North Putnam's boys' basketball team stormed into South Putnam Friday and handed the Eagles a their ninth straight loss, 53-33.
Turnovers were a big factor in the Eagles' defeat and coach Brian Gardner addressed that after the game.
"We had some poor turnovers tonight that you can't have in a varsity game." he said.
"We have to find a way to take care of the basketball but still attack the rim."
South started strong by seizing the first lead of the night when Ben Anderson nailed a three-pointer from way outside, but North came right back.
Jake Mullis, Brian Blaydes and Tyler Trent all scored to give the Cougars a 4-3 lead. After an Eagles' basket, Mullis and Zack Hendrick scored to give the Cougars a 12-6 lead at the end of the quarter.
South again scored the opening points of the quarter as Adam Masters hit a jumper. But the Eagles saw North go on another run.
Blaydes and Kyle Alcorn scored hoops to keep the Cougars' lead comfortable. Max Schreiber and Trent scored as the half came to a close and gave the Cougars a 23-14 advantage going into the half.
The second half was a complete nightmare for the Eagles. Despite never giving in or letting up on their intensity, the Eagles just could not get moving in the right direction.
"We had a great physical effort tonight," Gardner said after the game.
Even with that kind of effort, the Cougars went off in the second half.
Hendrick was a power for the Cougars, both inside and out. One moment he drained a three-pointer, the next he positioned himself under the basket for a great post-up play. He score 11 of his game-high 13 points in the second half. Hendrick was not alone. Mullis and Trent combined for 10 points to keep the Cougar express rolling.
South had no answer for the Cougars throughout the second half and watched as the game got out of hand.
North's defense seemed to cause the Eagles trouble all night. Unable to get to the bucket, they settled for outside shots that weren't falling for them.
"When a team is playing you in a zone, our kids are going to have to realize they need to look to the rim," Gardner commented after the contest.
"The effort is there," Gardner remarked, "we're continuing to grow."
South Putnam will be in action today against South Vermillion at 7:30 p.m. while North will be in action next Thursday against Rockville at 7:30 p.m.
At South Putnam
North Putnam 53 South Putnam 33
North Putnam (53) -- Mullis 12, Trent 7, B. Dahlstrom 4, Blaydes 7, G. Dahlstrom 4, Hendrick 13, Alcorn 4, Schreiber 2. Totals: FG 18-36 FT 12-21 TP 53.
South Putnam (33) -- Anderson 8, Nees 5, Cash 3, Boswell 2, Parker 2, Hammond 2, Masters 9, Eickhoff 2. Totals: FG 12-34 FT 4-7 TP 33.
3pt. FG -- N.P. 3 (Hendrick, Blaydes, Alcorn), S.P. 3 (Anderson 2, Nees)
Next games -- South Putnam will be in action today against South Vermillion at 7:30 p.m. while North will be in action next Thursday against Rockville at 7:30 p.m.