By JESS HUFFMAN
For the South Putnam girls' basketball team, Tuesday proved to be a better day.
After taking a tough loss to conference rival Monrovia Friday, the Eagles bounced back by easily defeating Tri-West, 52-42 Tuesday.
Jessica Canary led the Eagles with 22 points, seven rebounds and eight assists, while Meghan Canary added nine points and five steals. Senior forward Dara Booe added 10 points to the South Putnam effort.
The Eagles were never seriously threatened in the game, and held consistent double digit leads throughout the contest. South Putnam Head Coach Debbie Steffy said it was possibly the most complete effort of the season.
'This might have been the first game, where we were close to putting together 32 minutes,' she said. 'Actually, it was probably more like about 28 that we put together there. But we were closer to getting that full game of competing.'
The Eagles came out focused from the start, hitting their first four shots, taking an early 9-2 lead. Meghan Canary had all nine of her points in the first quarter alone, hitting all four of her shots, while Jessica Canary went 3-of-4 from the field, scoring six points.
South Putnam was 9-of-11 in the first quarter, taking a 19-9 lead into the second quarter.
The Eagles didn't slow down much in the second quarter, when Jessica Canary scored 10 of her 22 points. The Eagles took a 33-22 lead into halftime, and were 14-of-24, shooting 58 percent from the field.
'I think we got a lot of easy baskets today,' Steffy said. 'I don't mean that to be offensive to Tri-West. I think our kids worked the ball, and we were able to get them out of position. We were able to get some easy baskets underneath.'
The second started similar, with South Putnam starting with a quick 6-0 run. However, Tri-West responded, displaying its best basketball midway through the third quarter, going on an 8-2 run, making the score 41-28.
However, Tri-West wasn't able to get any closer until the final minutes of the fourth quarter, as South Putnam held consistent 15-, and 14-point leads throughout the majority of the final period.
'I thought our kids really played well,' Steffy said. 'It was either at the offensive end of the floor or the defensive end of the floor. I thought we had kids step up and do really well on the defensive end of the floor, picking up loose balls, stepping in front of somebody and getting the steal.
'I just thought that our kids were really focused tonight and played really well,' she added.
The Eagles outrebounded the Bruins, 23-20, and had 10 steals.
'We came out with a different defensive philosophy and a different game plan tonight, as far as how we wanted to defend them,' Steffy said. 'I thought our kids did an excellent job of getting that done.'
South Putnam improved its record to 12-5 on the season, while Tri-West falls to 8-10. The Eagles play at Cloverdale Friday at 6 p.m. Although South Putnam defeated the Clovers 48-37 in the championship of the Putnam County Tournament, Steffy isn't taking her opponent lightly.
'We're going to have to work on everything because I'm sure we're going to see quite a few different things,' she said.
The Eagles are currently first in the West Central Conference with a 3-1 conference record. Speedway is second in the WCC with a 2-1 record, and play at Cascade Friday at 6 p.m.
At South Putnam
Tri-West 9 13 8 12 -- 42
South Putnam 19 14 10 9 -- 52
Tri-West -- Rhoades 1-4 0-0 2, Jansen 3-4 2-2 8, Anderson 1-7 0-0 3, Cloud 5-14 0-1 13, Lynn 0-3 0-1 0, Mitchell 6-9 0-1 12, Funk 2-4 0-0 4. Totals FG 18-45, FT 2-5, TP 42.
South Putnam -- Robinson 0-1 0-0 0, M. Canary 4-6 0-0 9, J. Canary 8-19 6-7 22, Birt 2-2 1-2 5, Boetjer 1-5 0-0 2, Booe 5-10 0-0 10, Mink 2-5 0-0 4. Totals FG 22-49, FT 7-9, TP 52.
3 pt. -- Tri-West 4 (Cloud 3), South Putnam 1 (M. Canary 1), Rebounds -- Tri-West 20 (Lynn 6), South Putnam 23 (J. Canary 7), Assists -- Tri-West 10 (Cloud 3), South Putnam 13 (J. Canary 8), Steals -- Tri-West 2 (Cloud 1, Funk 1), South Putnam 10 (M. Canary 5).
JV -- Tri-West won, 31-27.
Next game -- South Putnam plays at Cloverdale Friday at 6 p.m.