For the third straight year, the South Putnam High School girls' basketball team won the Putnam County Tournament.
The Eagles defeated Cloverdale 48-37 in the championship game for the second time three years.
"This was great game. Both teams did a good job and it was a hard game to coach because there was no flow to it with all the fouls and turnovers," SPHS Coach Debbie Steffy said.
From the tip off to the end of the game, the Eagles controlled the game. Jessica and Meghan Canary both scored 15 points for the Eagles and proved that they are double threat on the court.
"The Canary's are doing the bulk of the scoring for us and there are others who are trying to score, but it helps us when Meghan is scoring because people will send players down to cover her and that will open up some other scoring opportunities for us," Steffy said.
South Putnam started out strong, building a 12-8 lead after the first quarter with the sisters putting up eight of the points. The Eagles carried their momentum into the second quarter, but Cloverdale was still in the game.
Emily Puffer stepped up and hit two three-pointers for the Clovers while Ashley Koosman followed behind with another one. At the end of the first half, the Clovers trailed the Eagles by only seven at 24-17, but the Eagles seven-point lead would soon be a 15 point lead.
South Putnam shut down Cloverdale in the third quarter, limiting the Clovers to only one three-pointer by Hannah Monnett.
"In our games, we talk about how the first four minutes of the second half will dictate on how well we play for the rest of the game and we talked about that at the half (Saturday)," Steffy said.
Jessica Canary came through and stepped it up defensively, blocking two of Cloverdale's shots and stealing the ball twice. The Eagles outscored the Clovers 11-3 in the third quarter.
"Physically, South Putnam was bigger than I thought they were. They do things to you that annoy you, like boxing out on every shot," CHS Coach Bruce Cook said. "They are well-coached. Debbie does good job with her team."
Going into the fourth quarter, Cloverdale trailed 35-20, but within four minutes they cut South Putnam's lead to seven. Monnett got hot and scored six points and Cloverdale was able to get some points from some of the other players who were quiet in the early part of the game. Chelsie Haltom scored four points in the fourth after being scoreless for the last two quarters and Kristen Schroer was able to score a couple of points. Cloverdale outscored South Putnam 17-13 in the last quarter, but it was too late.
"We didn't get the shooting from Koosman (Saturday). She was hesitant to pull the trigger," Cook said.
This is the fourth-straight game that the Eagles have won.
"We got a lot of things to work on still, but I am impressed with these girls. A lot of them that are playing didn't play varsity last year and they are stepping and making big plays for us," Steffy said.
Also with the Canary's scoring, Bailey Birt scored six points while Megan Robinson and C.J. Searles scored four points each. Liz Mink chipped in two points.
Clvoerdale's scoring was headed up by Puffer, who had 11 points followed by Monnett who had nine points. Ashley Koosman scored seven points while Haltom pitched in six points. Schroer had three points for the night.
At South Putnam
Cloverdale 8 9 3 17 - 37
South Putnam 12 12 11 13 - 48
CL - Haltom 2 2-2, 6, Monnett 3 2-2, 0, Puffer 4 1-2, 11, Schroer 0 4-4, 4, Koosman 2 2-4, 7.
SP - Robinson 1 2-4, 4, M. Canary 6 3-4, 15, J. Canary 6 2-2, 15, Birt 2 2-4, 6, Booe 0 2-2, 2, Searles 1 2-2, 4, Mink 1 0-0, 2 .
3ptFG - CL 4 (Puffer 2), SP 1 (J. Canary). Rebounds - CL 11 (Puffer 5), SP 18 (J. Canary 6). Steals - CL 6 (Puffer 3), SP 7 (J. Canary 4). Blocks - SP 2 (J. Canary 2). Assists - SP 7 (J Canary 4). Total Fouls - SP 16, CL 16. Fouled Out - None.
Next games -- Cloverdale hosts Eminence Dec. 5 at 7:30 p.m., while South Putnam plays at West Vigo tomorrow at 7 p.m.