ROACHDALE -- A slow start from the North Putnam girls' basketball squad was all that Monrovia needed Friday night, as a 17-2 deficit after one led to the Bulldogs easing past the Cougars 61-30.
A good shooting night was key to any plans the hosts had against the Bulldogs, but the slow first quarter, coupled with a nearly eight-minute long scoreless streak in the second half, allowed the visitors plenty of time to rack up the points.
After the dismal first period, the Cougars were able to establish some offensive rhythm in the second period. With Monrovia shooting well from the field, however, the home side couldn't eat into the lead.
Problems arose in the third period after Sam Lucas was injured and helped off the court with 4:39 left in the quarter.
From there, the Cougar offense lost its way until midway through the final period. The final five minutes of the game proved to be North Putnam's best stretch of the game as the hosts scored eleven points in the time frame.
North Putnam head coach Jim Brothers said afterwards that the team's shooting woes made it difficult to stay in the game against Monrovia.
"We missed too many shots tonight. We shot 19 percent from the field and you don't win a lot of games shooting like that. There were a lot of looks we're capable of hitting and needed to hit, but didn't," Brothers said.
"That was compounded with them hitting shots from the floor. We got better play in the second, third and fourth quarters but we couldn't sustain things on the offensive end."
"We had mental lapses early on. It didn't look like we were mentally in it from the start. We didn't come out ready to play, and it's hard to compete when you're down fifteen early," Brothers added.
The Cougars will play potential sectional opponent Southmont next Tuesday. Brothers said that which Southmont squad shows up is hard to tell.
"Southmont is a team that's been up and down this season. They lost to Western Boone by two points after having tied them late in the game. We'll have our hands full with them," Brothers said.
"We're not sure on Sam (Lucas)'s status yet. She's hurt her knee and ankle in the third quarter, so we'll see how she is later tomorrow."
"We need to get shots to fall. Once we get scores, we tend to play looser, which means we play better on both ends of the floor because the pressure is off of us to score," Brothers added.
"But the biggest thing is, we've got to get those shots to fall for us."
At North Putnam
Monrovia 17 19 12 13 -- 61
North Putnam 2 12 5 11 -- 30
Monrovia -- Tharp 12, Wright 9, Kaiser 9, Keen 6, Smith 6, Me. Knieper 5, Ma. Knieper 4, Delph 2, Nay 2, Whitaker 2, K. Kaiser 2, Riffel 2, Rickleman 2
North Putnam -- K. Asbell 10, Wiatt 5, Matthews 4, Lucas 4, Robinson 3, Land 2, M. Asbell 2, Pinney 2, Mindiola 1
Next Game: North Putnam hosts Southmont next Tuesday.