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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

South Putnam rallies to retain paddle

Saturday, January 14, 2012

South Putnam senior Jenny Thompson scored 10 points as the Eagles defeated Greencastle Friday. [Order this photo]
Friday's contest between the girls' team from South Putnam and Greencastle proved that things can change in the blink of an eye. However, two huge quarters from the host Eagles provided them with a 56-44 win and more importantly, they get retained possession of the Putnam County paddle in the process.

South Putnam hit four three-pointers in the final quarter en route to their 10th win of the season.

The Eagles dominated the opening quarter of play, racing out to an 11-0 lead before GHS was able to put up its first points. When the quarter was over South Putnam had a 15-2 edge and looked to have the game well in hand.

But the energy the Eagles had in the opening quarter abandoned them at the start of the second quarter and allowed Greencastle to close the gap. Greencastle recorded its first basket of the game at the 6:02 mark of the second quarter and began building momentum from there.

"I felt like that second and third quarter there was just this lull of energy and then we hit those three big threes in a row and all of sudden it came to light again," Eagles head coach Lindsey Blackman said.

The Tiger Cubs held South Putnam to just three points in the second quarter and trailed by seven at the break, 18-11.

GHS head coach Bradley Key noted his team came out a little tight and even switched up defenses in the second. The Eagles were slow to make an adjustment. In fact the defense would continued to cause the Eagles problems in the third quarter and into the fourth quarter.

"We started off a little tense," Key said. "Our girls were excited and a lot of nerves there. You have to be able to handle those. But once we calmed down and believed in ourselves, we did a much better job. I came out in a press and I probably shouldn't have. It gave up some easy baskets and that's one me, it had nothing to do with the girls.

"Then when we went to that 1-3-1 and put some pressure on them, our defense really got our offense going," he added.

Greencastle's rally came full circle as they took the lead in the third quarter, but Leanna Masters hit two free throws with 3.5 second remaining to knot the game 26-all heading in the final period. And it would be in that period South Putnam would find the offense that was hard to find throughout the two middle quarters.

After the Tiger Cubs took a 33-28 lead, senior guard Jenny Thompson hit a three-pointer to begin a late rally that would see the Eagles hit four three-pointers in a row, with two coming from Thompson and one from Jenna Jones and Mattie Varvel. When the long distance outburst was said and done, South Putnam seized a 40-35 lead and never looked back.

Greencastle continued to fight, but South Putnam hit some big free throws down the stretch to get the win. The Eagles put up 30 points in the final quarter.

"I'm proud of the way my girls, being down 15-2, and still battling back," Key said. "Man, Hannah Wainman and Taylor Pruitt fought. Good for them for fighting and they want to will their team to win. And let's be honest, we aren't the most skillful players on earth, but we fight and we rebound and get touches on defense."

Blackman knew Greencastle was coming into Friday's game wanting to avenge their loss to the Eagles in the championship game of the Putnam County tournament. The win marks the first time since the 2006-07 season that the Eagles have swept the Tiger Cubs during the regular season.

"It feels good," Blackman said of the wins. "It feels better for them in the locker room I know because they know the history. It feels good from them and the seniors and I'm proud of them. They wanted to keep the paddle in this game. They want to keep it until softball season, so they were able to at least be able to hold it for another week or so."

Masters led the Eagles with 15, with Thompson adding 10 and Emily Dabkowski scoring eight. Jones and Varvel scored seven each, with Ericka Minor adding six and Alex McHugh three points in the win.

The Tiger Cubs were led in scoring by Hannah Wainman with 16 points, followed by Taylor Pruitt with 11. Callan Taylor scored seven points, with Melody White and Alex Basile adding three each. Erynn Beck and Rayleigh Amis chipped in two points each.

South Putnam will travel to Monrovia next Friday at 6 p.m., while Greencastle will host Cascade Friday at 6 p.m.

At South Putnam

Greencastle 2 9 15 18 -- 44

South Putnam 15 3 8 30 -- 56

Individual Scoring

Greencastle -- Wainman 16, Pruitt 11, Taylor 7, White 3, Basile 3, Beck 2, Amis 2. Totals: 15-49 FG, 13-33 FT, 44 TP.

South Putnam -- Masters 15, Thompson 10, Dabkowski 8, Jones 7, Varvel 7, Minor 6, McHugh 3. Totals: 16-51 FG, 19-24 FT, 56 TP.