Tri-West knocks Eagles out of sectional, 60-37

Saturday, March 3, 2007
South Putnam's Adam Masters goes for a rebound against Tri-West's Eric Sampson during the Eagles' 60-37 loss to the Bruins Friday.

PUTNAMVILLE -- The South Putnam Eagles boys' basketball team knew that it would have its hands full in the first semifinal game of the Class 2A Sectional at South Putnam Friday night against the 14th-ranked Tri-West Bruins.

Tri-West entered the game with a 16-5 record, having defeated North Putnam Tuesday night in the opening game of the tournament, 52-35.

Comparatively, South Putnam entered the game with a 3-17 record, but the Eagles had been playing their best basketball of the season in the weeks leading up to the tournament.

South Putnam played a solid game on both ends of the floor, staying with Tri-West during the first half of the game, but the more athletic and more experienced Bruins, outscored the Eagles in the second half, 34-18, and ended the Eagles' season, 60-37.

The Eagles throttled the high-scoring Bruins' offense in the first quarter, limiting Tri-West to nine points, while South Putnam's two only senior players, Ben Anderson and Adam Nees, scored more points in the stanza than the entire Bruins team.

Anderson hit the first basket of the game for South Putnam at the 4:47 mark in the period, and then Nees went on a scoring rampage, scoring nine points in the final 4:14 of the first quarter.

Ben Parker and Conor Frame joined Nees in the scoring column in the second quarter, but the Eagles committed six turnovers in the period, and Tri-West took advantage of the miscues, while the Bruins' offense began to get rolling.

However, South Putnam only trailed by seven points going into the locker room at halftime, 26-19.

Tri-West continued to dominate the game in the second half, outscoring South Putnam 14-6 in the third quarter, and 20-12 in the final period, to end the Eagles' season, 60-37.

Both teams substituted their starters in the final minutes of the game and Michael Sebanc and Adam Masters were the final Eagles to get into the scoring column for South Putnam.

Tri-West's team bristled with experience, with seven seniors on their roster, but South Putnam battled the Bruins on both ends of the floor throughout the game.

The difference in the game turned out to be South Putnam committing 18 turnovers versus 10 for Tri-West, and the Bruins hit 51 percent of their shots from the field versus 43 percent for the Eagles.

"I can't be more proud of our guys," commented South Putnam coach Brian Gardner after the game. "We did everything in the first half that we needed to do to stay in the game, but in the second half, our shots just wouldn't fall and our guys were on the floor every time there was a loose ball.

"The great thing about tonight is that we had two seniors who showed our younger kids what it's going to take to be successful. Adam (Nees) and Ben (Anderson) stepped-up and really played well.

"We only had one player who had ever played in a Sectional basketball game before tonight and that was Ben Anderson. Tonight, we just ran into a better team," Gardner added.

South Putnam had one player who scored in double figures, Nees with 18. Anderson and Frame followed with nine and four each, and Sebanc, Masters, and Parker closed out the Eagle scoring with two points each.

Nees had four rebounds and Nathan Welty, Noah Boswell, and Parker grabbed three boards each.

This was the final basketball game in an Eagle uniform for South Putnam seniors Anderson and Nees.

The Eagles finished the season with a 3-18 record. Tri-West will play Cloverdale in the Sectional Championship game Saturday night at 7:30 p.m.

At Putnamville

South Putnam Sectional

South Putnam 11 8 6 12 -- 37

Tri-West 9 17 14 20 -- 60

South Putnam -- Hammond 0-0 0-0 0, Anderson 4-11 1-1 9, Chestnut 0-1 0-0 0, Sebanc 1-1 0-0 2, Nees 8-18 1-2 18, Tomaw 0-0 0-0 0, Frame 2-2 0-0 4, Welty 0-3 0-0 0, Boswell 0-0 0-0 0, Masters 1-3 0-2 2, Parker 1-1 0-2 2. Totals 17-40 FG, 2-7 FT, 37 TP.

Tri-West -- Pfeifer 0-1 0-0 0, Tanselle 0-0 0-0 0, Ricks 3-7 1-1 7, Robertson 1-2 2-2 4, Smith 0-0 0-0 0, Allen 2-4 0-0 4, Skudrovskis 0-0 2-2 2, Lowe 0-2 4-4 4, Pugliese 1-2 0-0 2, Moses 5-11 5-9 16, Thompson 1-1 0-0 2, Bruce 8-11 2-4 19. Totals 21-41 FG, 16-22 FT, 60 TP.

3-pt. FG - SP 1-7 (Nees 1-2), TW 2-7 (Moses 1-3, Bruce 1-1). Rebounds - SP 16 (Nees 4), TW 25 (Moses 8). Blocks -- SP 2 (Nees 1, Masters 1), TW 3 (Allen 2). Assists -- SP 7 (Hammond 2, Anderson 2), TW 13 (Ricks 6). Steals -- SP 5 (Boswell 2), TW 5 (Bruce 2). Total fouls -- SP 18, TW 13. Fouled out -- none. Turnovers - SP 18, TW 10.

Next game -- The Eagles finished the season with a 3-18 record. Tri-West will play Cloverdale in the Sectional Championship game Saturday night at 7:30 p.m.

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