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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Cougars run through Clovers to reach county final

Saturday, December 1, 2012

North Putnam junior Jordan Nauert makes a three-point shot from the corner over Cloverdale junior Brandon Dorman.
(Banner Graphic/GRANT WIEMAN) [Order this photo]
When the opening tip rolled out of bounds and the game official pointed in the direction of the North Putnam boys' basketball team, it seemed to set the tone for the night.

The ball seemed to keep going the Cougars way in their Putnam County Classic semifinal game against Cloverdale, a 66-41 win for NPHS.

The Cougars jumped out to an 8-0 lead, sparked by the hot shooting of junior Jordan Nauert and senior Jameson Brewer.

Nauert sank three three-point buckets from the corner in the opening period and tallied 13 points total before the first break.

After a brief spurt of three straight buckets for CHS, the Cougars rolled through the rest of the quarter to take a 21-6 lead.

"Any time you can make shots from the perimeter, that's going to spread things out for you a little bit," NPHS coach Nathan Martindale said. "I thought the guys were doing a nice job of finding each other; getting each other spots on the floor to be successful."

Cloverdale responded at the break, adjusting its defense to a new 1-3-1 set that took away the corner jumpers.

The Clovers opened the second quarter with a pair of threes by junior Kedrick Collet and a step-back shot from junior Kade Schroer.

"You've got to take your hats off to North Putnam," CHS coach Pat Rady said. "At times, I thought (the 1-3-1) defense worked well, but we left the shooters, (Nauert) and (Brewer) open a bit too much and if you leave those guys open, they rack them up."

The Clovers kept the defensive pressure up in the second quarter, holding NPHS to only two-of-11 shooting.

The teams entered halftime with North Putnam leading 27-20.

"I had a few choice words in the halftime locker room. I think that might have gotten them going just a little bit," Martindale said. "We were just a little passive in the first half, so in the second half we wanted to make sure we cranked it up a notch, and I thought we did that.

"I thought guys bought in and got really aggressive and that was where we got a lot of our stuff at."

The Cougars came out flat for the first four minutes of the third, allowing CHS to close the gap to 27-26.

Cloverdale's Kedrick Collet throws a pass from his knees around pressing NPHS senior Zach Green.
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Junior Coy Flynn entered the game and NPHS began blazing, forcing 10 turnovers in the third quarter, attacking the rim, ripping the ball away repeatedly with half court pressure and seizing complete control of the game.

A 17-four run to end the quarter erased any comeback chances the Clovers hoped to cling to.

Flynn finished with eight points on four-of-six shooting with three steals.

"(North Putnam) caused us to turn the ball over and showed us a lot of areas that we've got to work on," Rady said. "We knew this year, with things that have happened, was going to be a year in progress. We just can't panic."

The run continued into the fourth quarter for NPHS, with Brewer and senior center Jake Haste taking over the paint.

The pair shot five-of-six in the quarter, totaling 13 points.

The up-tempo, high energy game plan helped carry the Cougars to the PCC championship game on Saturday where they'll face South Putnam at 8 p.m at Greencastle High School.

"The effort was great tonight, we just have to make sure we bring it again tomorrow night," Martindale said. "We're ready to go."

Cloverdale will take on Greencastle in the PCC consolation game at 6:30 p.m.

"No game, whether it's a win or a loss, is going to determine much this early in the year," Rady said. "It's not a lot of time to correct the mistakes we made tonight, that's got to come from practice.

"You improve in practice and I think we've got to realize that and, throughout the year, practice has got to be a little bit tougher."

At Greencastle
Putnam County Classic semifinal
Cloverdale -- 6 14 10 11 -- 41
North Putnam -- 21 6 17 22 -- 66

Individual scoring
Cloverdale: Collet 7-13, 2-2, 20; Scott 4-8, 1-1, 9; Schroer 4-6, 0-0, 8; Dorman 1-11, 0-0, 2; Cupp 1-3, 0-0, 2; Cummings 1-2, 0-2, 2; Hughes 0-2, 0-0, 0.
North Putnam: Nauert 10-13, 0-0, 25; Brewer 5-11, 2-2, 14; Haste 4-8, 1-1, 9; Flynn 4-6, 0-2, 8; Green 2-11, 2-2, 6; Hazelgrove 0-2, 2-4, 2; Beaman 0-3, 0-0, 0; Herrmann 0-0, 0-0, 0.

Three-point shooting
Cloverdale: 4-16
North Putnam: 7-17

Cloverdale: 20
North Putnam: 17

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