GREENCASTLE -- South Putnam went into Friday night's game with Guerin Catholic High School looking to break a five game losing streak, one that started after the end of the Putnam County Tournament.
Each side would hold the lead on multiple occasions but when the scoring dried up in a physical fourth quarter, the Eagles would not be able to get a win, falling by a score of 47-42.
South held the lead for most of the first quarter as Guerin Catholic struggled to make shots. A move to full court pressure slowed the Eagle offense long enough for the Golden Eagles to tie the score late in the period and take a 12-9 lead heading into the second quarter.
Building on their late run, Guerin moved out to a seven point lead before the hosts began to score again. After figuring out the Golden Eagle trap scheme, the hosts rallied to take a second lead after Jenna Jones knocked down a three pointer to take a 23-21 lead.
They could not hold it going into the break as Guerin center Colleen Frost scored the last four points for the Golden Eagles to give the visitors a 25-24 lead at the intermission.
Guerin started off the second half quickly, catching the Eagles in a lull and streaking out to a six point lead before South closed back in. The quarter moved back and forth between both squads as Guerin could not break away but South could not close the distance.
Just before the end of the third, Golden Eagle guard Vanetta Poppas, open due to some confusion off of an inbounds play, knocked down a three pointer that capped the scoring in the period.
The blow was a serious one as the fourth quarter was a more terse affair. Guerin cranked up the full court pressure, causing several turnovers that cost the hosts. At the same time, the Golden Eagles chewed up large amounts of clock on the offensive end.
Towards the end, Guerin clung to a two point lead several times and knocked down free throws late, with Poppas going 3-4 in the last minute of the game, to seal a five point win and keep the Eagles winless since November 20th.
Afterwards, there was one main malady according to Eagle head coach Debbie Steffy: turnovers.
"By our account, 21 turnovers. 21 possessions that we lost to score. We lost by five and we needed three more to be able to win the ballgame. Bottom line, too many turnovers. You're not going to win the game when you turn the ball over," Steffy said.
"We got the lead. We lost it. We fought back. We were down one at halftime. It was a good game. A good game from start to finish. We just had too many turnovers. That's the bottom line," Steffy continued.
The next game for South takes place at Conseco Fieldhouse as both the boys' and girls' squads will play Rockville in Indianapolis. The experience may be memorable, but the opponent will not be an easy one for the Eagles.
"They'll be fast. We've seen them before; they've got a lot of the same girls back. They've got Beth Mahurin, a good post player with good hands, knows what to do around the basket, keeps herself out of foul trouble," Steffy said.
"They've also got outside shooters. It's going to be one of those games where we've got to come out and play good defense and execute. We can't turnover the basketball," Steffy added.
"We're looking forward to it. It's going to be a good night for our kids. I mean, we're going in to win, but at the same time it's going to be a great experience for our kids to be able to play there. The fact that it's right there before Christmas, it's going to be a nice thing for us."
At South Putnam
Guerin Catholic 12 13 17 5 -- 47
South Putnam 9 15 12 6 -- 42
Guerin Catholic -- Poppas 17, Ganser 14, Frost 11, Pogue 3, Osinski 2
South Putnam -- Jones 11, Minor 10, Masters 10, Cash 5, McHugh 4, Searles 2
Next Game -- South Putnam will play Rockville on Wednesday at Conseco Fieldhouse in a boys/girls varisty doubleheader starting at 7 p.m.