MONROVIA -- South Putnam boys' basketball Coach Kyle Brewer can breathe a little easier today.
After suffering a heartbreaking loss to Greencastle last Friday, the Eagles bounced back defeating Monrovia in convincing fashion Friday, 79-45.
"It feels really good to have a win where everybody gets to contribute in some way," Brewer said. "I felt like our guys came the closest thus far in our season to putting together 32 minutes of physical and mental play."
Matt Hicks led the Eagles with 24 points on 9-of-14 shooting, while Greg Chestnut scored 20 points on 8-of-13 shooting, including four three-point field goals.
South Putnam came out blazing-hot in the first half, hitting 8-of-14 field goals in the first quarter, followed by 7-of-10 shooting in the second period. After two quarters of play, the Eagles were shooting 62.5 percent from the floor.
In particular, Chestnut, Hicks, Drew Christy and Zach Rhine could not miss from long range, combining for 10-of-12 shooting from beyond the arc.
"We were getting some wide open looks in our offense," Brewer said. "We've got guys within our offense, when they're wide open, they're going to shoot the ball."
Led by the torrid shooting, South Putnam held a 23-11 lead after the first quarter and a 43-27 advantage at halftime. Hicks led the Eagles with 15 points in the half, while Chestnut added 12 points.
The offense cooled off a bit in the third quarter, as the game slowed down with emphasis on defense, plagued by fouls and turnovers. Monrovia committed seven turnovers in the period and scored all its six points from the free throw line.
The Eagles committed six fouls in the period, while the Bulldogs had five fouls.
South Putnam knocked down the majority of its free throw opportunities, going 15-for-22 from the line . Along with improved defensive play, this was something Brewer was pleased to see.
"We made some small steps tonight on our free throws," he said. "I thought our post defense showed some improvement tonight. Those have been big points of emphasis for us over the last week."
The Eagles turned up the offensive intensity again in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Bulldogs, 26-12.
For the game, South Putnam went 26-of-49, shooting 53 percent from the field. Consistently displaying confidence in the long-range jumper, the Eagles were 12-of-19, shooting 63 percent from three-point land.
"It's something that definitely our team can do," Brewer said. "We like to definitely stretch the inside-out look with our team."
South Putnam held Monrovia to 16-of-44 shooting and forced the Bulldogs to commit 15 turnovers.
"I thought that our guys did a good job of trying to execute our defensive plan," Brewer said. "I felt like our guys were very focused. It was a very hard fought, good team win."
Sophomore guard Damon Speck led Monrovia with 12 points, while Andrew Grismore added 10 points and six rebounds.
Rhine had 14 points three assists and two steals, while Christy had nine points, six rebounds, four assists and three steals.
The Eagles improve to 7-6 on the season, and host Tri-West today at 7:30 p.m. Pleased with Friday night's effort, Brewer is hoping to see more of the same today.
"I think going into that game we've got to be real concerned with putting together two sustained 32 minutes back to back," he said.
South Putnam 23 20 10 26 -- 79
Monrovia 11 16 6 12 -- 45
South Putnam -- Rhine 5-9 1-2 14, Christy 3-4 0-0 9, McKinney 0-2 5-6 5, Anderson 0-4 3-4 3, Chestnut 8-13 0-0 20, Tomasino 0-0 1-2 1, Hicks 9-14 4-6 24, Cash 1-2 0-0 2, Hammond 0-1 1-2 1. Totals FG 26-49, FT 15-22 TP 79.
Monrovia -- Speck 5-11, Smith 0-0 1-2 1, Brooks 0-1 3-5 3, Martin 0-1 1-2 1, Bowers 1-3 1-1 3, Steward 0-1 0-0 0, Sampson 0-1 1-1 1, Benefiel 2-8 1-3 6, Graves 3-6 0-0 6, Grismore 4-7 2-4 10, No. 52 0-4 0-0 0, No. 34 0-1 0-0. Totals FG 16-44, FT 10-18, TP 45.
3 pt. -- South Putnam 12 (Chestnut 4), Monrovia 3 (Speck 2), Rebounds 25 (Christy 6), 26 (Grismore 6), Assists -- South Putnam 16 (Christy 4, Hicks 4), Monrovia 5 (Brooks 3), Steals -- South Putnam 12 (Christy 3), Monrovia 2 (Speck 1, Bowers 1), Turnovers -- South Putnam 10, Monrovia 16. Fouls -- South Putnam 15, Monrovia 12.
Next game -- South Putnam hosts Tri-West Saturday at 7:30 p.m.