ROACHDALE -- The North Putnam girls' basketball team couldn't overcome a rough first half and were downed by Western Boone 78-36 Tuesday night.
Taylor Alles was able to win the tip for the Cougars, but their first few possessions didn't end in points but turnovers. Alles was also the first to score for North Putnam. Turnovers and missed rebounds were two of the factors that allowed Western Boone to capitalize and take the double-digit lead.
With 5:06 left in the quarter, North Putnam called their first timeout in an effort to keep the girls on track and motivate them to not give up. The quarter was fast-paced and physical. Western Boone was playing tight man-to-man defense, but they were also able to hit almost anything that they put up. The Stars ended the quarter leading 20-4.
The second quarter saw more of the same action from both teams. North Putnam had the first possession once again, but they weren't able to take it in to score. Western Boone's Brandy Woody's fast, slicing play plagued the Cougars throughout the game.
Both teams utilized their benches, which left the Cougars searching for the right combination to slow down the Stars.
With 5:00 to go in the half, the Cougars called a timeout to regroup. The Stars were still ahead by double digits at that point with a 27-6.
After halftime, the Cougars seemed to come alive, but they were still struggling with rebounds and ill-advised passes. With 3:38 to go in the quarter, Western Boone called a time out and the Cougars found themselves still trailing 51-16. The girls were still not working as a team and were not communicated well. One factor that hurt North Putnam was the speed of the Stars, making it difficult for North Putnam to set their defense.
The fourth quarter was when the Cougars played their best basketball. Alles was able to intercept a pass; get it to Elsiana Crosby, and then Crosby fed it back to her for the lay-up. They started playing more aggressively and taking and connecting on shots, but the Stars' lead was too great for a Cougar comeback. The Stars were able to come away with the 64-25 victory.
The Cougar junior varsity lost to Western Boone 26-19.
Cougar head coach Kevin Smith was very optimistic about his team and how they will play for the rest of the season despite tonight's loss.
"We came out very flat against a team that played very well," he said. "They shot the ball well early and throughout the entire game. We really struggled with rebounding and that surprised me because we've been very strong rebounding all year long. It's usually not something we question. That gave Western Boone a lot second chance points."
Smith also spoke about the shooting woes the Cougars experienced on the night and how the team is prepping for their next game.
"We didn't shoot well tonight and the game snowballed on us. Prior to tonight, we were very confident coming off our win over Eminence this past weekend. We just talked in there about putting this game behind us and focusing on the rest of the season and conference which starts Friday night against Monrovia.
"We have to improve at what we do. We have to be very concerned. We are a little banged up right now and I don't know the full extent of the injuries that occurred tonight. The girls are very tough and I know that they will be jumping at the opportunity to get back on the court as soon as they can," Smith concluded.
At North Putnam
Western Boone -- 20 39 62 78
North Putnam -- 4 10 19 36
North Putnam -- Alles 16, Robinson 9, L. Crosby 4, Judy 3, E. Crosby 2, Davis 2.
Western Boone-8 14 22 26
North Putnam-2 8 14 19
Next game -- The Cougars will travel to Monrova for travel for their first conference game of the season at 6 p.m. Friday.