CLAYTON -- Coach Debbie Steffy had to think it was Christmas 18 days early for her South Putnam ballclub, which narrowly defeated Cascade, 57-55 Friday.
Steffy, who was unavailable for comment at the game's conclusion, no doubt had to be appreciative that a stifling second quarter press, which led to a 17-2 Cadet run and a 30-21 halftime deficit for the Eagles, mysteriously disappeared in the second half.
Coach Don Helmick's decision to pull off pressuring South's backcourt paid huge dividends for the Eagles, who were able to completely erase Cascade's advantage and take a 37-36 lead going into the final quarter.
A nip and tuck fourth quarter that saw both teams shooting in excess of 60%, came down to the final possession, when Meghan Canary calmly sank two free throws to secure the win.
Oceaia Boetjer delivered 18 of her game high 24 points in the second half. The Eagles were also paced by a strong performance from Leeah Butts, who chipped in 10, and was dominant on the boards.
South Putnam (5-3, 1-0 WCC) travels to Owen Valley at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.
South Putnam 12 9 16 20 -- 57
Cascade 10 20 6 19 -- 55