The biggest challenge for South Putnam was to maintain its discipline and patience in its half court offense. The Eagles' head coach Micah Elliott stressed he like the team's eagerness early, but they have to do a better job to maintain composure for a full 32 minutes.
"I thought we had good intensity from the start of the game," Elliott said. "We hit the floor the first three or four minutes three or four times diving after loose balls. Our effort was there. I give them credit, they pressured us and took us out of what we wanted to do offensively. We turned the ball over way too many times and when you turn the ball over, you don't have shots.
"I thought we defended well at times, but I thought they did a better job of being offensively patient and eventually breaking us down," he added.
The first quarter ended with the same score as the girls contest, with Rockville in the lead 15-6. A huge second quarter lifted the Rox to a 36-15 halftime lead.
Time of possession plagued the Eagles as well. As Elliott pointed out, Rockville was able to hold the ball sometimes close to a minute before getting a shot off. What hurt South Putnam even more was Rockville's ability to get offensive rebounds.
Elliott said Rockville was just doing what a team needs to do once the tournament begins.
"That's what you need to have as a good team especially when you move through tournament time and move through teams that are maybe better than you," Elliott said. "You have to be able to do that. We had a couple possessions where I thought we did that and we got easy looks. We just need to understand that.
"It's going to be hard to get to that point until we have a couple guards that step up and handle pressure and want that challenge and apply that pressure in practice to each other," Elliott said.
South Putnam gave Rockville everything they had, but the host shooting Rox pulled away and won the contest 69-32.
Up next for South Putnam will be their Holiday Tournament. South Putnam will host North Vermillion in the second game Dec. 29 at 7:30 p.m.
Elliott said his team believes they can once again walk away with the tournament title this year.
"You forward to our tournament and it's wide open. There's a lot of teams we can compete with and we can win. I think that our kids believe we can go into this tournament and win. We did it last year where we struggled and then came in and won the tournament," Elliott said.
At Conseco Fieldhouse
South Putnam 6 9 11 6 -- 32
Rockville 15 21 19 14 -- 69
South Putnam -- Mahurin 17, Wittenmyer 12, Jeffries 9, McFall 8, White 6, Bradburn 6, Brown 4, Lear 3, Wheeler 2, Kempf 2. Totals: 26-40 FG, 10-15 FT, 69 TP.
South Putnam -- Freeman 7, Gibson 4, Varvel 4, Se. Arnold 4, Hammond 4, Sa. Arnold 3, Stanton 2, Bumgardner 2, Pell 2. Totals: 14-31 FG, 2-4 FT, 32 TP.