North Putnam lost to visiting Rockville 53-41, falling to 1-2 on the season.
Cougar head coach Nathan Martindale singled out a lapse in the middle of the contest, which ultimately spelled disaster for his team.
"We talked about it," Martindale said. "The last three minutes of the second quarter and the first three minutes of the third quarter and other than that I couldn't have been more pleased with our effort on the defensive end. We just had a mental lapse there at the end of the quarter and the beginning of the third quarter and if we can shore that up and shore up that six minutes, our guys are going to come around offensively."
Rockville out scored the Cougars 21-6 during that stretch and built a lead an aggressive North Putnam squad couldn't overcome.
The game started well for the Cougars as they traded points with Rockville in the first quarter. North Putnam took an 11-10 advantage after one quarter of play when James Hedrick tipped the inbounds pass, poked it forward of the pack and took it the hoop as the buzzer sounded.
Following those pivotal six minutes Martindale discussed, North Putnam settled down and showed how effective its defense can be.
North Putnam went ice cold in the third quarter, shooting just 1-of-12 from the field and fell behind 45-27 at the end of three quarters. Rockville went 8-for-15 shooting, but North Putnam got in Rockville's face and the Rox failed to respond.
As North Putnam began to charge, its defense stopped the Rox, as they failed to convert a field goal in the fourth quarter. Meanwhile, North Putnam cut the lead to eight at one point.
One thing Rockville had in its favor was its solid shooting at the line. The Rox converted 8-of-9 free throws in the final stanza to keep it lead intact and win the contest.
North Putnam struggled at times Friday, but the team continued to battle, but Martindale labeled their free throw effort "pathetic". The Cougars were 6-15 at the line and saw multiple chances to chip away at the Rockville lead slip away.
Martindale said the team has been focusing on effort and its attitude and thought his team showed tremendous effort and attitudes Friday. He noted the team just couldn't get things going in their favor.
"We just couldn't get over that hump. It's a process," he said. "We'll get there, it will just take us a couple more weeks to kind of get us going. And we're excited about going out again tomorrow night. Our guys are ready, they love playing on their home court -- the energy was very good tonight. Those kids feed off that and I expect the same thing tomorrow night."
Hedrick led the Cougars with 17 points, with Kolten Everts and Payne Stewart adding seven points each.
North Putnam will host Crawfordsville tonight at 6 p.m.
At North Putnam
Rockville 10 16 19 8 -- 53
North Putnam 11 8 8 14 -- 41
Rockville -- McFall 14, Mahurin 13, White 10, Jeffries 8, Wittemyer 2. Totals: 17-45 FG, 15-17 FT, 53 TP.
North Putnam -- Hedrick 17, Everts 7, Stewart 7, Porter 4, Muse 2, Wiltermood 2. Totals: 15-47 FG, 6-15 FT, 41 TP.
Next game -- North Putnam hosts Crawfordsville tonight with the junior varsity starting at 6 p.m. .