Warsaw Fights Off Plymouth In Northern Lakes Finale

February 9, 2024 at 9:50 p.m.
Warsaw junior Brandt Martin works his way to the basket between a pair of Plymouth defenders during the second quarter. Photo by Gary Nieter
Warsaw junior Brandt Martin works his way to the basket between a pair of Plymouth defenders during the second quarter. Photo by Gary Nieter

By CONNOR MCCANN Sports Editor

Playing their final Northern Lakes Conference game of the season on Friday night, the Warsaw boys basketball team needed a win over rival Plymouth to finish above .500 in the conference. For a while, it looked as if the Tigers were going to roll to victory, but the hot shooting of the Pilgrims made it tight down the stretch. In the end, Warsaw was able to hold on to a 63-56 win.
Prior to the game, Warsaw honored members of the 1983-84 boys basketball team. The 84’ Tigers went 26-2 and became the first boys team in school history to win a state title.
The start was not what the Tigers were looking for. Plymouth would score the first three points of the night on their first possession, and it would take a bit for Warsaw to get on the board themselves. When it happened though, it happened in a big way. Warsaw’s Brandt Martin caught fire early on, scoring the first eight points for the home team in what started a 9-0 run.
Warsaw had plenty of chances to extend that lead mightily in the opening quarter with the Pilgrims struggling from the field after their initial make. They were unable to take advantage early on however, turning the ball over far too many times as the game devolved into a sloppy display.
For a brief moment, the Tigers’ lead would grow to 10 as the quarter winded down, but Plymouth was able to answer with their second made shot, their first since the opening minute, with 40 seconds left to make it a seven-point affair heading into the second. Out of Warsaw’s 14 points, eleven were scored by Martin.
The second period featured more of the same, with the Tigers doing just enough to stay in front but not enough to blow the game wide open. Time continued to tick off the clock with the Warsaw lead staying around eight. Finally, with just three minutes left in the half, the Tigers would get it going. Supporting Martin on the offensive end would be Robbie Finlinson, who added five points of his own in the second. Luke Bricker finally got his first shot of the night to fall. Trai Davis scored just two points in the first half, but was everywhere else, totaling four rebounds, two steals and a block.

    Junior Robbie Finlinson of Warsaw squares up to the basket for a shot during Friday night's home game against Plymouth. Photo by Gary Nieter


The spurt at the end of the half was just what the Tigers were looking for, as the home side was able to more double its lead to 17 in the final minutes. Now, with a bit more breathing room, Warsaw had taken some pressure off as the third quarter was set to begin.
Luke Yeager began the third quarter with authority, dunking in the Tigers’ first points on the team’s first possession. The momentum that the team had started building at the end of the first half had clearly carried over here, and not long afterwards, Warsaw was up 20.
The Pilgrims would not lay down. The visitors began clamping down a lot tighter on the defensive side of the ball and began stringing some good offensive looks together. Combining the two, Plymouth was able to start to chip away.
They would get the lead down to 15 before another Tiger spurt got it right back to 20. Finlinson continued his great game, joining Martin in double figures on his second three pointer of the night. Following that shot, Warsaw began to get stagnant on the offensive end once more. The team was able to manage a few points at the charity stripe with Plymouth in the bonus, but not much else. Once again, the Pilgrims were able to take advantage chipping away and making it a 13-point game.
It would get as low as eleven at one point, but Martin and Mydin Burgher were able to hit some clutch shots in the final minute of the third to get the lead back up to 13 as the fourth quarter began.
Despite the crucial points to help hold Plymouth at bay, the momentum was now very much on the side of the Pilgrims. A burst at the beginning of the final quarter would make it a 10-point game, where it would stay for several minutes. Eventually, with four and a half minutes left, the visitors were able to get it to nine, making it a single digit game for the first time in the second half.
Plymouth didn’t stop there. With just over three minutes to play, they had cut it down to six. The Tigers hadn’t made a field goal in quite some time, and the pressure was starting to mount. With two and a half to go, Finlinson gave Warsaw a much needed make, draining a jumper from the foul line to get it back up to eight.
It wouldn’t put the game on ice though, as the three point shooting of the Pilgrims had taken over the game. Almost every possession of the fourth quarter ended with Plymouth taking a shot from distance, and it was paying off. The shots continued to fall, and with a minute left, the Warsaw lead was now just three.
With a chance to put the game away at the line, the Tigers were able to do so. Martin sank a pair while Finlinson split to make it a four-point game with 20 seconds left. Perhaps rushing to find a good shot, Plymouth turned it over on the following possession, leading to two more free throws for Carson Gould. He’d make both to finally put the game away for Warsaw.
Martin led the way for Warsaw with 23 points. Finlinson scored 13 while Yeager added nine and seven rebounds. Gould scored six.
The Tigers (13-5, 4-3 NLC) are at home Saturday evening for a game against Westville.

