"We were actually in a good place even though we had so many turnovers in the first half," Blackman said. "We didn't have a good start as far as handling the ball and we were still within six, so you're thinking 'OK, we're not playing well, but we're close.'
"(I was) expecting more coming out in the third quarter. That was disappointing what we saw coming out in the third quarter," she added.
South Putnam struggled from the opening tip, but was able to fight their way back into the game and found themselves behind just three after one quarter, 13-10.
The Bruins outscored the Eagles 13-10 once again in the second quarter to take a six-point lead into halftime. As Blackman pointed out, when the team was able to get inside the three-point line, they were able to do some good things. The problem was the Bruin defense didn't allow South Putnam much penetration.
Instead of coming out strong in the third quarter, the Eagles continued to struggle to find its offense. Instead of attacking the Bruins' defense, South Putnam was content to dribble around the perimeter and take the outside shot.
Blackman said the team knew what the Bruins' defense would play, it was just matter of not getting the job done.
"We knew they would play the 1-3-1 and we've played against it before and we seem to keep falling back. We do well in practice against it, but we fall back into the same passive mentality when we see it in a game and I don't know where it comes from," Blackman said.
In the third quarter, the Eagles were outscored 20-6 and spent the rest of the game playing catch up. Emily Dabkowski sparked the Eagles' offense in the fourth quarter with eight points as the Eagles outscored the Bruins 18-17.
Blackman reiterated that her team is still learning how to play with a winning mentality and knowing they can win against most any opponent.
"Everything is a learning experience and they're still learning to go into a game with the expectations of winning, especially with the name Tri-West across their chest," Blackman said. "We're still learning that. If we can learn to play them, we should be able to play with them and we need to rise up and play like that with the level of competition.
"We have another test next week against Clay City, but we need to raise our game up to the next level when we play against competition like that, especially coming into sectional. We need to go into sectional with the confidence that we can play with Cascade, Covenant Christian and Speedway, so we have that mentality that we can make a run in the tournament," Blackman said.
South Putnam will travel to Cloverdale Friday at 6 p.m.
At South Putnam
Tri-West 13 13 20 17 -- 63
South Putnam 10 10 6 18 -- 44
Tri-West -- Hill 25, Allen 10, Moser 7, Ricks 7, DeSutter 6, O'Neal 5. Totals: 26-58 FG, 6-12 FT, 63 TP.
South Putnam -- Dabkowski 14, Masters 10, Minor 8, Thompson 6, Jones 4, Varvel 2. Totals: 16-56 FG, 11-15 FT, 44 TP.