CAYUGA -- Wes Peek is one game closer to breaking .500 as head coach of the North Putnam High School boys' basketball team.
The Cougars knocked off the North Vermillion Falcons Tuesday on the road, 65-48, claiming their eighth win of the season.
After the first quarter, it looked like the Falcons were going to give the Cougars a run for their money, but in the second quarter, North Vermillion found itself fighting to stay in the game.
After being outscored, 15-13, in the first period, the Cougars bounced back to post their best quarter performance. The Cougars turned up the intensity in the second quarter, when Riley McGaughey opened the period up with a three-point play. McGaughey drove the lane and drew the foul for the chance at the charity stripe. Jake Mullis followed the McGaughey basket with one of his own, off a steal nearly 30 seconds later.
The Falcons got their first basket of the period when Brent Hicks nailed a jump shot.
With about four minutes left in the half, North Putnam went on a 10-0 run that put all the distance they needed between itself and the Falcons, courtesy of Jake Mullis and Brayden Dahlstrom.
At halftime, the Cougars led by 11, 33-22.
The second half was little different for the Cougars. They started out strong, hitting a 9-2 spurt to push their lead to 18, but North Vermillion's Hicks continued to cause the Cougars problems.
"Hicks did a nice job all night," Peeks said. "Every time he got ahold of the ball, we had a hard time getting in front of him."
Hicks finished the night with 25 points.
The Falcons closed the half out on 9-5 run, with six points coming from the foul line. North Vermillion cut the Cougars' lead to 14 at the end of the third quarter, but that was as close as they would get.
"We had a 13-point lead at the half and pushed it to as much as 18 and that's what we talked about," Peek said. "We need to build leads and keep them."
Hicks proved to be a thorn in the Cougars' side as he and the Falcons never gave up, hanging with the Cougars on every shot in the last period. Hicks picked up five more points after draining a jumper and a long trey, but neither team could break away from the other to make a run. Although the Cougars couldn't break away to make a run, Lee Fordice took care of business in the post for the Cougars. Fordice scored six points in the fourth quarter and 10 total for the second half after only scoring four points in the first half total.
"Lee did a good job for us in the second half of catching the ball and scoring," Peek said.
The Cougars outscored the Falcons 18-15 for the final.
Mullis led the team with 22 points for the night while McGaughey put up 17 points and Fordice had 14. Dahlstrom chipped in six points while Cory Fordice, Colby Ensor and Griffen Dahlstrom each had two points.
In junior varsity action, the Cougars defeated the Falcons 37-23.
The Cougars are back in action on Friday when they host Danville starting at 6 p.m.
At North Vermillion
North Putnam 13 20 14 18 -- 65
North Vermillion 15 7 11 15 -- 48
NP -- Fordice 7 0-0 14, Fordice 1 0-0 2, Ensor 1 0-0 2, McGaughey 6 1-1 17, Dalhstrom 2 1-2 6, Mullis 9 1-1 22, Trent 0 0-0 0, Dahlstrom 0 0-0 0. Totals --FG 27-53, FT 3-4, TP 65.
NV -- Weir 0 0-0 0, Hicks 9 2-5 25, Morgan 0 1-3 1, Grube 0 2-2 2, Buchhaas 3 1-2 7, Morson 3 0-0 6, Heavlin 0 3-4 4, Hayes 1 0-0 3. Totals --FG 17-42, FT 9-16, TP 48.
3pt -- NP 8 (McGaughey 4), NV 4 (Hicks 3). Steals -- NP 12 (Dahlstrom 4, Fordice 4), NV 3 (Allen 2). Assists -- NP 20 (Trent 8), NV 3 (Hicks 3). Rebounds -- NP 16 (McGaughey 5), NV 18 (Buchhaas 4). Blocks -- NP 5 (Fordice 3), NV 2 (Buchhass 1, Morson 1). Total Fouls -- NP 19, NV 10. Fouled out -- None.
JV -- North Putnam defeated North Vermillion 37-23.
Next Game -- The Cougars host Danville starting at 6 p.m.