"You can't commit 24 turnovers and hope to win," said a disappointed coach Brian Gardner after his South Putnam Eagles were defeated by the Cascade Cadets, 60-39 , in the championship game of the Eagle Holiday Classic Saturday night.
From the tip, Cascade jumped out to the lead and held on tight. The Eagles seemed unable to collect themselves and get into a gameplan as Cascade built their lead on solid defense and good shooting.
South Putnam staggered into the second half staring down a 12-point lead hoping to have gathered themselves and make their run. All seemed well as Adam Neese came out and scored the first points of the second half but Cascade stood its ground.
Michael Galyan scored under the bucket while Jake Daugherty hit 1-of-2 free throws. Brad Suter kept the attack going as he nailed a jumper and gave Cascade a 13-point lead. Daugherty and Suter lead the way for the Cadets with 14 points each.
South's Neese scored six points in the third quarter and Derek Cash helped the Eagles by scoring four points. Ben Anderson, who led the Eagles with 13 points and received all-tourney honors, closed the quarter by hitting two free throws, leaving South looking at a 16-points deficit going into the fourth.
A game that had been physical got even more so. Both teams stood toe-to-toe and wouldn't back down. South would see the Cadets keep building their lead but the Eagles refused to lay down.
Neese scored early in the quarter and Anderson connected on two free throws after a technical foul was called on Cascade's Conner Guthrie to pull the Eagles to within 18 points
Cascade's speed and South's inability to adapt this night ultimately did in the Eagles. Even poor foul shooting, connecting on just 1-of-10 in the final quarter, could not derail the Cascade Cadets.
In the first quarter, South managed to stay relatively close with Anderson and Noah Boswell pacing the Eagles. As the quarter ended, the Eagles were down only eight points.
That's when the flood gates opened.
Cascade started the second by scoring the first six points and grabbing a 22-8 lead at the 5:01 mark. The Cadets continued to rack up points and built a 27-15 lead going into the half.
South Putnam could never get all the pistons firing but never gave up their fight. Cascade blended good shooting with an offense that was extremely fast yet totally under control and adjusted to everything the Eagles tossed their way.
"We played hard, fatigue was not a factor, " coach Gardner said after the game. " I'm just not sure what happened."
Clay City won the consolation game against North Vermillion, 59-32.
South Putnam (2-6) will travel to face Rockville this Friday at 8 p.m.
At South Putnam
Cascade (60) - Suter 14, Daugherty 14, Guthrie 12, Galyan 9, Mink 9, Simpson 2, Arthur 0. Totals FG 24-52 FT 9-21 TP 60
South Putnam (39) - Anderson 13, Boswell 9, Neese 8, Cash 6, Parker 2, Hammond 1, Frame 0, Sebanc 0, Tomaw 0. Totals FG 11-32 FT 15-17 TP 39
3pt.-shooting - Cascade 3 (Mink, Suter, Guthrie), South Putnam 2 (Anderson, Boswell) Total fouls - Cascade 15, South Putnam 17 Technical fouls - Cascade 1 (Guthrie)
North Vermillion (22) - De. Morson 4, Swartz 6, Howard 2, Boling 2, Di. Morson 7, Yoho 0, Grube 1, McBride 0, Webb 0, Berry 0, Swayze 0. Totals FG 9-38 FT 3-4 TP 22
Clay City (59) - Thatcher 24, Defore 2, Kennedy 9, Johnson 8, Bettenbrock 2, Moon 2, Rhodes 0, Farmer 0, Jeffers 4, Shouse 2, Modesitt 4, Cook 2. Totals FG 27-42 FT 3-8 TP 59
3pt. shooting - North Vermillion 1 (Di. Morson), Clay City 4 (Thatcher 2, Johnson 2)
Next game - South Putnam (2-6) will travel to face Rockville this Friday at 8 p.m.