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North Putnam comes close, falls to Monrovia 48-42

Thursday, January 22, 2009

(Photo)
CARLYE MCGAUGHEY
MONROVIA -- North Putnam caused Monrovia some nervous moments with a furious fourth-quarter rally Wednesday, but had too far to go in the comeback bid and lost 48-42 in a West Central Conference girls game at Branch McCracken Memorial Gym.

The Cougars (4-9, 0-1 WCC) trailed 32-22 entering the final period. They chopped their deficit down to five on three occasions.

"It's kind of the tale of our season," North Putnam coach Kevin Smith said. "We play well for a quarter or a half, but not for a full game. I thought we played very hard in the fourth quarter. We set better screens, rebounded better, cut to the basket better. We need to put together an entire game. We just can't seem to get over the hump."

Carlye McGaughey sparked the Cougars by scoring 13 of her 17 points in the fourth period. The 5-foot-8 junior was 2-of-3 on 3-pointers and 1-of-3 on her 2-point attempts in the quarter, forcing the Bulldogs to guard her more closely. McGaughey took advantage to get to the free throw line six times in the final eight minutes and made five.

Leah Crosby was North Putnam's most consistent offensive player, scoring 10 points on 4-of-5 field goals and 2-of-2 at the foul line. The 5-foot-9 senior also had seven rebounds.

With starting center Taylor Alles missing much of the second quarter and a chunk of the third and fourth with foul trouble, sophomore Megan Robinson stepped in to score six points and grab a game-high nine rebounds.

"Leah Crosby had a nice game and Megan Robinson, once she got over some early frustrations, did a good job on the boards," Smith said. "When Alles got into trouble with her third foul (with 5:49 left in the first half), we had to use some defensive rotations we hadn't used before."

North Putnam committed 14 turnovers in the first half, which ended with the Cougars trailing 24-14. North Putnam ended with the game with 22 turnovers. Monrovia had only 10.

Monrovia (6-9, 3-1 WCC) was led by Julia Porter's 23 points. She also had seven rebounds.

Leah Crosby's basket with five minutes remaining sliced Monrovia's lead to 36-31.

But Tiffany Dillion stole a pass at midcourt, scored on a lay-up and completed a conventional three-point play to give the Bulldogs a 39-31 lead.

It should have been a momentum-buster for North Putnam, but the Cougars made two more runs.

McGaughey's two free throws with 1:35 remaining cut Monrovia's lead to 45-40.

McGaughey made one free throw with 37.8 seconds left to make it 47-42, but missed the second. The 5-foot-11 Robinson grabbed the rebound and tossed it to McGaughey, who had a good look at a 3-pointer, but it glanced off the rim.

Dillion's two free throws with 9.4 seconds left put the game away for Monrovia.

North Putnam plays at Cloverdale on Friday.



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