Friday night, the South Putnam Eagles boys' basketball team played the second game of the 2006 Eagle Holiday Classic against the North Vermillion Falcons.
After the lead changed hands three times in the first three minutes of the game, South Putnam took complete control of the game on both ends of the floor from that point, defeating North Vermillion, 76-34, and earning a spot in the championship game of the tournament Saturday night against Cascade.
The Eagles led the Falcons 18-9 at the end of the first quarter, using a balanced, unselfish offense, and a stingy defense that forced North Vermillion to commit six turnovers in the period.
Six Eagles, Ben Anderson, Adam Nees, Noah Boswell, Derek Cash, Conor Frame, and Derek Tomaw, got into the score book for South Putnam in the quarter, as the Eagles were passing the ball around the floor with confidence.
South Putnam stretched its lead to 21 points at halftime, entering the locker room completely in charge of the game 42-21, as Adam Hammond and Ben Parker also joined their team mates on the scoring column.
South Putnam was concerned about a let-down in the third quarter, but the Eagles continued to dominate the Falcons in the period, more so than in the first half, leading 56-30 at the end of the third quarter.
After his team had stretched its lead to 32 points with five minutes left in the game, South Putnam coach Brian Gardner pulled his starters from the game.
Frame, Hammond, Tomaw, Michael Sebanc, Parker, and Boswell continued to hustle for the Eagles, limiting North Vermillion to two points during the final five minutes of the game while combining for 10 points themselves, to give South Putnam its final margin of 42 points, and the 76-34 victory.
The Eagles won the game by hitting 7-13, 54%, of their three-point shots, resulting from 13 assists, out rebounding the Falcons, 29-18, 16 of which were on the offensive end of the floor, and forcing North Vermillion to commit 20 turnovers, as South Putnam hustled to steal 13 Falcon passes.
"Coming out after the Christmas break, I was a little worried about how were we actually going to come out tonight and play," commented South Putnam coach Brian Gardner after the game. "I thought the kids really played hard and did a lot of things that we had been working on.
"Our ball movement was really good and we got people in the right spots on the floor and we were using the right passes and the right passing angles."
South Putnam had three players who scored in double figures, Cash, the leading scorer of the game with 19, Boswell with 14, and Anderson with 13. Hammond followed with eight, Frame chipped-in seven, Sebanc and Nees added six each, Parker had two, and Tomaw closed-out the Eagle scoring with one point.
Tomaw, Frame, and Parker had game-high five rebounds each.
Hammond passed for a game-high five assists and Anderson and Nees had game-high three steals each.
Dimitri Morson led North Vermillion in scoring with 12 points, followed by Justin Yoho with seven, Brandon Grube, Zach Swartz, and Devin Howard had four each, Devin Morson scored two, and Austin Boling added one point.
Cascade defeated Clay City in the other first-round game, 50-49.
Jake Daugherty led Cascade in scoring with 24 points, followed by Conner Guthrie with nine, Brad Suter with six, A.J. Austin with five, Michael Galyan with four, and Anthony Arthur added two.
Will Kennedy and Garrett Thatcher led Clay City in scoring with 15 points each, followed by Stephen Johnson with seven, Jordan Defore with six, and Kyler Rhodes and Logan Bettenbrock added three each.
The Eagles play WCC rival Cascade tonight (Saturday) in the championship game of the Eagle Holiday Classic, following the conclusion of the consolation game between Clay City and North Vermillion, which begins at 6:00 p.m.
At South Putnam
Eagles' Holiday Classic
South Putnam 18 24 14 20 - 76
North Vermillion 9 12 9 4 - 34
South Putnam - Hammond 3-6 1-2 8, Anderson 5-7 0-0 13, Sebanc 2-3 0-0 6, Nees 1-4 4-7 6, Tomaw 0-3 1-2 1, Frame 3-11 1-1 7, Cash 9-14 0-0 19, Boswell 7-8 0-0 14, Parker 1-6 0-2 2. Totals 31-62 FG 7-14 FT, 76 TP.
North Vermillion - Boling 0-0 1-2 1, Demitri Morson 5-10 1-2 12, Webb 0-3 0-0 0, Swayze 0-1 0-0 0, Yoho 3-6 0-0 7, Grube 1-5 2-2 4, Devin Morson 1-4 0-0 2, Swartz 2-2 0-0 4, Downs 0-0 0-0 0, Howard 2-4 0-1 4, McBride 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 14-36 FG 4-7 FT, 34 TP.
3-pt. FG - SP 7-13 (Hammond 1-2, Anderson 3-5, Sebanc 2-2, Tomaw 0-1, Frame 0-1, Cash 1-2), NV 2-8 (Demitri Morson 1-4, Yoho 1-2, Grube 0-1, Devin Morson 0-1). Rebounds - SP 29 (Hammond 4, Anderson 1, Nees 1, Tomaw 5, Frame 5, Cash 4, Boswell 4, Parker 5), NV 18 (Boling 1, Demitri Morson 2, Webb 2, Yoho 1, Grube 1, Devin Morson 4, Swartz 1, Downs 1, Howard 4, McBride 1). Blocks -- SP 0, NV 1 (Devin Morson 1). Assists -- SP 15 (Hammond 5, Anderson 4, Sebanc 1, Nees 1, Tomaw 2, Frame 1, Cash 1), NV 5 (Boling 1, Webb 1, Yoho 1, Grube 1, Swartz 1). Steals -- SP 13 (Hammond 1, Anderson 3, Sebanc 2, Nees 3, Tomaw 1, Frame 2, Cash 1), NV 3 (Demitri Morson 1, Grube 1, Swartz 1). Total fouls -- SP 13, NV 15. Fouled out -- none. Turnovers - SP 7, NV 20.
Next game -- The Eagles play WCC rival Cascade tonight in the championship game of the Eagle Holiday Classic, following the conclusion of the consolation game between Clay City and North Vermillion, which begins at 6:00 p.m.