MANSFIELD — Blake Gibson had the game of his life Tuesday at The Furnace.
Gibson scored a career-high 22 points as the Big Red rumbled to a 75-40 win over Mansfield Christian.
The 5-foot-10 guard scored 13 points after intermission as Plymouth (7-7) pulled away in the second half. The Big Red outscored the Flames (2-13) 47-15 after the break.
“Your confidence starts to build after you see a couple go down,” Gibson said. “I started to get my confidence up once I realized I could drive to the hoop.
“We started passing the ball. We used to be more selfish. These last couple games we passed a little more and were able to get the open look.”
Mansfield Christian led 14-10 after the first quarter and 23-17 after an Ethan Barry layup with 2:56 to play in the first half, but the Big Red closed the period on a 9-2 run to take a 28-25 halftime lead. Jacob Adams scored the final eight points of the half for Plymouth, including a 3-pointer just before the buzzer.
The late run energized the Big Red, who outscored MCS 21-8 in the third. Gibson and Brody Brown each scored six points in the period.
“I told the kids at halftime that … the first three minutes of the third quarter are going to (determine) how the game is going to finish,” Plymouth coach Derrick Shelenberger said. “If you guys come out and throw the knockout punch, we can come run away and hide from them.
“It had nothing to do with the offense. It was all defense tonight. In the second half we probably had 25 fast break layups.”
The Flames had no answer for Gibson or Adams, who finished with a game-high 23 points. Kade Collins scored 13 of his 14 points in the second half and Walker Elliott had 10 points, nine assists and seven steals.
“That’s been our thing all year, we play well a half and we just can’t seem to get it together (in the second half),” MCS coach Adam Parrott said. “We’ve got a great group of guys and we’re just going to continue to battle.
“All the credit goes to Plymouth. They shot the ball well and did the little things.”
Jared Mount led the Flames with 15 points. Barry added 12 points.
Plymouth returns to Firelands Conference play Friday, visiting league-leading Western Reserve. Mansfield Christian hosts Kidron Central Christian in Mid-Buckeye Conference action.
“We didn’t take a step forward tonight,” Parrott said. “I’m proud of the way they continue to fight and play.”