gone to another level,” said Duncan. “Our kids are buying in and our seniors just don’t want it to end.”
Plymouth is now 18-5 and will take on Concord tonight at 6 p.m. in the semi-final round at Northridge. The Lady Raiders end their season as NLC champs and with a record of 17-7.
•PLYMOUTH 57, NORTHRIDGE 54
at Nortridge
Plymouth 8 15 30 43 50 57
Northridge 7 19 30 43 50 54
Plymouth (57) - Tanner 5 4-4 15, Holiday 2 2-2 6, Peters 3 0-0 7, Reichard 2 2-2 7, Flynn 0 0-0 0, Robinson 4 6-8 14, Clady 1 2-2 4, Weir 2 0-1 4. Totals 19 16-19 57.
Northridge (54) - Love 1 0-0 2, King 4 0-0 10, Litwiller 6 3-4 18, Weaver 1 0-0 2, Miller 4 0-0 12, Weinert 0 0-0 0, Bontrager 2 0-0 4, Knepp 1 0-0 2, Beckler 0 4-6 4. Totals 19 7-10 54.

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