ROACHDALE -- On any given night a bad quarter of basketball will spell demise for many high school teams.
Friday night, a slow start in the first half spelled demise for the North Putnam Cougars. The Cougars fell to Covington 56-40.
"Only scoring 12 points in the first half isn't going to win you too many games," said Nathan Martindale, North Putnam Boys Varsity Basketball coach. "We knew going into tonight's game that they were going to be tough."
Going in at halftime Covington held a 27-12 lead. They just expanded on that lead after half-time hitting four three-pointers in a row.
That's when coach Martindale called time out to fire up the boys. From that point on in the game, the Cougars played even basketball with the Trojans.
Unfortunately, though they couldn't break the 10-point mark. After the timeout, North went on a 9-0 run and continued to outscore the Trojans 8-4 going into the fourth quarter.
"I had to call timeout there to fire the boys up," said Martindale. "I shouldn't have to do that; they should want to come out and play.
"I have to give them credit, though, they never quit no matter how far we got down."
Leading the way for the Cougars in the second half was senior Kyle Adams, who recorded 14 points and 18 on the night. He was the lone Cougar in double figures.
Martindale said once he switched up the defense in the second half, they started to force Covington to take shots they weren't comfortable with. The Cougars started the game off in zone defense before switching to man-to-man.
"I made the mistake from the beginning to start out in zone coverage," said Martindale. "Once we switched it up we played them even."
With sectionals a little over two weeks away, Martindale said his club needs to work on pressure defense and taking care of the ball. The Cougars turned the ball over 20 times in Friday night's game.
The Cougars shot 50 percent from the field on the night, and 7-of-13 from the line.
Junior James Hedrick added eight points on the night for the Cougars.
Leading the way for the Trojans in double figures was Cyle Knecht with 16, Johnny Brazes with 15 and Clay Martin with 10.
With Friday night's loss the Cougars drop to 3-15 on the season. Next week they will face off against Tri-West on Monday and South Putnam next Friday.
At North Putnam
North Putnam 7 5 19 13 40
Covington 12 15 16 9 56
North Putnam -- Adams 18, Hedrick 8, Stewart 4, Lucas 3, Wiltermood 3, Franklin 2.
Covington -- Knecht 16, Brazas 15, Martin 12, Willis 6, Paris 3, Keller 3, Wright 1.
North Putnam -- 17-34 FG, 7-13 FT, 40 TP
Covington -- 14-27 FG, 16-22 FT, 56 TP