CLAYTON -- The North Putnam High School girls' basketball team had a rough opening to its 2005-06 West Central Conference schedule Friday, losing to Cascade 58-39.
No matter what the Cougars did in the first quarter, they couldn't get a shot to drop for them. Cascade opened the game up on a 14-0 run that extended into the second quarter. The Cougars finally got on the board when Laura Blaydes hit a lone free throw. Blaydes' charity shot sparked the Cougars offense and got them rolling in the second quarter. The Cougars picked up 10 more points in the second quarter. Seven of the Cougars' 11 first-half points came from the charity stripe.
After the first half, Casscade led the Cougars 28-11.
'We got a lot of good looks in the first half, but we just couldn't get any of them to drop in," NPHS Coach Kevin Smith said.
The Cougars' luck changed for the better in the second half of the game. The Cougars shooting woes went away, as North Putnam lit the scoreboard up with 14 points and held the Cadets to only 13 points. Blaydes got hot and hit two big three-pointers for the Cougars and North Putnam was able to get within 10 points of the Cadets lead, but that would be as close as they would come to it.
"In the third quarter we made run on them and if we could have gotten the their lead under 10 points, I think we could have made a game of it," Smith said. "Any time you get down 16-1, it's hard to get back into it."
The Cougars never let up. They posted another 14-point quarter in the fourth with Blaydes and Chelsea Green leading the offense. Blaydes nailed two jump shots for the Cougars while Greene hit four freebies from the foul line. Tara Thornburg made her presence known for the first time, hitting a huge three-pointer in the corner midway through the last quarter of play, but Cascade outscored the Cougars, 17-14, for the final.
Blaydes headed up the offense for the Cougars with 17 points while Greene followed behind with 10 points and Brooke Miller pitched in five points. Thornburg had three points while Sheila Diebold and Mackenzie Pearson chipped in two points each.
The Cougars will be back in action on Jan. 3 when they host Eminence at 6 p.m.
North Putnam 0 11 14 14 -- 39
Cascade 14 14 13 17 -- 58
NP -- Blaydes 5 5-6 17, Diebold 0 2-2 2, Greene 2 5-6 10, Miller 2 1-2 5, 0 2-2 2, Thornburg 1 0-0 3. TP -- 39. FT -- 15-18
CA -- Arnold 2 0-0 4, Marshall 2 3-4 7, Smith 9 3-4 21, Miller 2 5-6 10, Wichman 3 0-0 6, Nease 4 0-0 8. TP -- 58. FT 11-14
3pt -- NP 4 (Blaydes 2), CA 0. Steals -- NP 7 ( Blaydes 4), CA 11 ( Smith 6). Blocks -- NP 1 (Greene), CA 1 (Nease). Assists --NP 0, CA 6 (Nease 3). Rebounds -- NP 19 (Blaydes 11), CA 27 (Wichman 7, Nease 7), Total Fouls -- NP 19, CA 16. Fouled Out -- Wichman (CA).
Next game -- The Cougars host Eminence on Jan 3. At 6 p.m.