ROACHDALE -- The North Putnam girls' basketball team had a major test in Thursday's contest with Rockville. Down one with 11 seconds to go, the Cougars showed the poise of a veteran team and walked away with a three-point win, 47-44 over the Rox.
"That was a good win for us," Cougar head coach Kevin Smith said. "We shot the ball really well in the first half. We turned the ball over quite a bit in the second half, they picked up the pressure and did a nice job of forcing us into some turnovers."
North Putnam led most of the game, but a pressuring Rockville defense forced them into multiple turnovers in the second half. They watched as their lead dwindled away, but instead of caving them gritted their teeth and fought.
Rockville's Lindsey Greene hit a fade away jumper with 38 seconds remaining in the game to lift the Rox to a 45-44 advantage. North Putnam took the ball down the court, set its offense and began to work. Seconds faded, but the hopes of the Cougars did not.
With 11 seconds remaining, junior Carlye McGaughey curled around to the top of the key, rose above the Rockville defense and drained a three-pointer to give the lead back to the Cougars for good. She added two free throws with two seconds remaining to seal the Cougars' third win of the season.
"I was really proud of our girls late in the game. We regained our composure, hit a big shot when we needed it, hit some foul shots when we needed them and got a stop when we needed it," Smith commented.
The Cougars controlled the game from the beginning and built a three point lead after one and grew that to six at the half.
Taylor Alles scored nine of her 10 points in the opening half, while McGaughey added six of her own.
"We had a sophomore (Morgan McLaughlin) come off the bench and play some big minutes for us in the second quarter when we had all of our post players in foul trouble," Smith acknowledged. "It was the first time she played all season and she did a nice job for us. A lot of young players contributed tonight.
"We had a lot of foul trouble. We had a lot of big minutes from a lot of kids on our team that come in and play big, important minutes for us. We went nine or 10 players deep tonight," Smith added.
Although it was McGaughey's late three that lifted the Cougars to the win, Smith, while acknowledging the clutch shot, noted that he was proud of his team and the way to came together and got the win.
"I guess the best way to describe tonight's game was that it was a really good team win. It was a team win," Smith said.
The junior varsity fell to Rockville 38-32.
The Cougars will host Tri-West at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.
At North Putnam
Rockville 8 13 7 16 -- 44
North Putnam 11 16 10 10 -- 47
Rockville -- Greene 20, McMullen 17, Harper 2, Vukovits 2, Mahurin 2, Burgess 1. Totals: FG 14-44 FT 16-28 TP 44.
North Putnam -- McGaughey 16, Alles 10, Kumaran 6, L. Crosby 6, Frye 4, Malayer 2. Totals: FG 11-28 FT 14-25 TP 47.
Junior varsity results
North Putnam 32
Next game -- The Cougars will host Tri-West at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.