It didn't happened.
The Stars rung in the New Year, routing the North Putnam 66-36 and sending the Cougars back to the drawing board.
"The big thing for us is that we were given some time off," NPHS Coach Nathan Martindale said. "We had a long layoff from the 22nd to the 2nd without a game and that kind of hurt us.
"We came in with two wins and had some momentum, but we are without our starting point guard (Tim Wiltermood) and that hurts because he is a very good ball handler," Martindale said.
Wiltermood got injured in the Cougars win against Riverton Parke back in December and now they are struggling to find someone to fill in until Wiltermood comes back. And after Saturday's loss, that looks easier said than done.
From the tipoff to the end, Western Boone set the tone of the game. In the first quarter, the Stars outscored the Cougars 23-9 thanks to the errors that their full court press caused. Without their leading point guard, the Cougars found themselves turning the ball over more and taking less than good shots. Mix that with some exceptional shooting from Western Boone (5-for-8 from downtown alone in the first quarter) and you get a disastrous start.
"We are tying to find someone to fill in for Tim and we didn't find that tonight," Martindale said. "We came out flat and stayed flat and we just didn't play very hard and those are things that are fixable.
"You play hard and you win basketball games and tonight we just got outplayed," Martindale said.
It looked like the Cougars were going to get a reprieve in the second quarter when they held the Stars raging offense to only eight points while scoring six of their own. They went into the half trailing by 12 at 29-17.
At the start of the second half, it looked like the Cougars had found the momentum they lost in the first quarter when James Hedrick nailed back-to-back threes on the first two trips down the court.
Shortly after that escapade, the Stars turned back on the press and started to trap at the half-court line, forcing the ailing Cougars to turn the ball over, ensuring the rout.
North Putnam's most productive player was Hedrick, who scored 16 of the Cougars' 36 points. Eight of those points came in the first few minutes of the third quarter. He was the only player on the team to reach double digits.
Western Boone had three players in double digits, Caleb Nicley (12), Jay Purdy (14) and Brandon Burtner (14).
Burtner and Purdy had 12 of their 14 points come from behind the three-point line. As a team, the Stars shot 55 percent from behind the arch on 10-of-18 shooting. Eight of those 10 three-pointers came from Purdy and Burtner
The Cougars are now 3-5 on the season now and host Rockville on Friday at 8 p.m. and Wiltermood is not expected to be back for that game, but should be back in time for the Cougars' next West Central Conference game against Monrovia.
At North Putnam
Western Boone 23 6 20 17 -- 66
North Putnam 9 8 12 7 -- 36
Western Boone -- Nicley 5 2-2 12, Purdy 5 0-0 14, Aguirre 1 2-2 5, Pearson 3 2-3 8, Adams 3 0-0 7, Burtner 5 0-0 14, Grissom 1 2-2 4, Thomas 1 0-0 2. Totals -- 24 FG, 8-9 FT, 66 TP.
North Putnam -- Hedrick 7 0-2 16, Franklin 1 0-0 2, Adams 1 1-2 3, Logan 1 0-0 2, Jones 0 2-2 2, Hutcheson 0 0-2 0, Lucas 1 0-0 2, Muse 0 1-2 1. Totals -- 14 FG, 6-13 FT, 36 TP.
Next Game -- North Putnam hosts the Warriors or Turkey Run on Friday with the JV tipping off at 6:30 p.m.