"I thought that we played well. WE had a few breakdowns here and there but for the most part I thought we played well," South Putnam coach Debbie Steffy said.
South seized a first quarter lead with lively play from Liz Mink inside and quick guard play on the outside. The Eagles lead 12-11 and continued to hold tough throughout the second. Buckets from Heather Hughes, Oceaia Boetjer and Bailey Birt keep the Eagles close.
At the half the Eagles trailed 27-24.
The Eagles continued to stay neck-and-neck with the Sparkplugs during the third, allowing Speedway to build its lead by a single point entering the fourth. Meghan Canary carried South Putnam in the third; scoring nine points, including 5-for-5 from the free throw line.
In the fourth quarter, the Eagles tied the ballgame at 44-all when Birt converted a free throw with 4:26 on the clock.
The Sparkplugs responded quickly and buried a three-pointer to give them their final lead of the night. The Eagles closed the gap to two points but the Sparkplugs were just too much for the Eagles to overcome.
Steffy commented after the game about her team ability to take care of the ball and was impressed by the team's tenacity on the boards.
"We did a good job on the boards. We were giving up around three inches at every position, so I thought we did a good job," Steffy said.
Canary led the Eagles with 14 points, while Boetjer added 10. Birt and Mink added eight each and Hughes and Leeah Butts chipped in four apiece.
Whitley Emerson and Kara Tierney had big nights for the Sparkplugs, finishing the game with 15 points each. Emerson also hauled in 14 rebounds.
The Eagles played a tough physical game and battle with a much bigger Speedway squad. Steffy expressed her happiness with the team's gritty performance.
"I thought we did a good job of helping each other out. If you take away at the end when we're fouling to get the ball back, we lose by three or four points. We got to feel good about the way we played tonight.
South Putnam will travel to Eminence at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.
At South Putnam
Speedway 11 16 12 16 -- 55
South Putnam 12 12 11 13 -- 48
Speedway -- Emerson 15, Tierney 15, Jones 12, Anglea 10, Miller 3. Totals: FG 23-49 FT 7-12 TP 55.
South Putnam -- Canary 14, Boetjer 10, Birt 8, Mink 8, Hughes 4, Butts 4. Totals: FG 17-47 FT 13-19 TP 48.
3pt. FG -- Speedway 2 (Miller, Tierney), South Putnam (Boetjer)
Next game -- South Putnam will travel to Eminence at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.