GREENCASTLE -- Going into Thursday night's consolation game of the South Putnam Boy's Basketball Holiday Tournament, South Putnam coach Micah Elliott was looking for his team to battle hard and compete as they faced a tough Cascade team.
Despite a valiant effort, the Eagles came out on the losing end, falling to Cascade 64-43.
For the first two quarters the Eagles held tough, scrapping for loose balls and converting on the offensive end of the court. At halftime they went into the locker room down 8, trailing the Cadets 34-26.
Elliott said he knew that the way his team came out of the locker room and responded would decide the game.
"When you get behind by 8 to 10 points a shot here or there can change the game completely," he said.
The lead for the Cadets grew as the Eagles only shot 3-11 from the field in the third quarter. The Cadets outscored the Eagles 19-7 in the third quarter.
At the beginning of the fourth the Eagles trailed 53-33.
"When we got behind we were trying to get the lead back with every shot," Elliott said. "I am very disappointed in the way we played the second half."
Although he was disappointed with the second half performance, Elliott did compliment his team on its first half performance.
"We had good ball movement and execution in the first half," he said.
The Eagles, now 0-9 on the season, will look to bounce back Jan. 7 when they take on Eminence.
Leading the way for the Eagles were Brayden Freeman and Dean Varvel with nine points each.
Being down 20 going into the fourth quarter, Elliott took the opportunity to get some of his younger players some much needed experience.
"We need to learn to be able to compete when we get down," he said. "Tonight's ballgame was the first time all season that I felt we gave up."
At South Putnam
S. Putnam 12 14 7 10 -- 43
Cascade 16 18 19 11 -- 64
South Putnam -- Freeman 9, Varvel 9, Bumgardner 8, Sawyer Arnold 6, Seth Arnold 4, Hammond 3, Gibson 2, Stanton 2. Totals: 17-43 FG; 3-12 3PTL; 6-13 FT; 43 TP.
Cascade -- Daugherty 15, Hopper 10, Thomas 10, Arthur 9, Baldwin 8, Bemis 6, Dunn 4, Canaday 2. Totals: 24-44 FG; 4-12 3PTL; 10-15 FT; 64 TP.