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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Late shot falls short for Eagles

Thursday, November 29, 2012

South Putnam senior Brooke Cundiff (left) steals the ball from Danville junior Haley Lynch in the game on Wednesday night. The Eagles dropped to 3-3 for the season with the loss.
(Banner Graphic/GRANT WIEMAN) [Order this photo]
Trailing by three with the clock ticking down in the fourth quarter, the South Putnam girls' basketball team swung the ball around the perimeter looking for an open shot.

Senior Brittany Birt was left partially open and gunned up her first three-point attempt of the game.

The shot came up short and the Eagles lost to the Danville Warriors, 53-50.

The Eagles were stymied by Danville's full-court press in the first quarter. Though SPHS had a significant height advantage, the Warriors quickness seemed to frustrate the home team.

SPHS turned the ball over 11 times in the quarter and trailed 17-9.

"We got overwhelmed with their pressure and we looked intimidated to even try to bring the ball up the court," Blackman said. "The plan was to beat (the press) and avoid the sideline. We didn't quite carry that through, and that's something we need to work on in practice."

South Putnam senior Mallory Cash (21) skies over Danville defenders Meghan Gerdts (10) and Whitney Taylor.
(Banner Graphic/GRANT WIEMAN) [Order this photo]
Senior Mallory Cash had seven of her 16 points in the quarter, making two three-pointers to keep the Eagles within striking distance.

SPHS picked up the tempo in the second quarter, inserting senior Brooke Cundiff in the lineup.

The Eagles went on an 18-8 run in the quarter to take a one-point lead into halftime.

"Sometimes through the course of a game you figure out that it's kind of what you need to do," Blackman said. "Tonight we had a matchup defensively. They were quicker team than we were if we played with our two posts, so we went with a four guard, one post lineup to try to be able to match up with them defensively."

The higher tempo continued in the third quarter, but the Eagles' troubles with the press returned.

Nine more turnovers in the period caught up to South Putnam, and they trailed by three entering the fourth.

Were it not for the significant advantage in rebounding and second chance points, the deficit could have been much worse.

SPHS senior Leanna Masters had game highs with 20 points (on 11 shots) and 15 rebounds, dominating the Warriors for stretches.

She also finished the game eight-of-eight from the free throw line.

"We knew going into it that we outsized them," Blackman said. "The goal that we talked about all week in practice was utilizing our advantage of Leanna in the post and making a concerted effort to get it in to her."

The Eagles opened the fourth with two quick buckets to retake the lead, but a three by Danville junior Chelsea Gould quickly ended the would-be run.

Danville controlled the pace and led by three with less than 30 seconds remaining.

The Eagles wrapped up Danville sophomore Allie Lake, who calmly sank both free throws.

Needing five points, Birt drove straight to the rim. She made a lay-up from the left side, and got fouled in the process.

Fifteen seconds remained, Birt missed her free throw attempt, then managed to secure her own rebound.

Birt slipped in and locked in a shared possession.

The jump-ball arrow pointed back to SPHS and Blackman drew up her last-chance play.

"We were just going to stack it up and try to get Mallory (Cash) for a three," SPHS coach Lindsey Blackman said. "If she wasn't open, then we were going to get it to Brooke (Cundiff) on the wing and hopefully Mattie (Varvel) stepping in from the out of bounds line for a three pointer.

"It got reversed and we couldn't get it back to a shooter."

The Eagles are back in action on Tuesday, Dec. 4 at South Vermillion at 7:30 p.m.

At South Putnam

Danville -- 17 8 12 16 -- 53

South Putnam -- 9 18 7 16 --50

Individual Scoring

Danville: Gould 6-9 FG, 4-10 FT, 16 PT; Lake 5-17, 4-6, 15; Taylor 5-8, 1-1, 11; Gerdts 2-9, 2-8, 6; Newby 1-5, 1-2, 3; Lynch 1-4, 0-2, 2; Motter 0-3, 0-0, 0; Ford 0-1, 0-0, 0.

South Putnam: Masters 6-11, 8-8, 20; Cash 5-15, 2-5, 16; Varvel 3-11, 2-5, 8; Birt 2-4, 0-1, 4; Nichols 0-2, 2-2, 2; Cundiff 0-2, 0-2, 0; Whitaker 0-3, 0-0, 0; Barnes 0-1, 0-0, 0; York 0-0, 0-0, 0.

Team Scoring

Danville: 20-56, 9-24, 53.

South Putnam: 16-49, 14-23, 50.


Danville: 4-13

South Putnam: 4-11


Danville: 19

South Putnam: 29


Danville: 30

South Putnam: 44

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