By GREG KEIM
THE GOSHEN NEWS
Filip Serwatka felt like he owed something to his high school boys basketball teammates.
The 6-5 sophomore repaid the Concord Minutemen by scoring eight of the team’s 10 points in overtime as the team defeated the Plymouth Pilgrims, 50-42, Friday night at Concord to improve to 3-0 in the NLC.
“I had a couple of mistakes during regulation. Without those the game might not have went to overtime,” Serwatka said. “The coaches didn’t say anything to me. That was just me pushing myself.”
Plymouth scored first in the extra session. Serwatka tied the score 42-42 with a basket at 2:50 and gave the Minutemen the lead for good with another bucket at 1:46.
“Filip is very good on offense. He can create his own stuff,” Concord coach Steve Austin said. “He was a hard matchup for Plymouth. In overtime, he was able to drive tot he basket and slide over to avoid the charging calls.”
One of the reasons Serwatka was able to drive to the basket was Plymouth 6-9 junior center Mack Mercer fouled out with 2:43 left in regulation.
“Mack was out of the game and I was able to go inside and shoot over their other players,” Serwatka said. “I played against Mercer over the summer at MBA Select. He has gotten bigger and stronger since then.”
Mercer scored 10 points in the contest. He was guarded most of the time by either 6-2 senior DuWhan Alford or 6-6 senior Franko House.
“Ten points is still too many,” Austin said. “Our goal was to keep him from even touching the ball. We were hoping that would frustrate him.”
Plymouth coach Ryan Bales was impressed with his team’s play.
“Both teams competed, but Concord got to the rim in the overtime,” Plymouth coach Ryan Bales said. “We were in position to win, but we couldn’t make a stop on defense when we needed one.
“Having Mercer foul out was huge. There was a lot of banging going on and Mack kept his composure.”
Serwatka scored seven points in regulation before his huge effort in overtime.
“He averaged 21 points over his last two games,” Bales added. “You can see he is playing with a lot of confidence. One thing he did more of then we had seen from his was take the ball off the dribble.”
The Minutemen are in a good position in the race for the NLC title.
“Starting out 3-0 is huge for us,” Austin said. “It’s the first time since I’ve been here.”
The Pilgrims have lost two NLC games and both have been overtime decisions.
“It’s extremely difficult to have lost two NLC games by overtime,” Bales said.
House tossed in a game-high 17 points to lead the Minutemen. He missed Tuesday’s game at South Bend Clay (72-70 Concord loss) suffering from the flu.
“Franko came back. I was a little worried about how he would do tonight,” Austin said. “Near the end of regulation he was asking me to call time out. I told him I already knew what the play was. He said it wasn’t that he just needed a break.”
Concord had four other players that missed school this week with the flu.
“How tired we were going to be worried me more than anything,” Austin said. “Still I think for the most part we got our regular rotations. Alford was one that really concerned me. He was one of the sicker ones, but he got himself some extra rest by getting into some early foul trouble.”
Six-two junior Adam Glanders tossed in 10 points for the Minutemen.
Five-eight junior Ramon Johnson scored five points for Concord to go with seven assists and three steals.
Johnson had a layup following a steal that gave the Minutemen a 38-35 lead with 3:16 to play in regulation.
“Ramon is so disruptive on defense,” Austin said. “After the Clay game we talked to him about not gambling as much, but about staying in position. He really hawked the ball when Plymouth had it. Plymouth was not quite as good handling the ball as I had expected.”
Six-foot David Lee netted 14 points to lead the Pilgrims.
Concord 50, Plymouth 42 OT
PLYMOUTH — Joe Knapp 2-8 1-3 6, David Lee 7-12 0-1 14, Mack Mercer 3-7 3-4 10, Ike Kastner 2-8 0-0 5, Kyser McCrammer 1-1 0-0 2, Tom Felke 2-5 0-0 5. Team: 17-41 4-8 42
CONCORD — Ramon Johnson 2-5 0-0 5, Adam Glanders 3-5 2-3 10, DuWhan Alford 1-4 0-1 3, Franko House 8-14 0-0 17, Filip Serwatka 6-9 3-4 15, Ghaneah Wayker 0-2 0-0 0, Dylan Wynne 0-0 0-0 0, Jacob Kronk 0-0 0-0 0. Team: 20-40 5-8 50
Plymouth 11 8 11 10 2 — 42
Concord 14 8 9 9 10 — 50
3-point goals: Plymouth 4-19 (Mercer 1-3, Felke 1-3, Knapp 1-5, Kastner 1-6, Lee 0-2). Concord 5-11 (Glanders 2-3, House 1-1, Johnson 1-2, Alford 1-3, Serwatka 0-1, Wynne 0-1).
Fouls (fouled out): Plymouth 17 (Mercer), Concord 16.
Rebounds: Plymouth 17 (Kastner 8, Mercer 5). Concord 28 (House 9, Serwatka 7).
Assists: Concord 8 (Johnson 7).
Steals: Concord 7 (Johnson 3, Wayker 2).
Turnovers: Plymouth 12, Concord 19.
Officials: Eric Coburn, Kirk Robinson, Terry Leek.
Records (next games): Concord (9-1, 3-0 NLC) meets Elkhart Central Tuesday at North Side Gym. Plymouth (9-2, 1-2) hosts LaPorte tonight.
JV score: Plymouth won 26-24. (Concord: Danny McMahon 12, Ryan Tepe 6, Brett Austin 4. Plymouth: Josh Andes 8, Michael Kaser 6).