What started out to be a slow game, turned out to be a nail biter.
The North Putnam High School girls' basketball team snapped its three-game losing streak Friday with a one-point, 59-58, win over West Central Conference foe Cloverdale.
The Cougars struggled with the Clovers all night long, until the last few seconds of the game.
With 38 seconds left on the clock, Brook Miller nailed a jumper to bring the Cougars within one point, 57-56, of the lead. Everything was good until Miller drew her fifth foul and sent Hannah Monnett to the line for chance to extend the Clovers lead. Monnett hit one of her two freebies giving Cloverdale a 58-56 lead with just 22 seconds left on the clock. It looked like Cloverdale was going to win and North Putnam would suffer another heartbreaker, but that isn't what happened. The Cougars brought the ball back down the court and with 10 second left, Sheila Diebold pulled up for a three-pointer and drained it. Giving the Cougars their first win in four games.
"This was a good team-win for us," NPHS Kevin Smith said. "Sheila is a senior this year and she used to start earlier this season but due to complications she hasn't been. But she has done an awesome job coming off the bench for us."
Diebold scored 11 points off the bench Friday, with nine of them coming from three-point land, shooting 3-for-4 from beyond the arch.
The game was pretty much in deadlock after the first half with the Cougars holding a four point lead over the Clovers at the Break, but that would change.
The Cougars controlled the first half, limiting what the Clovers could shoot, but Cloverdale came back in the third quarter and unleashed a storm of precise shooting. The Clovers outscored the Cougars, 18-13, in the third quarter with Ashley Koosman leading the attack. Koosman scored 12 of the Clovers' 18, going 5-for-6 from the field. Despite outscoring the Cougars in the third, and scoring 20 in the fourth, the Clovers were unable to hold on for the win.
"We did the things we wanted to do and we made some mistakes," CHS Coach Bruce Cook said. "Our biggest deficit was our free throw shooting."
The Cloves went 13-for-22 from the charity stripe for the contest, and 6-for-12 in the fourth quarter.
"We struggled with our post play, but Heather Moon did a terrific job," Cook said.
Kevin Smith was happy about another thing his team did Friday -- they played as a team.
"This was the epiphany of a team effort (Friday)," Smith said. "For the first time this season we had four players in double digits."
Laura Blaydes, Chelsea Greene and Brooke Miller were the other three players in double digits for the Cougars. Blaydes had 14 points for the night while Miller had 11 and Greene led the team with 17 points.
"It's nice to have four players in double digits and to see some confidence in the players. You can't always depend on two players, especially in the sectional."
Also scoring for the Cougars were Taylor Alles with four points and Shawna Johnston with two points.
Cloverdale's offense was paced by Koosman who had 32 points while Chelsie Haltom followed up with 10 points and moon scored seven points. Emily Puffer scored four three points while Monnett chipped in four points. Stephanie Tutterow scored two points.
The Cougars are now 4-11 on the season and 1-2 in the WCC and will be back in action on Tuesday when they travel to Turkey Run for a 6 p.m. start. The Clovers fall to 7-10 overall and 0-4 in the WCC and take on South Putnam on Friday starting a 6 p.m.
At North Putnam
North Putnam 10 14 13 22 -- 59
Cloverdale 10 10 18 20-- 58
NP -- Alles 2 0-0 4, Blaydes 3 8-12 14, Crosbey 0 0-0 0, Diebold 4 0-0 11, Doyle 0 0-0 0, Doyle 0 0-0 0, Greene 6 2-3 17, Johnston 1 0-0 2, Miller 4 2-2 11, Pearson 0 0-0 0, Skeene 0 0-0 0. Totals -- FG 20-62, FT 12-17, 59
CL -- Puffer 1 0-2 3, Arnold 0 0-0 0, Monnett 1 2-4, 4, Moon 2 3-6 7, Tutterow 1 0-0 2, Haltom 3 4-6 10, Koosman 13 2-4 32, Schroer 0 0-0 0. Totals -- FG 21-53, FT 13-22, TP 58.
3pt-FG -- NP 6 (Diebold 3), CL 5 (Koosman 4). Rebounds -- NP 21 (Blaydes 7), CL 26 (Moon 9). Steals -- NP 1 (Johnston), CL 2 (two players with one each). Assists -- NP 5 (Diebold 2), CL 1 (Moon). Total Fouls -- NP 21, CL 17. Fouled Out -- Miller (NP).
Next Game -- The Cougars Travel to Turkey Run on Tuesday for a 6 p.m. game while the Clovers host South Putnam on Friday at 6 p.m.