BAINBRIDGE -- The North Putnam girls' basketball team came up short against a Danville squad that utilized a 6-foot-2-inch sophomore center to clog the middle. The Cougars lost to the Warriors 61-41 and dropped to 0-2 on the season.
Like their previous contest, the Cougars started the game strong and kept stride with the Warriors. But as the game wore on, turnovers would be their undoing. The Cougars recorded 31 in the game.
North trailed early but took the lead when Dakota Malayer took her defender off the dribble and raced to the hole giving the Cougars an 8-7 lead.
After the Warriors began to pull away, Shilah Kumaran knocked down a three-pointer to pull North within three at 13-10. The Cougars pushed the ball up the court as the game clock ticked down to two seconds and found Carlye McGaughey in the corner. McCaughey caught the rock and buried a long three-pointer which was accentuated by her coach pumping his fist and echoing "BOOM!" from the bench. The teams were tied at 13-all after one.
North's strong defensive play continued in the second quarter and held the Warriors to only five points. However, the Cougars could only muster three points, those coming on a McGaughey long-range bomb. The Cougars entered the half trailing 18-16.
Shawna Johnston heated up in the third, scoring six of the Cougars nine points.
Molly Stewart and Lindsay Nelson hit from beyond the arc and Mak Leath scored four down low to lead Danville in the quarter.
The Warriors pulled ahead of the Cougars in the fourth quarter as they repeatedly beat the North Putnam press over the top, leading to three quick scores. Warrior center Amy Kramer recorded 10 points and Leath added eight to put Danville into a lead North couldn't overcome.
Danville blew up in the fourth quarter, but the Cougars delivered a solid defensive performance on the night.
"We got scrambled there at the end. We gave up a lot of points in the fourth quarter trying to get back in the game," Smith observed.
Taylor Alles battled down low all evening, absorbing multiple elbows to gain position to help the Cougar cause. Alles' quick feet and swift hands kept the ball alive on numerous North Putnam possessions.
"She is one of our leaders. She's a strong hard-nosed kid. She does anything we ask her to do. She's not going to back down from any fight. That's a kid I'm glad is on my team," Smith commented.
The Cougar (0-2) will be on the road against North Montgomery at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.
At North Putnam
Danville 13 6 15 27 -- 61
North Putnam 13 3 9 16 -- 41
Danville -- Leath 20, Kramer 15, Scott 14, Stewart 5, Murphy 4, Nelson 3. Totals: FG 21-48 FT 14-23 TP 61.
North Putnam -- McGaughey 13, Johnston 10, Alles 8, E. Crosby 4, Kumaran 4, Malayer 2. Totals: 14-31 FT 10-13 TP 41.
3Pt. FG -- Danville 2 (Nelson, Stewart), NP 4 (McGaughey 3, Kumaran).
Next game -- The Cougar (0-2) will be on the road against North Montgomery at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.