Playing their final Northern Lakes Conference game of the season on Friday night, the Warsaw boys basketball team needed a win over rival Plymouth to finish above .500 in the conference. For a while, it looked as if the Tigers were going to roll to victory, but the hot shooting of the Pilgrims made it tight down the stretch. In the end, Warsaw was able to hold on to a 63-56 win.
Prior to the game, Warsaw honored members of the 1983-84 boys basketball team. The 84’ Tigers went 26-2 and became the first boys team in school history to win a state title.
The start was not what the Tigers were looking for. Plymouth would score the first three points of the night on their first possession, and it would take a bit for Warsaw to get on the board themselves. When it happened though, it happened in a big way. Warsaw’s Brandt Martin caught fire early on, scoring the first eight points for the home team in what started a 9-0 run.
Warsaw had plenty of chances to extend that lead mightily in the opening quarter with the Pilgrims struggling from the field after their initial make. They were unable to take advantage early on however, turning the ball over far too many times as the game devolved into a sloppy display.
For a brief moment, the Tigers’ lead would grow to 10 as the quarter winded down, but Plymouth was able to answer with their second made shot, their first since the opening minute, with 40 seconds left to make it a seven-point affair heading into the second. Out of Warsaw’s 14 points, eleven were scored by Martin.
The second period featured more of the same, with the Tigers doing just enough to stay in front but not enough to blow the game wide open. Time continued to tick off the clock with the Warsaw lead staying around eight. Finally, with just three minutes left in the half, the Tigers would get it going. Supporting Martin on the offensive end would be Robbie Finlinson, who added five points of his own in the second. Luke Bricker finally got his first shot of the night to fall. Trai Davis scored just two points in the first half, but was everywhere else, totaling four rebounds, two steals and a block.

    Junior Robbie Finlinson of Warsaw squares up to the basket for a shot during Friday night's home game against Plymouth. Photo by Gary Nieter


The spurt at the end of the half was just what the Tigers were looking for, as the home side was able to more double its lead to 17 in the final minutes. Now, with a bit more breathing room, Warsaw had taken some pressure off as the third quarter was set to begin.
Luke Yeager began the third quarter with authority, dunking in the Tigers’ first points on the team’s first possession. The momentum that the team had started building at the end of the first half had clearly carried over here, and not long afterwards, Warsaw was up 20.
The Pilgrims would not lay down. The visitors began clamping down a lot tighter on the defensive side of the ball and began stringing some good offensive looks together. Combining the two, Plymouth was able to start to chip away.
They would get the lead down to 15 before another Tiger spurt got it right back to 20. Finlinson continued his great game, joining Martin in double figures on his second three pointer of the night. Following that shot, Warsaw began to get stagnant on the offensive end once more. The team was able to manage a few points at the charity stripe with Plymouth in the bonus, but not much else. Once again, the Pilgrims were able to take advantage chipping away and making it a 13-point game.
It would get as low as eleven at one point, but Martin and Mydin Burgher were able to hit some clutch shots in the final minute of the third to get the lead back up to 13 as the fourth quarter began.
Despite the crucial points to help hold Plymouth at bay, the momentum was now very much on the side of the Pilgrims. A burst at the beginning of the final quarter would make it a 10-point game, where it would stay for several minutes. Eventually, with four and a half minutes left, the visitors were able to get it to nine, making it a single digit game for the first time in the second half.
Plymouth didn’t stop there. With just over three minutes to play, they had cut it down to six. The Tigers hadn’t made a field goal in quite some time, and the pressure was starting to mount. With two and a half to go, Finlinson gave Warsaw a much needed make, draining a jumper from the foul line to get it back up to eight.
It wouldn’t put the game on ice though, as the three point shooting of the Pilgrims had taken over the game. Almost every possession of the fourth quarter ended with Plymouth taking a shot from distance, and it was paying off. The shots continued to fall, and with a minute left, the Warsaw lead was now just three.
With a chance to put the game away at the line, the Tigers were able to do so. Martin sank a pair while Finlinson split to make it a four-point game with 20 seconds left. Perhaps rushing to find a good shot, Plymouth turned it over on the following possession, leading to two more free throws for Carson Gould. He’d make both to finally put the game away for Warsaw.
Martin led the way for Warsaw with 23 points. Finlinson scored 13 while Yeager added nine and seven rebounds. Gould scored six.
The Tigers (13-5, 4-3 NLC) are at home Saturday evening for a game against Westville.

Have a news tip? Email [email protected] or Call/Text 360-922-3092

e-Edition


e-edition

Sign up


for our email newsletters

Weekly Top Stories

Sign up to get our top stories delivered to your inbox every Sunday

Daily Updates & Breaking News Alerts

Sign up to get our daily updates and breaking news alerts delivered to your inbox daily

Latest Stories


Blood + Sweat + Tears = A Warsaw Tigers Sectional Title
Blood, Sweat, and Tears – a band whose music was at its greatest popularity in the late 1960s and early 1970s – would have been a fitting form of halftime entertainment at Elkhart’s Hoosier basketball temple, North Side Gymnasium. The Warsaw Tigers boys’ basketball team captured its 41st sectional title in the program’s history at this hallowed Hoosier Hysteria venue, defeating the Penn Kingsmen 46-34 Saturday night in the IHSAA Class 4A Sectional 4 battle.

Offensive Woes Doom Valley In Title Game Loss To Glenn
Playing IHSAA 3A Sectional 18 on their home court, the Tippecanoe Valley boys basketball team looked to avenge last season’s postseason loss to John Glenn in the title game on Saturday night. The Vikings started slow, mounted a furious comeback in the fourth quarter, but were unable to come away victorious in a 35-30 loss.

Lancers Rout Marian, Will Host Championship On Tuesday
Grace’s men’s basketball team beat Marian in the Crossroads League Tournament for the third straight season on Saturday.

Bremen Man Arrested After Firearm Discharged At A Rochester School
ROCHESTER – A Bremen man was arrested on weapons and drug charges after he allegedly discharged a firearm during a wrestling tournament in Fulton County.

Community Theatre Brings ‘The Man Who Came To Dinner’ Back To The Wagon Wheel
“The Man Who Came to Dinner” was written by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman 85 years ago in 1939.