ROACHDALE -- Two weekends of back-to-back games have not done the North Putnam boys' basketball team any favors in the loss column, after dropping a Saturday night contest to Crawfordsville 77-45.
"It's our second weekend in a row playing on the back end of a weekend and I thought we just came out a little flat. We didn't have the energy that we did last night. They took a lot of things away from us and I'll give them credit for that," Cougar coach Nathan Martindale said.
Going into the game without senior Travis Franklin, the Cougars would struggle to handle the speed of the Athenian guards. The loss of fellow senior James Hedrick by halftime compounded the issues already presented to the hosts.
"They did some things on the defensive end that bothered us, but we have to get better at handling pressure," Martindale said. "That's something that we struggled with. We didn't have Travis [Franklin] and we lost James [Hedrick] in the second half but these guys have got to understand that you still do things on the defensive end."
North Putnam held an early 5-4 lead after Hedrick had knocked down a three-pointer, but would not score again for the rest of the first quarter. Crawfordsville was quick to capitalize on any mental lapses made by the Cougars and raced out to an early 19-5 lead after one period.
The Athenians didn't let up from there, adding 25 more points in the second quarter to stretch their 14 point lead out to 27 by halftime, 44-17.
North looked out of sorts for most of the first half, but was better offensively in the second half, scoring 14 points in both the third and fourth quarters. Crawfordsville continued to bring the heat as well, and while only outscoring the hosts by five points in the second half, never were threatened.
"I think that they were just not reacting as quickly as normally and it cost us a lot of points on the interior and we just didn't take care of the ball. We had 20-some turnovers and that's just not a good omen in a game like this," Martindale added.
The Cougars host Cascade at 7:30 p.m. Friday.