Thursday night, the South Putnam Eagles boys' basketball team hosted Class 4A powerhouse Northview.
Before the game began, South Putnam was awarded a special award banner from the Indiana High School Athletic Association and the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute.
The South Putnam Eagles, including players, coaches, cheerleaders, fans and the community, were awarded the IHSAA/Indiana Criminal Justice Institute Sportsmanship Award for sportsmanship displayed during the 2004-2005 school year.
South Putnam was one of 96 schools that qualified for the award out of 398 eligible high schools.
The award was presented to Eagle Seniors Mary Earnest, Jessica Canary, Sarah Beasley, Drew Christy, Matt Hicks, and South Putnam High School Principal Robert Smith from IHSAA Associate Commissioner Ray Craft, and Putnam County Sheriff Mark Frisbie.
Northview, a high school with an enrollment of 1201 versus the Eagles' 458, entered the game enjoying a six-game winning streak.
Also, Northview's team possessed two big men, 6-foot-8 center, Nick Wells, and 6-foot-5 power forward, Brodee Miller.
The tallest Eagle players were 6-foot-1 center Matt Hicks and 6-foot-2 reserve Derek Cash.
South Putnam played tenacious defense and limited the Knights to seven points in the first quarter, nine in the second, and 14 in the third, but the taller Northview team was able to take over the game, offensively, in the final period, and spoiled the Eagles' evening, defeating them 59-42.
The final score was misleading as South Putnam's Anthony Tomasino and Matt Hicks were able to deny the ball from Northview's Wells and Miller for most of the game, but the Knights were able to get the ball inside to their post players in the final six minutes of the game and the visitors were able outscore the Eagles 29-9 in the stanza of the game.
The game was tied at 33-all with 7:40 left in the game, but that was the last time the Eagles would be close to the Knights for the remainder of the game.
Northview out shot South Putnam from the field, 61 to 30 percent, mainly on shots inside the paint, out rebounded the Eagles 25-15, but South Putnam pulled down eight more rebounds on the offensive end of the floor than the Knights, 8-4.
'I thought going into the game that we had a real big challenge in front of us with Northview,' commented South Putnam coach Kyle Brewer after the game. 'They had won six in a row, before we played them, and they have two big kids who are probably the better, big kids that we have played all year long as far as a tandem.
'I thought that Tomasino and Hicks did a real nice job of fronting in the post. We counted in the first half, they only touched the ball in the post twice.'
'We spend a lot of time with our guys talking about their sets. I felt like our game plan was real solid,' Brewer added.'I felt real good about the way we finished the first and second quarters. In the thirdquarter, we struggled a little bit and they made their come back.
'We allowed the ball to touch the post a little bit too much. Then their 51 (Wells), got going.'
'I think that we made some real timely turnovers that got them back into it.'
'I'm really pleased right now with our kids' attitude and their efforts. We are starting to gel together as a team and we know that we are going to play two really good teams (Owen Valley and Edgewood) as we go into the Sectionals, 'Brewer said.'I think that the coach in me knows that our kids played hard and executed what we were trying to do. I'm not blind to see that Northview is a very good basketball team, but there are always things that we can work on and get better at.
'I thought from the last game to this game, two of the things that we really tried to improve were unforced turnovers, which we did better at, with only 13 for the game. And our ability to keep the ball out of the post.'
'There were times tonight where the ball was touching the post, just because we are trying to defend a guy who is six inches taller than us," Brewer added. 'Sometimes you can't control that. I thought that for the majority of the game, the kids really competed,' Brewer added.
South Putnam had two players who scored in double figures. Hicks, the leading scorer of the game with 21, and Greg Chestnut with 12.
Drew Christy followed with five, and Zach Rhine and Tomasino closed-out the Eagle scoring with two points each.
Hicks pulled-down a game-high seven rebounds, and Tomasino had three caroms.
Ben Anderson passed for four assists.
Tomasino had a game-high three blocked shots.
Northview had three players who scored in double figures. Wells with 19, Jared Timm had 13, and Josiah added with 12.
Matt Stuckey followed with five, Blake Miller followed with four, Brinn Meunier and Devon Chamberlain closed-out the Knights scoring with three points each.
Stuckey passed for a game-high four assists.
Timm had a game-high four steals.
South Putnam lost the junior varsity game, 24-54.
Derek Cash led the Eagles in scoring with 14 points, followed by Conor Frame with six, and Adam Hammond and Noah Boswell added two each.
The Eagles (9-9, 2-4 WCC) host Owen Valley one week from Friday night, the 17th. The junior varsity game begins at 6:00 p.m.
At South Putnam
South Putnam (9-9, 2-4 WCC) Rhine 1-4 0-0 2, Christy 2-5 0-2 5, McKinney 0-0 0-0 0, Anderson 0-5 0-0 0, Chestnut 4-12 1-2 12, Tomasino 0-2 2-4 2, Hicks 6-15 8-10 21, Cash 0-0 0-0 0, Sebanc 0-0 0-0 0, Hammond 0-0 0-0 0, Frame 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 13-43 FG 11-18 FT, 42 TP.
Northview (11-8, 4-2 WIC) Meunier 1-5 0-0 3, Timm 6-11 0-1 13, Stuckey 2-4 0-0 5, Sanabria 0-0 0-0 0, Horn 0-0 0-0 0, Crooks 0-0 0-0 0, Chamberlain 1-3 0-0 3, Medearis 0-0 0-0 0, Miller 1-1 2-4 4, Reece 0-0 0-0 0, Brock 5-5 2-2 12, Reberger 0-0 0-0 0, Wells 7-9 5-5 19, Coltharp 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 23-38 FG, 9-12 FT, 59 TP.
3-pt. FG - SP 5-19 (Rhine 0-2, Christy 1-1, Anderson 0-2, Chestnut 3-11, Hicks 1-3), NV 4-11 (Meunier 1-4, Timm 1-3, Stuckey 1-2, Chamberlain 1-2). Rebounds - SP 15 (Christy 1, Anderson 2, Chestnut 2, Tomasino 3, Hicks 7), NV 25 (Meunier 2, Timm 2, Medearis 1, Miller 8, Brock 6, Wells 6). Blocks - SP 3 (Tomasino 3), NV 5 (Brock 2, Wells 3). Assists - SP 9 (Christy 2, Anderson 4, Tomasino 1, Hicks 2), NV 13 (Meunier 6, Timm 3, Stuckey 2, Miller 1, Brock 1). Steals - SP 5 (McKinney 1, Anderson 1, Chestnut 2, Tomasino 1), NV 7 (Meunier 2, Timm 4, Wells 1). Total fouls - SP 15, NV 18. Fouled out - none. Technical foul - Northview Bench. Turnovers - SP 13, NV 17.
Next game - The Eagles (9-9, 2-4 WCC) host Owen Valley one week from Friday night, the 17th. The junior varsity game begins at 6:00 p.m.