Saturday night, the South Putnam Eagles boys' basketball team hosted potential sectional opponent, the Tri-West Bruins, hoping to keep the momentum gained from a decisive 79-45 victory on Friday over West Central Conference foe Monrovia.
Tri-West entered the game with a 9-2 record and had soundly defeated Speedway on Friday night.
The Eagles shot 63 percent from beyond the three-point arc against Monrovia Friday night, but were not that successful Saturday night against the Bruins, hitting only 1-of-14 (7 percent).
Tri-West's defense caused problems for South Putnam as the Bruins stole the ball 16 times from the Eagles.
The cold shooting and turnovers allowed Tri-West to defeat South Putnam, 53-34.
Both teams opened the game fairly confident offensively, but Tri-West's quickness on defensive caused problems for the Eagles.
The Bruins forced South Putnam to commit four errors in the first stanza, and scored after each turnover.
Matt Hicks, Marcus McKinney, and Drew Christy scored in the first quarter, but Tri-West led at the first stop, 19-10.
The Bruins limited South Putnam to six points in the second quarter, and Tri-West took a 30-16 into the locker room.
Greg Chestnut and Anthony Tomasino both got into the scoring column for the Eagles in the second half as South Putnam was more competitive with the Bruins in the second half, scoring 18 points versus 23 points for the visitors.
However, the lead built-up by Tri-West in the first half proved to be insurmountable for South Putnam.
"Going into tonight's game, and in watching Tri-West in their previous games, we thought they were one of the quickest teams that we had seen play this year," commented South Putnam coach Kyle Brewer after the game. "We felt that taking care of the basketball was going to be very important for us against them. We didn't do a very good job of facing the rim and making attacking passes and diagonal passes where we were looking to the basket. As a result of that we made too many turnovers in the game.
"However, defensively, in the half court, we did a really nice job of competing. We gave up 53 points in the game, which, if we are playing them again in the sectional, we want them to hold their scoring in the 50's.
"The times that we were giving them possessions where they were attacking the basket off of turnovers, were points that were really hard to swallow. We've got to get better at that and get better at taking care of the basketball and learn how to play against a 1-3-1 defense.
"On a positive note, we only took six free throws, but we hit five of those, so that was an improvement there for us.
"We played two possible sectional opponents this weekend and we feel like the physical and mental effort is there from our guys and we are making improvements every time that we play.
"The good thing about this loss is, if we get an opportunity to play them in the sectional, we learned some things tonight that we need to work on," Brewer added.
South Putnam had two players who scored in double figures, as Hicks scored 17, and Christy with 10.
Chestnut followed with three, and McKinney and Tomasino closed out the Eagle scoring with two points each.
Hicks pulled down eight rebounds, and Christy had six caroms.
Christy passed for four assists and had two steals.
McKinney had the only blocked shot of the game.
Tri-West had two players who scored in double figures. Tyler Bruce with 16, and Marco Moses with 13.
South Putnam lost the junior varsity game, 33-24.
Derek Cash led the Eagles in scoring with 17 points, followed by Conor Frame with three, and Adam Hammond and Michael Sebanc added two each.
The Eagles (7-7, 1-3 WCC) travel to Cloverdale Friday night to play the Clovers in the second game of a WCC girls / boys double-header. The girls' game begins at 6 p.m.
At South Putnam
South Putnam (7-7, 1-3 WCC) Rhine 0-3 0-0 0, Christy 3-7 4-4 10, McKinney 1-1 0-0 2, Anderson 0-1 0-0 0, Chestnut 1-10 0-0 3, Tomasino 1-5 0-0 2, Hicks 8-12 1-2 17, Frame 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 14-39 FG 5-6 FT, 34 TP.
Tri-West (10-2, 2-2 SAC) Tanselle 0-1 0-0 0, Ricks 2-11 4-7 9, Tucker 0-0 0-0 0, Robertson 2-5 4-5 8, Hitch 0-0 0-0 0, Groth 0-0 2-2 2, Bowman 0-0 0-0 0, Moses 6-11 0-0 13, Thompson 2-4 1-2 5, Bruce 6-14 2-3 16. Totals 18-46 FG, 13-19, FT, 53 TP.
3-pt. FG - SP 1-14 (Christy 0-4, Anderson 0-1, Chestnut 1-7, Hicks 0-2), TW 4-18 (Tanselle 0-1, Ricks 1-6, Moses 1-3, Bruce 2-8). Rebounds - SP 22 (Christy 6, McKinney 3, Anderson 1, Chestnut 3, Tomasino 1, Hicks 8), TW 28 (Ricks 4, Tucker 1, Robertson 4, Groth 2, Moses 9, Thompson 3, Bruce 5). Blocks - SP 1 (McKinney 1), TW 0. Assists - SP 9 (Rhine 1, Christy 4, Anderson 3, Chestnut 1), TW 11 (Tucker 1, Moses 2, Thompson 2, Bruce 6). Steals - SP 3 (Christy 2, Hicks 1), TW 16 (Tanselle 1, Ricks 1, Tucker 1, Hitch 1, Moses 4, Thompson 2, Bruce 6). Total fouls - SP 16, TW 10. Fouled out - none. Turnovers - SP 16, TW 12.
JV -- South Putnam lost, 33-24.
Next game - The Eagles (7-7, 1-3 WCC) travel to Cloverdale Friday night to play the Clovers in the second game of a WCC girls / boys double-header. The girls' game begins at 6 p.m.