GREENCASTLE -- One night before Thanksgiving, South Putnam's boys' basketball team opened the season at home, facing a Turkey Run squad that the Eagles had not beaten since the 2005-2006 opener.
Breaking that streak will be left to next year's squad, as the Warriors used a 18-point second quarter to propel themselves to a 50-38 win Wednesday night.
The Eagles started well, holding a 7-3 lead early in the first quarter before their shooting touch left for the half. Turkey Run, propelled by senior guard Jake Weaver, took the lead at 8-7 and would never trail again, ending the first ahead 12-9.
It was the second quarter that really separated the two teams. The Warriors limited South Putnam to 4 points while knocking down four 3-pointers as part of an 18-4 second period that extended their lead to 30-13 going into halftime.
Neither side was able to take the initiative in the third quarter, one in which neither side had much of a shooting touch, as five of the Eagle's seven points in the quarter were from the free throw line. Both defenses were hard to break down and the 17-point lead the visitors held after three never looked to be in any danger.
South finally found some offense in the final quarter, scoring 18 in the final period. While too late to get back into the game, it did show some good signs for the Eagles.
The 50-38 scoreline was reflective of the game and Eagle head coach Micah Elliottt saw some things that needed some tweaking.
"We played well, at times. I thought we started off well in the first quarter, moved the ball, got a lot of easy, open shots. In the second quarter, we didn't make them play defense very long by taking very quick shots. They did a nice job of taking good shots," Elliott said.
"One thing that we talked about at halftime was shot selection. On offense, we were making one or two passes and then settling for the first open shot, not the best shot. Our shot selection got better in the second half."
"We missed some easy lay-ups, some opportunities, some free throws and I thought we left a lot of points out here on the floor that we didn't convert on. Those are some things we can fix," Elliott added.
"They were moving the ball and they had multiple passes each possession. Even the best defense will break down after the ball has been reversed several times. There's always one person slightly out of position and after they reverse the ball a few times we were getting out of position and they were taking advantage of that."
The display in the second half from the Eagles was an encouraging sign for Elliott.
"We played hard in the first half. Defensively, we played better in the second half, only giving up 20 points compared to 30 points in the first half, so that was better. Our offensive shot selection was also better. We moved the ball, we rotated things. It wasn't perfect but it was better than in the first half," Elliott said.
After a quick Thanksgiving break, the Eagles come back to the gym on Friday with a trip to Edgewood looming on Saturday night. Elliott wants his squad to be ready for the occasion.
"We're going to walk in their and expect to walk out with a win. That's the attitude that you have to have. It's not always about having the best players and the best athletes but it's the kids that prepare themselves to win and we're going to try and prepare our kids to win that game," Elliott said.
"It's a lot to do with heart and desire and I think our kids have that. We're going down there expecting to play well and to have a chance to win."
At South Putnam
Turkey Run 12 18 7 13 -- 50
South Putnam 9 4 7 18 -- 38
Turkey Run -- Weaver 23, Woods 8, Hayn 6, Sunderman 6, Jeffers 5, McCombs 2
South Putnam -- Bumgardner 8, Freeman 7, Hammond 6, Zimmerman 5, Stanton 5, Gibson 3, Varvel 2, Arnold 2
Next game -- South Putnam travels to Edgewood for a JV/Varsity doubleheader Saturday starting at 6 p.m.