GREENCASTLE -- It was 378 days in coming, and did it ever come in style.
South Putnam's boys' basketball squad finally picked up win number one on the season, knocking off Lighthouse Christian Academy 67-47 Friday night.
Having not tasted victory since Jan. 30 of last year, it was a welcomed sight for those in the home gymnasium, the players and the coaching staff.
The Eagles got off to a hot start by scoring 20 points in the opening period, a number that they've struggled to hit at times in entire halves of basketball.
The scoring continued as the Eagles piled on the points against the Lions. As the game progressed into the second half, South began to stretch the lead well into double figures and lead 48-35 entering the final quarter of play.
The buzz around the gym grew as the clock ticked down and the Eagles held their nerve, forcing the visitors to begin fouling late on. The strategy did not work as the Eagles sank 15-17 free throws, many of them in the final minutes, to secure their first win of the season.
It was a joyous moment for South Putnam head coach Micah Elliott, who was relieved to get a win on the books.
"It feels great. There's a huge monkey that just jumped off of all of our backs. I told the kids, it wasn't the prettiest game but we're going to enjoy this. I'm very proud of the effort of the kids tonight," Elliott said.
"We shot the ball well early and we had great ball movement early. We knocked down those shots but then we became stagnant offensively and forgot how we made those shots. That's something that we need to improve on."
With a win under their belts, South Putnam has a chance to gain some momentum heading into sectional play, starting with South Vermillion on Tuesday. Elliott knows his squad has something new to work on.
"We were in games this year we had an opportunity to win and we didn't know how to win. Even though we won tonight, we learned how to win tonight. We didn't do it perfectly, but those are things we can now focus on," Elliott said.
"Kids understand that situation now and we can build off that, learning how to win. That's very important for our team."
At South Putnam
L.C. 11 16 8 12 -- 47
South Putnam 20 12 16 19 -- 67
Lighthouse Christian -- Beisecker 20, Perry 10, Gates 6, Ray 5, Engel 4, Huck 2
South Putnam -- Freeman 21, Sa. Arnold 13, Gibson 7, Bumgardner 7, Hammond 6, Varvel 6, Stanton 4, Se. Arnold 3
Next Game -- South Putnam hosts South Vermillion next Tuesday.