ROACHDALE -- North Putnam's boys built a commanding lead in the first half and held onto it with solid free throw shooting in the second to defeat Cascade, 65-57, in a West Central Conference basketball game Saturday on the Cougars' court.
It was North Putnam's second win this season and second in its last four games. It was also the first WCC victory for first-year coach Brady Armstrong.
"It's big and it feels good," Armstrong said. "I'm just so happy for the kids. Just winning is wonderful for them. We'll learn to win pretty later."
The Cougars (2-11, 1-3 WCC) broke out of the gate to a 13-2 lead and extended it to 39-23 at the half.
"We had a great start, a stretch where we played terrific basketball," Armstrong said. "We played really well in transition. We pressured the ball well enough to keep them from getting into their offense. We put Jerrett Ban on Connor Guthrie and his ball defense on Guthrie was the difference in the game. Guthrie had 28 against Greencastle (on Friday) and stopping him is the key to stopping Cascade."
Guthrie didn't have a field goal (0-of-4) and had two points in the first half. He ended with six points.
The Cougars were 10-of-16 from the field including 3-of-7 3-pointers and 16-of-19 at the free throw line in the first half.
Cascade (3-10, 2-2) spent most of the second half sending North Putnam to the free throw line. The Cadets committed 19 fouls and the Cougars made 22-of-29 free throws.
North Putnam had only six field goal attempts in the second half and made two.
For the game, North Putnam made 38-of-48 free throws, an outstanding 79.1 percent.
Mitchell Crum led the Cougars with 18 points. He had a pair of 3-pointers in the first quarter and was 10-of-12 at the foul line. Griffen Dahlstrom had 12 points and eight rebounds, Kyle Alcorn 11 points and Ban scored 10.
North Putnam's accuracy at the foul line kept them in control in the second half. The Cougars had a double digit lead until the final minute, when Cascade chopped it from 63-45 with a 12-0 run from forcing turnovers with a full-court press.
"They (Cascade) went on so many runs and we countered," Armstrong said. "We didn't allow them major runs. But we played three games in four days and I think we ran out of gas at the end.
"I'm so proud that we found a way to win."
North Putnam's next plays Friday at home against Greencastle in a WCC game.
At North Putnam
Cascade 10 13 9 25 -- 57
North Putnam 19 20 7 19 -- 65
Heimansohn 3-6 2-2 8, Arthur 2-6 1-2 5, Dunn 0-2 2-2 2, Guthrie 1-6 4-4 6, Alltop 1-2 1-1 3, Waggoner 4-7 3-4 11, Mink 0-4 3-6 3, Daugherty 1-4 0-0 2, Pelley 7-7 3-5 17, Totals 19-44 19-25 57.
NORTH PUTNAM (65)
Dahlstrom 3-3 6-6 12, Adams 2-2 2-2 6, Ban 2-2 6-9 10, Crum 3-4 10-12 18, Alcorn 0-1 11-15 11, Hunt 0-0 1-2 1, Dean 1-6 0-0 3, Wittermood 0-2 0-0 0, Jones 0-1 2-2 2, Enders 1-1 0-0 2, Spencer 0-0 0-0 0, Totals 12-22 38-48 65.