BY ED WRIGHT
Dec. 5, 2009, 11:50 p.m.
Livonia Franklin found out Friday night what Plymouth's basketball team focused on during the recent holiday break.
Here's a hint: It begins with "D".
Fueled by a suffocating defensive effort, the Wildcats humbled the Patriots, 60-38, in the Kensington Lakes Activities Association South Division opener for both squads.
The Wildcats boosted their overall mark to 4-2 while the Patriots slipped to 2-4.
"We really locked down on defense tonight," said Plymouth coach Mike Soukup. "During the break we worked on playing better fundamental defense. All the practices we got in really helped. We did a nice job of closing down their driving lanes.
"Offensively, I like our balance. We had four guys in double figures which is something every coach likes to see."
Junior forward Pat Salo led all Wildcats with 14 points. Aaron Thompson, a senior reserve, enjoyed a career night, pouring in 13 points.
"Aaron did a great job coming off the bench tonight," Soukup said. "He played with a lot of energy."
Also netting double-figure nights for the winners were junior guard Mike Nadratowski (11) and junior forward Brennen Beyer (10).
Franklin was led by former Wildcat Alontae McElhaney, who twined 13.
The game was nip-and-tuck throughout the first half, which ended with the hosts holding a 21-17 advantage. However, Plymouth pulled away in the third quarter, outscoring Franklin 18-9 before cementing the impressive triumph with a 21-point fourth quarter.
The Wildcats' upcoming three-game stretch against Wayne Memorial, Canton and John Glenn will be pivotal in their quest for a South Division title.
Ed Wright can be reached at (734) 453-1980 or firstname.lastname@example.org.