MONTEZUMA -- The North Putnam Cougars' boys' basketball team knows how to bounce back.
One night after falling to West Central Conference foe Cascade by 13 points, 58-45, the Cougars dominated Riverton Parke on the road Saturday, 56-21.
"Our kids responded well after the loss to Cascade," North Putnam coach Wes Peek said. "I am really proud of the way the team responded, but that's what these kids are all about."
The Panthers were never able to get into the contest, as North Putnam controlled the game from the outset, jumping out to an 18-4 first quarter lead.
North Putnam was just as dominant in the second period, as Tyler Trent scored eight of his game-high 18 points in the quarter, helping the Cougars gain a 33-7 advantage heading into the halftime break.
Peek said that Saturday's game was the best he's seen Trent play so far this season.
"Tyler played the best game he's played this year," Peek said. "His first-half shooting set the tone offensively for us and allowed us to set our press."
The second half was more of the same for the Cougars, as they opened the third period on an 8-0 run that began with a three-pointer from Jake Mullis and ended with a pair of free throws from Trent.
Mullis finished the game with 10 points.
With the game well in hand, the Cougars rested their players in the fourth quarter. The Panthers outscored North Putnam 9-7 in the quarter, but the result was academic at that point.
The North Putnam bench outscored the Panthers' reserves, 16-6 in Saturday's game.
"We were able to play a lot of kids and get some rest for guys that have been banged up a little," Peek said.
Peek added that he felt that the Cougars' performance on defense and on the boards were two factors that lifted North Putnam to its third victory of the season.
"We focused in on what we needed to do defensively and on the glass. Those are two areas of the game that we have control over and we felt that we needed to go out and dominate in those two areas, and that's what we did."
The Cougars had a huge advantage on the boards Saturday, outrebounding Riverton Parke, 22-12.
Trent led North Putnam in rebounding with five and also tallied four assists, a block and two steals to help fuel the Cougars' defense.
North Putnam came away with 13 steals against the Panthers and held Riverton Parke to a dismal 9-of-37 (24.3 percent) from the field.
The Cougars (3-2) now face a long lay-off, as their next game will not be until the new year, a Jan. 5 game at Turkey Run.
But Peek said that Saturday's game showed him that his team will be ready to play when the holiday break comes to a close.
"These kids play hard, and they play together, and that will serve us well after Christmas."
At Riverton Parke
North Putnam (56) -- Trent 8 2-2 18, Mullis 4 1-2 10, B. Dahlstrom 3 0-0 6, Schreiber 2 1-1 5, Alcorn 2 1-3 5, Blaydes 2 0-0 5, Hedrick 1 1-1 3, Young 1 0-0 3, G. Dahlstrom 0 1-1 1. 22 FG 6-10 FT 56 TP.
Riverton Parke -- (21) Mitchell 3 1-4 8, Dailey 3 0-0 6, Tighe 2 0-0 4, Helms 1 0-0 2, Wilson 0 1-2 1, Vibrandt 0 0-0 0, Pate 0 0-0 0, Engle 0 0-0 0, McLaughlin 0 0-0 0, Harrison 0 0-0 0. 9 FG 2-4 FT 21 TP.
North Putnam 18 15 16 7 -- 56
Riverton Parke 4 3 5 9 -- 21
3-pt FG -- North Putnam 8-21, Riverton Parke 1-7. Rebounds -- North Putnam 22, Riverton Parke 12. Blocks -- North Putnam 2, Riverton Parke 4. Steals -- North Putnam 13, Riverton Parke 8. Total fouls -- North Putnam 8, Riverton Parke 11. Fouled out -- None. Turnovers -- North Putnam 13, Riverton Parke 23.
Junior Varsity -- North Putnam won, 32-12.
Next Game -- North Putnam (3-2) will travel to Turkey Run Jan. 5 to take on the Warriors for an 8 p.m. start.