North Putnam head coach Nathan Martindale noted the team's struggles on the night and what they need to do when shooting woes happen.
"We talked about that in the locker room," Martindale said. "It's got to be something where we had a couple guys where their shot wasn't falling tonight and if your shot doesn't fall, you have to do something somewhere else. Whether that be rebound or defense, and that's what we talked a lot with them, when your shot's not falling you have to contribute some way.
"We struggled on the offensive end. We had some nice looks, but they just weren't falling tonight. When the ball doesn't go in the hole, it's very difficult. They got loose a couple times," he said.
The game began well for the Cougars, with them keeping pace with the Stars. But back-to-back three-pointers from C.J. McMann and Luke Pearson got Western Boone going on a 7-0 run, helping them to a 17-7 edge after one quarter.
North Putnam outscored the Stars in the second quarter, edging them 16-15 behind nine points from Tim Wiltermood off the bench, with Kolten Everts and Nate Bryan adding four each in the quarter.
Despite being down 32-23 at the half, the Cougars had seized some much need momentum, but shooting struggles once again plagued North Putnam in the third quarter.
After being outscored 15-10 in the third, North Putnam put up 11 points in the final stanza, with the Stars coming away with the 61-44 win. Asked following the game if his team's struggles could be the results of the holiday break, Martindale said he didn't think so.
"You can, but I just think it's one of those things where you just have to nod your head and go on to the next one," Martindale said.
The Stars shot 50 percent from the field, while the Cougars only managed 26 percent. In spite of Tuesday's rough outing, Martindale likes what he's seeing from his team.
"I think they're starting to gel a little bit better on the offensive end," he said. "They're understanding where guys like to have their shot. Defensively, that's where we're most improved. At the beginning of the year, we couldn't guard anybody, but I thought tonight we did a pretty nice job on them. Guys were in help side; we just fell short on some of their tough shots that they hit."
Martindale said he team had some chances on the night, but simply couldn't get over the hump Tuesday.
"We'll keep getting better," he said. "These guys are working hard and they're starting to get better. Nate (Bryan) came from football and you can tell he's starting to get comfortable in the post. He's getting some nice post moves and scores in there.
"Once we get everybody sort of clicking on the same page, I think we'll start to get a lot better on both ends," Martindale added.
North Putnam hosts Turkey Run Friday with the junior varsity tipping off at 6 p.m.
At North Putnam
Western Boone 17 15 15 14 -- 61
North Putnam 7 16 10 11 -- 44
Western Boone -- Nicley 22, McMann 15, Garrity 9, Aguirre 8, Pearson 7. Totals: 22-44 FG, 12-16 FT, 61 TP.
North Putnam -- Wiltermood 16, Everts 15, Brewer 5, Bryan 4, No. 3 3, No. 12 1. Totals: 15-57 FG, 7-12 FT, 44 TP.