CLAY CITY -- The South Putnam High School boys' basketball team had a rough start to its week Tuesday.
The Eagles are now 6-5 on the season after losing to Clay City, on the road 54-47.
After having two successful halves, South Putnam found itself fighting for yet another win. Right out of the gate, Clay City opened with a 7-0 run that led to a 17-9 quarter. Clay City's Dustin Griffin started things off for the Eels with a big three followed by some precise free throw shooting from himself and Garret Thatcher.
"There were some stretches where we didn't get the stops we needed and Clay City made some plays," SPHS Coach Kyle Brewer said.
The Eagles' response to the Eels' run was less than impressive. Greg Chestnut, who hit two big 3-pointers for the Eagles in the second quarter, went 1-for-4 from the 3-point line in the third.
The Eels never let up in the third quarter. Josey Vansickle got into the groove for Clay City, putting the moves on the Eagles defense, scoring seven more points for Clay City. Four of them came from him penetrating the Eagles lane defense.
After the third quarter, South Putnam found trailed, 40-35.
The Eagles returned the favor to Eels, opening the fourth quarter up in a big way. After Ben Anderson hit a jumper to get South Putnam on the board for the quarter, Drew Christy took over for the Eagles, scoring seven consecutive points. Things started to look up for the Eagles, but when they got into foul trouble, they were defeated. The Eels capitalized on the Eagles foul mistakes, shooting 10-for-12 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter. Ten of the 16 points the Eels scored in the fourth quarter came from the charity stripe.
"There were some stretches in the game where we were in foul trouble and we had lineups that were smaller than usual," Brewer said. "(Eels), down the stretch, hit their free throws.
"I'm pleased with our kids effort. They played hard for 32 minutes."
South Putnam's offense was paced by Christy who had 15 points, followed by Chestnut who had 14 points going 4-for-7 from the 3-point line. Anderson finished up with eight points while Matt Hicks chipped in six points. Anthony Tomasino and Zach Rhine finished the game with two points each.
In junior varsity action, the Eagles lost 46-36 to Clay City.
The Eagles (6-5, 0-2 in the West Central Conference) head into conference play on Saturday when they take on Greencastle at home with the tip off scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
At Clay City
Clay City 13 10 17 16 -- 54
S. Putnam 13 13 9 12 -- 47
SP -- Christy 6 1-2 15, Anderson 3 0-0 8, Tomasino 1 0-0 2, Hicks 3 0-0 6, Chestnut 5 0-0 14, McKinney 0 0-0 0, Rhine 1 0-0 2, Frame 0 0-0 0. Totals -- FG 19-44, FT 1-2, TP 47.
CC -- Johnson 4 0-0 10, Farmer 1 0-0 2, Thatcher 6 2-2 14, Griffith 2 7-8 12, Vansickle 5 4-4 15, Jeffers 0 1-2 1, Schroer 0 0-0 0, Bettenbrock 0 0-0 0, Souse 0 0-0 0. Totals -- FG 18-31, FT 14-16, TP 54.
3pt -- SP 7 (Chestnut 4), CC 3 (Three players with one each). Steals -- SP 4 (Anderson 2), CC 1 (Vansickle). Rebounds -- SP 14 (Tomasino 5), CC 13 (Thatcher 6). Assists -- SP 3 (Three players with one each), CC 4 (Vansickle 3). Blocks -- SP 0 , CC 1 (1 Vansickle). Total Fouls -- SP 17, CC 10. Fouled Out -- Hicks (SP)
JV -- South Putnam lost to Clay City 46-36.
Next Game -- South Putnam hosts Greencastle Friday at 730 p.m.