By DON HURST
For the Banner Graphic
On a cold, blustery and wet Saturday night, the South Putnam Eagles failed in search of their first home victory of the season against the Southmont Mounties. It would also be their first win since capturing the Putnam County championship earlier.
But the Mounties had different ideas that led to a fast, rough and truly tumble game with the Mounties slipping by with a 64-53 win. The loss put the season's record for the Eagles at 2-4.
In the first quarter, the Eagles got off with the lead and looked as they might be able to stay with the Mounties.
Late in the third quarter a South Putnam player was tagged with a technical foul and another instance followed in the fourth quarter where another Eagle player was charged with an intention foul, giving the Mounties player four free throws for the intentional call, plus one for the personal foul. The shooter made all five free throws making the score 48-36 in favor of the Mounties. Plus, after all that, the visitors were awarded the ball for a throw in from midcourt with just under five minutes to play in the game.
The teams played even in the scoring with the Eagles taking the lead at the start and going back and forth through the first quarter until they fell behind 9 to 11 at about the 1-minute mark. They would lead only one more time in the game with 3:58 left in the second period.
As the second half unfolded, the host Eagles failed to score in the first three minutes, while the Mounties could only score three points for a 27-22 Mounties lead with five minutes left. The lead stayed pretty much five-to-seven points for the Mounties the rest of the quarter.
With only 17.4 seconds left in the third stanza, a couple of opposing players went after the ball in front of the visitors' cheering section and a tug-of-war between the two was stopped from further activities on the floor. Both teams on the floor and their benches and coaches were admonished that other side activities would be dealt with in a drastic manner.
As the fourth quarter got underway, the pace of the game continued in the same range until the fiasco with the five free throw personal and intention foul call with 4:53 remaining.
The host Eagles were only able to close the gap by one point to finish the game, the Mounties holding a 64-53 favorable lead in the end.
In a discussion following Micah Elliot's lengthy "debriefing" his demeanor was as expected. His frustrations were apparent, but his belief is that his team has the basic abilities to begin winning. They accomplished one goal early in capturing the County Tourney championship. His feelings at this point are that of a believer in his methods and his team being compatible. Some things take time to reach fruition.
South Putnam will be back in action on the road against Speedway at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
At South Putnam
Southmont 13 24 34 64
South Putnam 11 21 29 53
Southmont -- Burkett 14, Truncone 12, Paris 8, Burton 3, Rose 2, Murray
South Putnam -- Chestnut 13, Frame 8, Welty 13, Dean 3, Boswell 10, Nelson 6
Next game -- South Putnam will be back in action on the road against Speedway at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.