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Kayla Sullivan drives toward the hoop during the home opener for the Plymouth girls’ hoop team on Dec. 16. RC Greenwood. (click for larger version)
December 19, 2011
PLYMOUTH — Plymouth girls' basketball coach Jim Carey went back through the books and can't find a time that the Bobcats have beaten Hanover since 1987.

"I think the last time we beat them was 1987," Carey said. "We've gone 0-22 since then."

Carey relayed that stat to his girls during halftime of Friday night's home opener and the Bobcats responded in a big way.

Plymouth held the Marauders to just three points in the frame and turned a 23-18 halftime deficit into a 32-26 lead after three quarters of play and held on for an exciting 40-39 win in a game that saw Hanover battle back a couple times in the fourth quarter without ever being able to take the lead back.

The game plan from the start for Carey's girls was to come out strong and pressure the Marauders right away, but Hannah Kuehl and Kenady Kelly both picked up two fouls in the first couple of minutes and the Bobcats were without two of the key pieces to their defensive puzzle, which allowed Hanover to take an 11-6 lead after one quarter of play.

"That put us on our heels early and we couldn't come out with the pressure like we wanted to," the Plymouth coach said.

Plymouth cut that lead to one in the second quarter, but Hanover closed out the half strong and took the 23-18 lead to the break, where Carey rallied his troops.

"When we came out (for the second half), it felt like a fresh start and we were able to play aggressively," Carey said.

The Bobcat coach praised Kelly for her very strong defense, which held Hanover's solid shooting guard to just eight points and he noted that the defensive pressure took the ball out of the senior point guard's hands, which was key in stopping the offense.

Plymouth extended the lead to eight early in the fourth quarter, but Hanover didn't quit and came back looking for more, cutting the lead to one on a couple of occasions.

"It would've been easy for the girls to lose focus, but the didn't," Carey stated.

Hanover had the ball under their own hoop with four seconds on the clock and the defense didn't allow the Marauders to get an inside shot, instead forcing the visitors to take a contested 17-foot jumper that didn't fall.

"If we were going to get beat, we didn't want to get beat inside," Carey said. "The girls really played well."

For the evening, Kayla Sullivan had 14 points, including seven of 10 shooting from the foul line (six of eight in the fourth quarter). She also had seven rebounds and five assists.

"That's what you want out of your senior guard," Carey said.

Kuehl finished with 14 points and 13 rebounds.

"That's a pretty solid night," Carey added.

The Bobcats opened the season with a trip to Windham on Monday, Dec. 12, and though they came home with a loss, there was certainly some positive stuff to be taken from the game.

"They should be a top team," Carey said. "Last year they beat us by 30 on our court. For us to go down there this year and play them tight, that's a good sign."

Plymouth actually outscored the Jaguars 17-10 in the fourth quarter, but couldn't make up for tough first and third quarters when they were outscored by a combined total of 22 points, falling 59-41.

Carey noted that Plymouth had four solid players that could do damage, but his girls hung tough and didn't give in.

"I was pleased with the effort," he said. "We battled and hung in there."

Sullivan had 14 in the game, while Kuehl added 11 points and 10 rebounds. Sophomore point guard Katie Vachon had seven points, but more importantly, held Windham's point guard to just two points on the night.

"That's what you want your point guard to do is lock their point guard down and she did that," Carey said.

Kelly provided a spark plug all over the court and Alicia Barney chipped in with good defense, which Carey said was great as everyone brought their own best game to the court.

"Everyone played to their strengths," he said. "I was pleased they each brought their individual games to the court."

Plymouth will be in action in the Keene Holiday Tournament on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The Bobcats return to regular season action on Tuesday Jan. 3, when they host Kingswood.

Joshua Spaulding can be reached at sportsgsn@salmonpress.com or 569-3126

Plymouth held the Marauders to just three points in the frame and turned a 23-18 halftime deficit into a 32-26 lead after three quarters of play and held on for an exciting 40-39 win in a game that saw Hanover battle back a couple times in the fourth quarter without ever being able to take the lead back.

The game plan from the start for Carey's girls was to come out strong and pressure the Marauders right away, but Hannah Kuehl and Kenady Kelly both picked up two fouls in the first couple of minutes and the Bobcats were without two of the key pieces to their defensive puzzle, which allowed Hanover to take an 11-6 lead after one quarter of play.

"That put us on our heels early and we couldn't come out with the pressure like we wanted to," the Plymouth coach said.

Plymouth cut that lead to one in the second quarter, but Hanover closed out the half strong and took the 23-18 lead to the break, where Carey rallied his troops.

"When we came out (for the second half), it felt like a fresh start and we were able to play aggressively," Carey said.

The Bobcat coach praised Kelly for her very strong defense, which held Hanover's solid shooting guard to just eight points and he noted that the defensive pressure took the ball out of the senior point guard's hands, which was key in stopping the offense.

Plymouth extended the lead to eight early in the fourth quarter, but Hanover didn't quit and came back looking for more, cutting the lead to one on a couple of occasions.

"It would've been easy for the girls to lose focus, but the didn't," Carey stated.

Hanover had the ball under their own hoop with four seconds on the clock and the defense didn't allow the Marauders to get an inside shot, instead forcing the visitors to take a contested 17-foot jumper that didn't fall.

"If we were going to get beat, we didn't want to get beat inside," Carey said. "The girls really played well."

For the evening, Kayla Sullivan had 14 points, including seven of 10 shooting from the foul line (six of eight in the fourth quarter). She also had seven rebounds and five assists.

"That's what you want out of your senior guard," Carey said.

Kuehl finished with 14 points and 13 rebounds.

"That's a pretty solid night," Carey added.

The Bobcats opened the season with a trip to Windham on Monday, Dec. 12, and though they came home with a loss, there was certainly some positive stuff to be taken from the game.

"They should be a top team," Carey said. "Last year they beat us by 30 on our court. For us to go down there this year and play them tight, that's a good sign."

Plymouth actually outscored the Jaguars 17-10 in the fourth quarter, but couldn't make up for tough first and third quarters when they were outscored by a combined total of 22 points, falling 59-41.

Carey noted that Plymouth had four solid players that could do damage, but his girls hung tough and didn't give in.

"I was pleased with the effort," he said. "We battled and hung in there."

Sullivan had 14 in the game, while Kuehl added 11 points and 10 rebounds. Sophomore point guard Katie Vachon had seven points, but more importantly, held Windham's point guard to just two points on the night.

"That's what you want your point guard to do is lock their point guard down and she did that," Carey said.

Kelly provided a spark plug all over the court and Alicia Barney chipped in with good defense, which Carey said was great as everyone brought their own best game to the court.

"Everyone played to their strengths," he said. "I was pleased they each brought their individual games to the court."

Plymouth will be in action in the Keene Holiday Tournament on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The Bobcats return to regular season action on Tuesday Jan. 3, when they host Kingswood.

Joshua Spaulding can be reached at sportsgsn@salmonpress.com or 569-3126

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