BAINBRIDGE-- On a night where seniors Chelsea Greene and Brook Miller were honored, the North Putnam girls' basketball squad was defeated by the Speedway Sparkplugs, 58-39, in a game that saw a great defensive effort from both teams.
Transition defense seemed to be a concern for coach Kevin Smith after the game.
"They started running on us and we were having a hard time getting back," coach Kevin Smith, said "Which surprised me we had trouble with that."
The Cougars got out to a 4-0 lead in the first minute of the game and looked ready to set the pace for the evening. But Speedway stole their thunder as it scored the next six points.
Kara Tierney led Speedway with 17 points and was the first to score. She was followed by Shaley Anglea and Whitley Emerson.
North received excellent play from Taylor Alles in the opening quarter and closed the quarter with Miller and Greene scoring five-points to get the lead, 14-12.
Shawna Johnston scored the opening points of the second quarter to give North a four-point lead that was short lived.
Katie Jones hit a three-pointer to pull the Sparkplugs within one and Emerson hit a layup to give them the lead.
Leah Crosby and Miller scored to bring the Cougars closer and Alles scored to pull North with three points heading into the half.
That's when the floodgates opened on the Cougars.
Despite playing solid defense, North watched helplessly as Jones connected on four three-pointers in the quarter and saw the Speedway lead balloon to 13 points.
"Jones got off and hit some three-pointers and put us behind the eight ball," Smith said.
Greene and Carlye McGaughey drained three-pointers and Alles hit a driving shot to keep the Cougars within 15 as the quarter expired.
In the fourth quarter, the Cougars were outscored 12-7, as Tierney was fouled on two consecutive shots, gaining six points in less than a minute. North continued to fight as the clock ticked down but couldn't overcome the Sparkplugs in the end.
"It's a tale of two halves," Smith commented.
"In the first half, I thought we took them out of their game and controlled the game," Smith said. "We came out the second half and they beat the zone"
North will travel to face the South Putnam Eagles Friday at 6 p.m.
At North Putnam
Speedway 58 North Putnam 39
Speedway (58) -- Jones 15, Miller 6, Heller 2, Emerson 8, Tierney 17, Anglea 10. Totals: FG 22-45 FT 9-11 TP 58.
North Putnam (39) -- Greene 6, Miller 8, Alles 10, L. Crosby 4, Johnston 8, McGaughey 3. Totals: FG 17-47 FT 2-4 TP 39.
3 pt FG -- Speedway 5 (Jones), North Putnam 3 (Greene 2, McGaughey)
Next game -- North will travel to face the South Putnam Eagles Friday at 6 p.m.