GREENWICH — Plymouth Big Red senior Nicole Lyons stole the show Thursday night at South Central High School.
Lyons scored 29 points and added 19 rebounds, as Plymouth defeated the Lady Trojans 66-45 to improve to 9-3 on the season, 8-0 in the Firelands Conference.
South Central dropped to 6-5 and 4-4.
The evening was full of milestones, as South Central junior Tayler Tackett scored 22 points and eclipsed the 1,000-point mark for her career at the 3:17 mark of the second quarter.
“We wanted to win,” Tackett said afterward about the game.
“It did give me chills,” she added about the 1,000 points. “I was nervous.”
The game was a battle for three quarters as the score was 13-13 after one, 26-26 at the half and 43-37 in favor of Plymouth after three, before the Big Red pulled away in the final quarter.
“In the first half, they keyed on me a lot and that opened up a lot of the other girls,” Tackett said.
“She’s worked hard for it,” South Central coach Becky Hintz said about Tackett. “She is setting the bar high.”
Hintz said the all-time school scoring record for a career was set in 2000 by Cassie Palmer, with 1,139 points. Tackett, now with 1,017 points, will likely catch Palmer this season.
Hintz knows her team is getting there.
“That’s what I told the girls,” she said. “We were right there through three quarters with the top team in the conference. We just need to keep building on that.”
The Lady Trojans play again at home Thursday against Crestview.
“Crestview presses so we’ll need to work on ball-handling and handling the pressure,” Hintz said. “And continue working on defense.”
Plymouth coach Scott Speicher commented on the win and Tackett’s record.
“Congratulations, she’s a great kid who has worked hard,” he said. “Hitting 1,000 points as a junior is a great accomplishment.”
Speicher knew the game would be competitive.
“We couldn’t knock a shot down in the first half,” he said. “In the third, we were able to go on a little bit of a run. We made them play man and we were able to run our man offense.”
Plymouth ran the back-door cut consistently in the second half.
“We were trying to get the ball to our bigs,” Speicher said.
Speicher said Lyons really toughed it out, playing with a bad back she hurt Saturday against Western Reserve.
“Nicole is a great kid who gave a great effort with a bad back,” he said. “She’s very coachable. This team is full of coachable kids.”
Lyons talked about events leading up to the game.
“Right before we were getting on the bus I was doing my homework at my locker and I stood up,” she said, adding her back tightened up on the spot.
“I said, ‘Coach, could you pick up my bag please,’” Lyons added.
Lyons said her mother applied “Icy Hot” before the game to get her able to play.
Plymouth senior Sarah Shirey added 21 points, while classmate Bre McVey chipped in 11 points and 14 assists.
Plymouth was 25-of-51 from the floor, 12-of-18 at the line, had 34 rebounds and 16 turnovers.
South Central shot 16-of-51, 8-of-18 at the stripe, collected 24 rebounds and committed 18 turnovers.
Plymouth plays again Saturday at home versus Mohawk.
Plymouth won the jayvee game, 45-35.
McVey 4-3-11, Lyons 11-7-29, Shirey 8-1-21, Jacobs 0-1-1, Goth 1-0-2, Bolen 1-0-2. Totals 25-12-66.
South Central 45
Tackett 8-4-22, Wheeler 2-0-6, Ferber 1-0-2, Sweeting 3-0-6, Hintz 1-3-6, Legg 1-1-3. Totals 16-8-45.
Score by quarter
Plymouth 13 13 17 23 — 66
S. Central 13 13 11 8 — 45
Reserve — Plymouth 45-35.